Let’s Power the Bike Movement

Among my many new interests is the nascent bike movement captured by blogs like the slow bicycle movement and arthurmag.

The Obama administration intends to tackle several core issues during the next four years.  By now we know, it’s energy, education, and healthcare with the economy weaving it all together.  Many of the solutions being considered require a PHD in Policy Wonkology.  I wonder if our community should consider something simpler — biking to work.

I know that commuter cycling is impossible for many Americans who face long commutes, multiple morning stops, or live where they would be forced to bike on dangerous roads.  Sometimes the weather makes it difficult, if not impossible to bike.  Sometimes people have to wear certain clothes that make cycling unrealistic.

But what about everybody else?  There are millions of Americans who live in cities with short commutes and never ride.  They have reasonable excuses:  no room at the office to lock bike, scared to ride in traffic, no shower after tough commute. We can overcome these challenges.  You can ride a lame bike and lock it up outside with a chain, bike on city-designated lanes, and go slow enough so that you don’t need a shower.

The reasons to bike are obvious.  Obviously less oil in consumed.  I suspect one day we may look back and ask ourselves how so many individuals used to ride by themselves in a taxi.  Our grandchildren may be shocked that we could be so irresponsible in the year 2008.  Bike commuters will also be healthier.  On the whole, cyclists will require less lipitor and angioplasty.

Here’s what entrepreneurs can do:

Buy you employees a bike.  If that’s too much money and too many employees — subsidize it.  If you can’t afford that at least use your power as tenants to find ways to secure bikes safely at the workplace.  A biking nation, will be a more sustainable, healthier place to live.

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