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Changing Attitudes and Changing the World One Ride at a Time

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Changing Attitudes and Changing the World One Ride at a Time

Old 06-24-06, 12:28 AM
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Changing Attitudes and Changing the World One Ride at a Time

This may sound overly optimistic or just down right corny, but I seem to be a real "change agent" in my work place. I don't beg people to ride with me, nor do I ridicule folks for not riding. I extend an open invitation to anyone who wants to ride and leave it at that. But the incredible thing is that people around the office are really changing their attitudes about bike commuting. I think it's the result of a few things....first I am one very fat dude....started at 321 pounds back on May 19th. Second, most people know how far my commute is because I moved within a few blocks of our old building just before they announced we were moving our office (great timing) and it's now 15.5 miles each way. I have been averaging (since May 19th) 3-4 days of bike commuting a week. Since May 19th I have lost 21 pounds...yes...I am on the verge of being under 300 for the first time in several years (to level set I was 195 pounds- very little body fat at all- in 1994). So people in the office (we probably have a couple hundred folks in the building) are really taking notice. There are about 5 regular bike commuters now where as before there were none. My boss is getting his bike fixed and says he's motivated to give it a try. Another coworker started to walk to work (nearly a 2 hour commute each way...yikes!) but I found her on the trail and convinced her she could easily cut her commute time by 60% right away and have a lot more fun and a lot more time on her hands. So now's she geeked up and this weekend I'm bringing in my old bike rack and rack bag for her to use. One of my staff members was riding with us regularly but he stopped because he has a new mountain bike with bad gearing and nobby tires and now he wants to get a road bike so he can keep up on a regular basis. He goes for rides at lunch to get his fitness level up so when he gets his new bike he will have an easier transition (his commute is about another 2-2.5 miles each way). A couple more people on my staff commute with us on ocasion and we just have to stagger our party because I don't want to leave these guys behind so we take turns on who commutes for time and who rides with the slower folks. Another woman in our department just got a bike and rode today. She said she loves it and thinks she can make the commute a normal occurence.

The thing that started it all for us was this last Bike to Work Day. I fell in love with biking again and so did other people. Plus it's hard to argue that this is an impossible thing when my fat arse is doing it nearly every day (and soon to be every day). So....has this happened at your work places also? Was the enthusiasm short lived or were some folks true converts? I would imagine the high price of gas, the enironmentally friendly nature of biking, etc. also are positives as well. Anyway, I'd like to hear other stories of mini-cycling 'revolutions' in the work place. Thanks.
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Old 06-24-06, 05:14 AM
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Congrats and great work!

I've converted my boss but that's about it. A couple of others have dusted off thier old bikes but not riding to work.

I haven't invited anyone to ride to work, I just blabber on about how much I like it. Most of us are engineers though, so getting many people into biking seems about as likely as getting a bunch of drunks to start a math club.
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Old 06-24-06, 05:51 AM
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Good to hear. I are about to move so that I can commute every day. However the enthusiasm that I have for riding has rubbed off on to other people at work and there are now five people that are regular riders with 2 commuting reguarly.My Dad is 67 and has started riding a bike. Both my brothers are riding. My young brother who was a huge Clydsedale has the Cycling disease as bad as me. He has completed a couple of cycle tours with me and commutes to work when the weather is favourable. I are moving in 5 days time for one thing. I have been reading this forum for a year now and its what I "need" to do.I want to ride to work and I want to be car lite. Riding wherever possible and whenever possible.Tragic isn't it.(Or so my wife thinks?)
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