By Karen Wallner
Have you noticed how many people seem to be commuting by bicycle these days? Have you found yourself wondering whether you have the right bike, the right clothes, or even the right information to get started? If so, you’re not alone.
As part of DEQ’s Green Team Bike Month activities, we partnered with the non-profit Bicycle Collective on a brown bag discussion about bicycle commuting and the myriad of gear choices available. David E. Davis, the executive director of the Bicycle Collective, discussed how the diverse solutions are individually based on a number of factors: the distance of your commute; the season and the weather; safety and visibility; the gear you may already have; and whether changing/shower facilities are available at your place of work.
The choices on bike commuting gear are as numerous as the number of potential bike commuters out there! You can choose to wear a full cycling kit (while carrying a change of clothes with you), a pared down version of your regular work attire, or anything in between. This also means you can choose any type of bicycle as your transportation based on what you already have or what you prefer to ride.
But wait, there’s more—this ALSO means you don’t have to ride the entire way from home to work and vice versa. You have the option to utilize public transportation on any portion of your commute in order to speed up your commute, avoid weather, or avoid long up-hills. To illustrate how individual these choices can be, DEQ staff members Craig Barnitz, Tom Daniels and Rolf Johnsson shared examples of their personal gear and explained why these particular combinations are perfect for the way they commute.
EQ’s Bike Month partnership included a bike drive and volunteer work day at the SLC Community Bike Shop to both help further the Bicycle Collective’s current award-winning programs for refugees, people in transition and at risk youth. It also provided an opportunity for state employees located at the Multi State Agency Office Building to learn bike maintenance skills.
Go to the Bicycle Collectives webpage (www.bicyclecollective.org) for more information about its community programs. You can also visit them at the SLC Community Bike Shop and find out how bikes can enhance your life, help others, and improve our state’s environment to be a more livable space.
I am an environmental scientist at DEQ, working in the Division of Environmental Response and Remediation for seven years, and participating on the DEQ GreenTeam for three years.