I Would Ride My Bike, But…

In the months since I started bike commuting, I have had a handful of interesting “conversations” with my fellow employees as a direct result of them seeing me with a bike. When I first started, they were surprised to see someone walking down the office hallway with a bicycle.

– “Isn’t it too hot out there?” [it was August in Phoenix, AZ]
– “How far do you ride?”
– “Do you bike every day?”

I explained to my co-workers that I committed myself to biking to work every day in the month of August. It was a sort of experiment. An older gentleman from the Bronx would tell me about how he used to go for bike rides on the concrete paths around his house in South Florida where he just moved from. The receptionist would tell me stories of her being a tomboy and always playing sports with the boys in her neighborhood in the 1950s.

August came and went. Those who knew about my self-challenge began acting surprised that I was still riding my bike to work. That is when the conversations turned from genuine interest (and the occasional reverie) to more defensive.

– “I would ride my bike, but it’s too far…”
– “I would ride my bike, but it’s too dangerous…”
– “I would ride my horse if I had a place to keep her during the day.” [yes, someone actually said that]

There are tons of excuses that people use for not bike commuting, many of them legit. But part of me wonders why, without any mention of the subject on my part, these people feel they have to justify or defend themselves? Could it be that most Americans inherently believe that bike commuting – or even alternative transportation – is ethically and environmentally more beneficial?

This gives me hope that convincing the average middle-class American to consider alternative transportation is not as hard as some may think. The more important challenge might be to present the doable options, provide realistic opportunity – and the rest will fall into place…

As an aside, I would like to hear the kinds of comments you get from people in your office. Do people try to justify to you why they do not bike to work when they see you standing at the elevator with a bike by your side?

2008 KHS bikes

Our friends from KHS Bicycles have put their 2008 line of bikes on their site. Here are a few bikes that we have tested in the past:

The KHS Urban X, I tested this bike 2 years ago. At a MSRP of $359, the Urban X is a bargain that is hard to beat.

I also tested this bike, it’s on the higher end of commuter bikes, but the beauty of this bike is that it can double as your century bike as well.

Haven’t had the chance to test this bike yet, we are hoping to get our hands on it this year.

Tested by Lance a couple of months ago, the KHS Flite 300 now features a carbon fiber seatpost, a different saddle and 2 choices of colors.

The Flite 100, KHS’ fixed gear offering now comes with a front brake.

Need to find a KHS dealer near you? Click here to find one.

New poll: What else besides bike commuting?

We are curious to find out what other type of cycling do you do. I used to be a hardcore roadie and a casual Mountain biker and rarely a racer. RL is a hardcore Mountain Biker and a less than casual road rider and a casual racer. How about you? Our poll is right below the Just Ask Jack Picture, so vote!

Make a difference

My tandem racing daughter Breanna entered this contest at school called Reflections. Basically the kids have a theme, “I can make a difference” and they have options on how to participate by submitting an essay, photo or video.

So after encouraging her to enter, she started getting to work. She got the facts on her own and with the help of her loving daddy (that’s me!), she was able to complete her entry.