Did you know today is National Bike to Work Day? Bike to Work Day is an annual event designed to encourage people to exchange their cars for bikes for transportation, serving as a catalyst to reduce our footprint and improve air quality.
Here at LONG, we have several team members who enjoy bike commuting, including Tom Cozhiar, Ray Gardner and Richard Coleman. Below they share a little insight of their biking ways:
Tom Cozhiar is a Project Manager on the HVAC Equipment team. Tom has been into biking ever since he was a little kid, but didn’t start bike commuting until he attended college. He usually bikes to work once a week during the summer, which in Colorado is around May through September. Tom’s average commute to work is a 14-mile ride one way and can take anywhere between 45-60 minutes. For Tom, bike commuting is a lot calmer than driving. He states, “I enjoy seeing wildlife along the river instead of wild drivers along the highways”. His favorite ride outside of commuting to work is taking a ride downtown to Coors Field for the Colorado Rockies home games. You can see a picture of Tom and his bike next to the stadium to the right. Last, Tom has registered to participate in Denver’s Bike to Work Day, June 28th. If you are in the Denver area and would like to participate in the event as well, go to www.biketoworkday.us for more information.
Seattleite and LONG Security Solutions team member, Dan Droker has biked to work as long as he can remember. "I have commuted by bike on and off for over 20 years and started riding to LONG last summer after buying my first new bike in many years," he recalls. Dan makes an effort to bike to work at least twice a week when the weather is nice, stating, "I do it for enjoyment, for exercise, and for the environmental value." In terms of benefits, Dan expressed that biking to work leaves him feeling energized and ready for the day ahead. He also pointed out that it's a great way to get in exercise without having to find additional time in the day to fit it in. Dan's love of biking is a family affair. He remembers starting out early enough to ride in a seat on the back of his mother's bicycle. Today, his kids share the same love and they frequently go on rides together on the weekends and during vacations. "We enjoy both road and trail biking," says Dan, "but my kids like it when there's a destination with a playground."
One of our fellow LONG PartsPros, Ray Gardner also enjoys Bike Commuting to the Littleton Office. He has enjoyed biking for as long has he can remember. Ray can recall riding around the neighborhood as a kid, bike hikes, going down hills way too fast, and the occasional superman over the handlebars! He aims to bike to work as much as possible, the cardio gives a sense of refreshment to start the work day off well. Although his route is only a couple of miles, bike commuting also gives him a sense of adventure, sometimes on his commute home he will wander a bit and take a route he hasn’t tried before. According to Ray, biking is mainly enjoyable because... “I get the chance to take that route daily I can catch some of the subtle changes in the seasons and the environment. It is a peaceful distraction. This time of year is exciting because the morning lows are a bit warmer, the Platte river rises a bit day by day, everything is turning green.” Like Tom, Ray typically prefers to ride his mountain bike but would also enjoy riding a nice road bike occasionally, just to see how fast they can go!
LONG’s General Manager for Security Solutions, Richard Coleman, enjoys biking to work as well. He too has enjoyed biking since he was a kid, but didn’t get serious about it until about 2 years ago. Unless Richard has places to get to quickly from the office, he strives to bike to work every day! Fortunately, Richard lives just over a mile from the Littleton office, so if he’s in a hurry he can bike to work on his Giant Any Road road bike in 6 minutes. When he isn’t in a hurry Richard likes to lengthen his ride to about 7 miles. Richard says he loves biking instead of driving to work, stating, “Probably the best part of it is focus. I tend to get my mind on all the things I have to do for the day and organize my thoughts differently. Frankly it’s the most rewarding part of it, riding the trail is much less chaotic than driving and really allows my mind to focus elsewhere.” His favorite ride, separate from bike commuting, is riding down to Chatfield Reservoir, CO and then heading north to Confluence Park, CO and back. It’s a 35 mile round trip!
There are many benefits to bike commuting rather than driving to work. Those include: reducing your carbon footprint, saving money, avoiding traffic delays, and health benefits. Per Jill Harness from www.lifehack.org, people who bike to work typically:
Have better blood pressure, triglyceride and insulin levels
High a higher level of well-being, self-confidence, and stress tolerance
Are less likely to have difficulty sleeping and in result have reduced tiredness
Report greater feeling of freedom, relaxation, and excitement than care commuters
Can burn between 215 – 500 calories during just a 30-minute ride
Can reduce your risk of heart disease by 50% in just three hours of biking per week
While there are many benefits to Bike Commuting, per www.biketoworkday.us, it is recommended to implement the following safe practices each time you ride:
Always wear a helmet and be alert
Always signal when riding on the road
Make eye contact with drivers
Leave room for right-turning vehicles when stopped at a red light
Be visible! Wear bright colors during the day and white or reflective clothing at night
Give an audible signal when you pass a pedestrian or someone traveling more slowly than you are, whether you are on the street or a path
Respect and be considerate of other road, path and trail users
Check with the city or county where you habitually ride about additional local biking ordinances
If you decide biking is a great idea for you, but you are new to the activity, www.biketoworkday.us would also like to stress these important tips before your first ride:
Know the Rules of the Road: Ride with the flow, do not ride against traffic and do not weave between cars. Bicyclists are required to obey the same traffic laws as automobiles
Map Out Your Route: It is important, just like driving to know which route you are going to take to get to your destination. A good reference to use is MyWayToGo.org to plan your route, you can choose a direct route or safer route to your destination
Tires Tubes and Air Pressure: Because your tires are the connection to the road, it is very important to ride with the proper pressure. The pressure is printed on the tire sidewall and it should be checked weekly because air does deep out of the tubes as the bike sits
Last, Pedal Smarter, Not Harder: To give ease to your knees, and use less energy, promoting better cardiovascular fitness; develop a smoother stroke by pedaling in more of a complete circle than an up and down motion
After all the refreshing information on biking to work, you are now ready to try to for yourself! Get out there and do something good for you and the earth! You won’t regret it.