California Bike Commute

The California Bike Commute was a project form the California Bicycle Coalition, a non profit organization that advocates increased bicycle use, access, safety, and education, by promoting the bicycle as an everyday means of transportation and recreation.

Various special activities were organized locally by ride share agencies, cities, counties, employers, bicycle advocacy groups, bike shops and others who support bicycle transportation in California’s communities.

Events were planned in the area, including bike tune-up clinics, morning “buddy rides”, pit stops, energizing stations and noon-time rallies.

Note: As far as we are aware the California Bike Commute is no longer active. We have put together this article to archive their message.


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If you’re interested in finding out more about the California Bike Coalition, who made the California Bike Commute you can visit calbike.org.

The California Bicycle Coalition is a 501 nonprofit organization based in Sacramento and Oakland. They advocate for more bicycling in California for environmental reasons. The California Bicycle Coalition Education Fund is a related 501 organization that conducts solely charitable functions, mostly by supporting CalBike.

California Bike Commute Checklist

The California Bike Commute advised that patrons following the program should consult the following check list.

The Week Before:

1. Determine your route to work.

The route you drive to work may not be the same one to bike to work. First, choose roads that have wide outside lanes or paved shoulders. Collector streets (those that are at the half mile mark between major streets) are often a good choice. Second, drive the route during your normal commuting time to determine potential traffic problems. Third, bicycle the route on a weekend to examine the road surface for potential problem intersections and the approximate time it will take you.

II. Talk to your employer.

Inform your supervisor that you will be commuting by bicycle. Ask where the bicycle can be parked during working hours, and what, if any, advance arrangements need to be made.

III. Check out your bike.

Make sure your bicycle is in proper working order. Not only should all the mechanical parts be in good repair (e.g. brakes, tire, gears) but the bicycle should be adjusted properly for seat height, handlebars, etc. If you do not have a helmet, borrow one or buy one. If you will be riding at night, you need and must have a light.

The Day Before

I. Dress for the Occasion.

Wear a helmet. It’s also a good idea to bike in comfortable cycling clothes; either pack a bag with your work clothes, or bring your attire the day before you cycle (so they won’t get wrinkled). Also make sure you have a place to change and freshen up, and keep a kit of toilet articles and a towel at work.

II. Pump Up.

Make sure your tires are properly inflated. If they are low, it will make riding more difficult.

Facts About Bicycling as a Commute Option

The California Bike Commute also had a list of facts which promoted the benefits of commuting over taking a car.

These are as follows:

  • More than half of all American s live less than five miles from where they work according to Bicycling magazine.
  • Only 1.67% of Americans commute by bicycle.
  • In Japan, 15% commute by bicycle
  • About 12 bicycles can be parked in the space required for one automobile.
  • Traffic jams in the 29 major cities cost commuters an estimated $24.3 billion each year.
  • There are approximately 139 million automobiles in the United States.
  • The number of bicycles in the U.S. is estimated to be about 103 million.
  • One hundred bicycles can be produced for the same energy and resources it takes to build one medium-sized automobile.
  • The average cost of a new car in the U.S. is $13,532.
  • The average cost of a new bicycle in the U.S. is $385.
  • The average number of barrels of oil consumed daily in the United States is 17 million.
  • Driving consumes 43% of those barrels of oil.
  • Industrial world cities typically use at least one third of their land for roads and parking lots for motor vehicles.
  • Commuting by bicycle produces zero pollution.
  • On average, the commute to work accounts for only one out of five auto trips taken by drivers each day.
  • Trips per day by purpose break down this way:
    • Home to work = 1.27 trips per day
    • Shopping = .98 trips per day
    • Other personal business = 1.17 trips per day
    • Social and recreational = .99 trips per day
  • Average miles per trip by purpose:
    • Home to work = 11.0 miles per trip
    • Shopping = 5.1 miles per trip
    • Other personal business = 7.4 miles per trip
    • Social and recreational = 11.8 miles per trip
  • For a comparison on true cost savings, consider that you can drive your car to the grocery store and spend 35 cents for a bar of soap, adding 7 cents for the gas, or you can ride your bike to the corner convenience store and pay 41 cents, actually saving a penny and getting some exercise at the same time.
  • The number of bicycle commuters doubled between 1983 and 1990, according to the Bicycle Institute of America.
  • In China, bicycles outnumber cars 250 to 1.
 

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