This week, as part of National Bike Month, people across the country are celebrating Bike to Work Day. At Dero, we are too! But for several of our staff, every day is bike to work day. Below, they share what got them riding to work and offer a few tips if you want to try it for yourself. Happy riding!
How long have you been biking to work?
- Colin, web/graphic designer: About 7 or 8 years.
- Natalia, sales coordinator: 10 years!
- Ben, marketing specialist: 7 years.
- Ted, sales representative: About 12 years.
- Andy, general manager, VP: 10 years
- Bri, marketing director: 17 years…holy moly!
What got you started?
- Colin: Bike to Work Day, actually!
- Natalia: It was quicker than walking and cheaper than the bus. These days I just plain enjoy it. On the few days when I drive, the stress from the drive always makes me wonder why I hadn’t ridden.
- Ben: Didn’t want to own/buy a car. When I got one, realized I’m a lot less stressed when I ride vs. drive.
- Ted: Somewhat necessity, I didn’t have a car during my internship in college and realized that cycling was a great way to get around. After that I began moving away from the mountain bikes toward more commuter based ones that allowed me to carry items with greater ease and swiftness.
- Andy: Starting work at Dero got me into bikes and on a path to spending all my income on bikes. The staff at Dero back in 2007 was surprised when I drove on my first day, so they took me under their wing and helped me get a few bikes and the essentials to start riding. That experience completely changed my life for the better. I got healthier, stronger, happier, motivated, and had a competitive outlet again.
- Bri: It was the easy choice in college. Affordable, door-to-door parking, and fast.
Favorite part of biking to work?
- Colin: Much more relaxing than driving.
- Natalia: Seeing all of the critters, being present and surrounded by nature and seasons as they change.
- Ben: Pounding out Strava Segments™
- Ted: I love feeling awake and energized when I roll in the door and it’s great that “how was your bike commute?” is such a common discussion here. There’s a lot of camaraderie when it comes to battling rough weather or cruel headwinds.
- Andy: The chance that I’ll get to low-five an oncoming fellow rider and wave to everyone I see on a bike. It really starts my day out on a positive note.
- Bri: Biking along the Mississippi and crossing the river as well. I’m so lucky that my commute is mostly car-free and so scenic!
- Colin: Mixing with traffic.
- Natalia: The wind.
- Ben: Not getting the KOM on Strava Segments™
- Ted: Rush hour traffic through downtown is always a bit nerve-wracking but I hate driving downtown in rush hour WAY more than biking through it. Traffic can be unpredictable and generally no one is in a great mood when they’re barely moving.
- Andy: Not of fan of mega headwinds coming out of the north.
- Bri: Marshal Ave NE, since I have to bike without a bike lane with traffic on my left and parked cars on my right.
What’s one thing you’ve learned that you would share with someone who’s never tried riding to work?
- Colin: It’s not so hard and you can cover several miles pretty quickly on a bike.
- Natalia: Wool is warmer! Being comfortable commuting is all about what gear you choose and often many cost-effective merino wool items can be found at secondhand stores in the sweaters section. One person’s “out of style” is my winter mid-layer!
- Ben: Tailwinds are great ways to help get that extra speed to take your favorite Strava Segment™ KOMs.
- Ted: A lot of people say they don’t have time to bike to work, but I find that my times aren’t significantly higher than by taking a car. Any distance can sound daunting before you try it and some days those miles absolutely fly by. A well fitting bike can completely change your perspective on cycling for transport. Many who remember the heavy clunky bikes of their youth haven’t taken the time to visit their local bike shop and go on some free test rides of the latest models where an informed bike shop employee can adjust a new sleek bike to fit you and your cycling needs.
- Andy: Just do it! You’ll be happier, more productive and enjoy coming to work. That busy rush hour auto traffic is such a negative experience in the morning, might as well do it by bike and feel great about yourself.
- Bri: It doesn’t have to be everyday, just try it once a week to see if it makes sense for you.
Anything else you want to share?
- Colin: Don’t worry about getting “all sweaty”. Mornings are pretty cool even in the summer and you don’t have to race in. Enjoy the ride.
- Natalia: This was my first year riding with a basket and it’s changed my life. I bungee my portable speaker into it and my lunch and I learn while I commute!
- Ted: Having a workplace that realistically encourages cycling as transport like Dero is a huge factor in my desire to work here. It’s really nice to have a workplace that, although hardworking and professional, appreciates that their employees can work hard in shorts, tennis shoes and helmet hair.
- Andy: RIDE YO BIKE…Always
- Bri: Bike commuting has improved my life exponentially. It’s my predominant physical activity and mood enhancer. It gets my blood moving and wakes me up for my workday and gives me time to decompress on my way home. It’s also fun!