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The Tentacle


June 9, 2009

'Work To Ride, Ride To Work.'

Nick Diaz

Next Monday, June 15, American roadways will see up to triple the normal number of riders, as beginner-to-expert motorcycle enthusiasts become motorcycle commuters. These commuters will be doing us all a favor by not only commuting via an efficient personal form of transportation, but by doing so on a vehicle with a much smaller footprint than our cars and trucks.

 

This action has a measurable outcome by reducing both our foreign oil dependence and general traffic congestion in one fell swoop. This years “Ride to Work” day marks the 18th since the events inception in 1992.

 

Motorcyclists will ride to work to demonstrate the following:

 

* The number of motorcyclists to the general public and to politicians.

 

* That motorcyclists are from all occupations and all walks of life.

 

* That motorcyclists can reduce traffic and parking congestion in urban and suburban environments.

 

* That motorcycles are for transportation as well as recreation.

 

* That motorcycling is a social good.

 

“Ride to Work Day” History

 

The first annual “Ride to Work Day” event was proposed in Road Rider magazine (now titled Motorcycle Consumer News) in the May 1992 issue. This is an excerpt from that "Ride to Work" editorial:

 

"You may remember several months ago when Bob Carpenter, commenting in his 'Two Up' column, mentioned how neat he thought it would be if there was one day a year when everyone who owned a  motorcycle used it to ride to work. That comment was prompted by a T-shirt produced by Aerostich RiderWear that simply said, 'Work To Ride, Ride To Work.' Everyone seemed to think that a national 'Ride To Work' day was one heck of a good idea."

 

The first official “Ride to Work Day” event was conducted on July 22, 1992. For several years, various motorcycle businesses informally promoted every third Wednesday in July as “Ride to Work Day.” That year a non-profit organization, Ride to Work, was formed to help organize and promote “Ride to Work Day.” The first “Ride to Work Day” led by this group was held on the third Wednesday in July 2001.

 

This day was the same each year until 2008, when it was changed to the third Monday In June. This change was made in order to accommodate riders all over the world; those located in the southern hemisphere would miss the worst of their winter weather normally experienced in July. Doing so would result in giving those riders an opportunity to participate as well.

 

The new June day provides an increased opportunity for more riders to ride to work, as many workplaces close for summer holiday in July – especially in Europe.

 

A Monday event encourages motorcycle and scooter commuting to continue during the entire week.

 

Positive media exposure will increase, according to the organizers of Ride to Work Day. Sundays are slower ‘news days,’ so there will be more coverage like this: “Look for more motorcycles on your commute tomorrow, as Monday is the annual Ride to Work day...”

 

The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) has endorsed this day, and is promoting the ‘Third Monday in June’ worldwide as the annual Ride to Work Day.

 

"Motorcycles and scooters consume fewer resources per mile than automobiles, and they take up less space in parking areas and on roads", states Andy Goldfine, owner of Aero-Stitch, and the Ride to Work Day program organizer. "Rider's seek employer support for this efficient form of transportation, and more government and public awareness about riding’s many benefits."

 

Motorcycles not only get great mileage, and are less expensive than cars, they reduce the stress of the workday by adding a measure of fun to the commute.

 

To me it's always interesting to see those pictures from China, where 200 motorcycles seem to be sharing a road with 100 cars. Maybe a similar picture can be taken here in the USA on Ride To Work Day.

 

Even though I support the newly scheduled Ride to Work Day on June 15, I’ll do my best not to ride to work that day. The last day of school at The Barnesville School is June 10, so I will not ride to work.

 

Instead, I’ll take a ride on my beloved “invisible roads.” Here’s hoping for good weather!

 



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