U.S News on Bike Commuting

U.S. News and World Report lists riding your bike to work as one of the top “50 Ways to Improve Your Life” in 2009. I couldn’t agree more.

On a freezing november morning in Chicago, Megan Mason puts on leggings, several polyester tops and a fleece, a windbreaker, four pairs of gloves, and silk sock liners. She ties a bandana over her head, dons earmuffs, snaps on a helmet, safety-pins a scarf into a cocoon around her head, and gets on her bright green Schwinn for a 61/2-mile ride to work.

Surely anyone who braves Windy City cold must be a hardcore biker. But Mason, a 27-year-old curriculum analyst at the Northwestern University School of Law, is new to the ranks of cycle commuters—one of thousands of Americans who this year have switched to pedal power. It’s too soon for national numbers, but many cities and counties are reporting a surge. In Chicago, 3,500 people rode in a spring Bike to Work day, up from 2,800 last year. Bikestation, a nonprofit that has six indoor parking facilities for cyclists on the West Coast, mainly in downtown neighborhoods, has seen a 30 percent increase in usage in the past year.

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6 Responses to “U.S News on Bike Commuting”

  • andy parmentier says:

    i will gladly pay you tuesday for a hamburger today. (tuesday is a symbolic reference to springtime..the hamburger represents “the man-in-the-middle” the dude with the walking
    sticks in the middle of the road, “waffling” about taking wheeled contraptions out in the

  • Tim Guthrie says:

    How cold is “cold” Alan?

  • Fred Larimer says:

    In 2008 I started commuting on nice days – 13 miles. As the year went on only cold rain, ice or snow kept me off the bike or trike. Just installed a Velokit on the trike to expand the range of weather conditions. My day is so much better when I ride.

  • Alan says:


    It’s all relative. When I lived up north, “cold” was below freezing. When I was in the Yucatan, “cold” was 65F degrees. Here in temperate NorCal, I consider anything below 40F “cold”, though my wife, who likes warm weather, would probably say anything below 50F.

  • Mthylynn says:

    I have succeeded! My good friend traded his truck in for a ‘scooter’ that has peddles. He has noted a large drop off in cost and he feels great! As soon as we can get him to replace the motor with banana power I will be ecstatic!

    My tadpole trike is working its way into the ‘hearts and minds’ of my friends. There was a great article a while ago about the objections people have to why they don’t ride to work. If you have to ‘go to work’ you might as well make the commute the fun part… goodness knows they call it ‘work’ for a reason.

    Keep peddling…

  • ubrayj02 says:

    There is a nice WTTW report I found online last winter on bicycling in Chicago. I went ahead and put it on YouTube:

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