When I saw that over 14,000 people registered to participate in Bike to Work Day, I thought that was a lot. Then I got to the Bethesda pit stop Friday morning, and yeah. I believe it now. Even though Bethesda might be a smaller pit stop than those found in DC or maybe even Arlington, judging by what I saw in Bethesda and the photos by WABA and others, wow.
Lots. of. bikes.
This was my first Bike to Work Day, and no, I didn’t raise my hand when the guy with the mic asked if there were any BtWD noobs. Got my free T-shirt and random sticker. Entered my name into the raffle to win a bike from Griffin Cycles… which I just looked up and discovered is located right by my office building. Guess I’ll be visiting that shop soon. (I didn’t win the bike.)
I didn’t make any new friends. Everyone seemed to be doing their own thing, so I just putted along, checking out the tables and listening to our local officials do their speeches about biking, health, transportation alternatives, framed plaque, dedication, etc.
Grabbed a banana, checked the time, continued to work.
The saddest part of BtWD is having to get off the bike for work. Can we just declare this a holiday and have one massive, day-long bike riding extravaganza?
NBC Day 9 / Bike to Work Day | Total Miles: 9.09
I left the apartment a little earlier than normal to give myself time to hang out at the Bethesda pit stop. It was interesting. There seemed to be more people on the route earlier in the morning. I was in another mini-bike train for part of the commute. From Silver Spring, there doesn’t really seem to be a lot of people. But once you come to Connecticut Avenue, near that golf club and closer to Bethesda, and it’s like everyone and their grandmothers were out.
There were kids at the pit stop, lots of people I’ve never seen on the trail before. So I’m wondering how many of these people live in Bethesda and were starting their commute, or lived somewhere else and worked in Bethesda, or used Bethesda as the midway point. Then again, it probably doesn’t matter.
Commutes were probably adjusted for the 6:30-8:30 a.m. pit stop hours.
Then my other thought: So this is what a bike gathering looks and feels like… I need more.
Also this perky gentleman came up to me, asking if he could chat with me for a moment about WABA. I said sure, but I just signed up for a membership online. He was excited but I think he was still kind of sad because he started to walk away while saying awesome, and he wouldn’t bother me with the great information.
Dooood. We still could’ve chatted! Oh well. I need to start volunteering my time. Have yet to do that.
I’ve only had occasion to see MoCo Councilmember Roger Berliner twice in person, but each time I’ve seen him I can’t help but be excited about his excitement for alternative transit and (from what it seems) his interest in healthy communities, multi-modal transportation, etc.
The last time I saw him was at a forum in Silver Spring on BRT and Purple Line.
— Roger Berliner (@RogerBerliner) May 17, 2013
And yes. I totally wore my BtWD shirt home. Don’t judge.
NBC Day 8 | Total miles: 9.33
I’m not entirely sure if it’s because this week is Bike to Work Week, or because the warmer weather generally just means more people opt for the bike transportation option, but this morning, I felt like I was part of some bike caravan.
That’s not strange or anything, but having biked in the morning and being passed by two or three people, it was a strange and new experience to be in a line of sorts with two other cyclists.
Which brings me to the thought I had from yesterday’s commute that I forgot to mention in the post because I was, and still am slightly obsessed over my tube/tire size differences.
Total bike challenge miles: 82.91