The following guest blog was written by I-Heng McComb, who previously contacted SVBC just to thank us for putting Bike to Work Day together. Thank YOU, I-Heng!
Someone once told me about a guy who went skydiving for the first time to celebrate his birthday. He became immediately addicted and that same week, he dropped out of college, moved into the skydive center trailer park, and broke up with his girlfriend (who didn't want to skydive every day it seems). My Bike to Work Day story is less extreme, but still shows how trying something once can lead to significant and lasting changes in one's life.
Fifteen years ago, I saw a poster for Bike to Work Day and thought "Why not?" I already owned a bike and a backpack, so all that was really involved was looking up a route (10+ miles each way) and figuring out how early I should leave to get to work by 7:15 (plenty early as it turned out: up until then, I had only been riding short distances near my apartment and the route involved quite a bit of mild but steady uphill). The actual day of, I joined the pedaling masses, enjoyed the warm spring weather, and ended up eating a much bigger dinner than usual. More importantly, I found out it could be done: I could bike myself to work, work all day, and get myself home again.
Some may wonder what the big deal is when a bunch of people get on their bikes for "just one" day each year, but in my case, that single Bike to Work Day transformed me into a regular (though not exclusive) bike commuter. Starting that same week, I began biking one day per week which soon became two and then three. For the past 12 years, I've averaged three to four days per week.
These many years later, I'm still driving my car, but I've reached the point where biking to work is pretty much just going to work. So beginning last year, I decided to make May my personal Bike-and-Walk Only Month (no driving, no riding in others' cars, no public transportation). As I write this, I'm in Week #4...toughest challenge so far? Buy-1-get-1-free watermelons.