Cyclists Are Gearing Up for Bike to Work Day:
Sorry, terrible headline
Do you know what June 23 is? National Yo-Yo Day?
No, that's June 10. Insurance Awareness Day?
Families everywhere gather to celebrate that on the
28th. National Chocolate Ice Cream Day? Officially
that's the 7th, but as far as I'm concerned, every
day is national chocolate ice cream day.
June 23 is Bike to Work Day! As your attorney I
must advise you of an important fact pertaining to
this event. Last year, the state legislature passed
a resolution creating a permanent Bike to Work Day.
Pursuant to this resolution, all residents of
Colorado are required to ride bicycles to work on
June 23. VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULL
EXTENT OF THE LAW!
Wait a second. On closer reading, the resolution
just encourages us to ride to work. But you should
still consider biking in that day, even though you
won't do any hard time if you refuse. Did you know
that bicycle commuting is good for you, the state
economy, and the environment? Don't just take my
word for it. Let's look at some hard scientific
- Riding a bike is a great way to get your
daily workout, and it reduces the stress of the
morning rush hour. Studies show a significantly
higher incidence of "road rage" on I-25 than on
the Cherry Creek bike path.
- Bicycle commuting boosts workplace
productivity. After some fresh air and exercise,
you'll arrive at work feeling alert and raring
to go. Studies show that biking to work can
improve your internet surfing efficiency by up
- Bicycling makes our city a better place to
live. Studies show that taking a bike to work
instead of a car reduces air pollution, traffic
congestion, and Mike Rosen's ratings.
Still not sure you want to ride to work? The
change from automobile to bicycle can be
intimidating. If you are experiencing anxiety, this
handy quiz will dispel some myths about bicycle
Q. If I ride my bike to work, I'll be sweaty and
disgusting all day and I'll be shunned by my
A. FALSE! Many experienced bicycle commuters
maintain a leisurely pace in the morning to stay
relatively cool and dry, then ride faster on the
way home to get a good workout. That way you only
get shunned by your spouse.
Q. Riding a bike on the street is illegal.
Bicycles are toys to be used for recreational rides
on designated bike paths.
A. FALSE! Bicycles are vehicles. Check out
section 42-4-1412 (1) of the Colorado Revised
Statutes: "Every person riding a bicycle shall have
all of the rights and duties applicable to the
driver of any other vehicle." The law is on your
side! You have the right to do anything on a bike
that you can do in a car, but talking on cell
phones, eating McMuffins, shaving, and applying
makeup are not recommended. Let's just use some
common sense out there, people.
Q. Biking to work would make me look silly and
undermine my dignity as a responsible
A. FALSE! Who looks sillier, a happy cyclist
gliding along in the fresh air and sunshine, or an
uptight driver hermetically sealed inside a Hummer,
a vehicle designed to negotiate the dunes of Iraq,
not the smooth streets of Denver? Who looks more
responsible, the rider of an environmentally
friendly, fuel efficient vehicle (I get 27 miles to
the bagel city, 34 highway; your mileage may vary),
or someone who wasted $50,000 to drive around town
in a military personnel carrier?
Q. Bicycling is dangerous! In order to register
for Bike to Work Day, I'll be required to submit a
copy of my dental records.
A. FALSE! If you follow the rules of the road
and know the proper techniques for riding in
traffic, bicycling is quite safe. And have you
considered the dangers of not getting some exercise
on your bike? According to the Harvard Center for
Risk Analysis, you have a 1 in 397 chance of death
from heart disease, but only a 1 in 376,165 chance
of becoming a human crayon while bicycling. I'll
take my chances out on the road, thank you. The
bicycle is a lot safer than the couch.
Q. I don't feel comfortable about riding my bike
A. TRUE! If you bike to work, your usual
automobile route might not be the best choice. But
our city has an excellent system of bikeways and
on-street bike routes to get you there safely. And
maybe faster. At the point where the Platte River
Trail runs alongside I-25, I'm often moving faster
than the bumper-to-bumper traffic. Caution: Don't
get too distracted while gloating at motorists.
Q. If I ride to work, I would be unable to get
home quickly in the event of an emergency.
A. FALSE! Let's say you're sitting at your desk
when suddenly you receive a frantic phone call
informing you of an emergency at home--your house
is on fire, you forgot to take out the recycling,
your favorite Andy Griffith Show episode is on,
something of that nature. You have to get home
fast! In such dire circumstances, you may qualify
for a free taxi ride courtesy of your friends at
the Denver Regional Council of Governments.
For additional, more reliable information, go to
Ask your DRCOG about Bike to Work Day. Maybe you'll
decide to make every day bike to work day. Not a
bad idea, especially if every day is also national
chocolate ice cream day
© 2011 John
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is a dad, a writer, and a lawyer (in that order).
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