Bike to Work Week., sponsored by the Active Transportation Alliance, starts Saturday in the Chicago area and Evanston officials say they’re hoping for a big turnout locally.

The City of Evanston and the Evanston Public Library have set up teams to encourage employee participation, as have some other large local employers, including Rotary International and Northwestern University, as well as some smaller businesses, including the Behles+Behles architectural firm and the Turin Bicycle shop.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl says the timing is perfect for enjoying the weather while biking to work. “Not only is biking healthy for you, but it is healthy for the environment and your pocket book too,” Tisdahl added.

A lot of Evanstonians already bike to work. A CNNMoney.com report two years ago said nearly six times the national average of commuters in Evanston bike to work.

Next Thursday, June 17, residents can stop by a promotional bike commuter station at Fountain Square from 5:30 to 8:30 a.m. to grab some coffee, a snack and get to know more about transportation alternatives.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. biking is easy and so enjoyable

    We are creatures of habit. I was too in regard to driving until a friend of mine that I considered a bike nut nagged me into riding to work (in the Loop back around 1995.

    It was 11 miles. I was sure I would arrive sweaty and exhausted. IMPOSSIBLE! Then I tried it, taking the lakefront bike path, and I was hooked. Far from exhausting it was exhilarating. I arrived wide awake and energized, not sleepy and sweaty as I had thought. I found myself looking forward to the commute. And talk about beautiful women! Forget the health club, folks.

    Let me repeat that for those who can’t believe what I just said – I started looking forward to my daily commute because it was such a pleasant thing – not the aggravating hell of the car commute. It took me 55 minutes each way and it passed in a flash. My legs became stronger, I found myself running up stairs that had seemed exhausting before I took to the bike.

    And here’s the funniest thing…on the way down Lake Shore Drive in the morning, I would occasionally leave traffic behind! I’d take note of some vehicle – a yellow car, for example, and notice it fall further and futher behind me as I sped along and the poor driver was stuck in a backup.

    Biking is easy. Really too easy unless you go very fast and I don’t. I do lots of walking now because it takes more effort than the bike requires.

    So mount up. And more than just for work. The real habit changing utility of a bike comes in getting around town, particularly on weekends. You park right at the door of the place you want to get to. No parking fees. No gas cost. No hunting for a place for your two ton machine that costs you thousands each year just to maintain.

    Last but certainly not least – keep in mind that the average speed of traffic in Evanston is 22mph. I know because I’ve used a GPS to find out. On a bike, a normal speed is 12mph. Think of what you spend on a car to go only twice as fast as a bike!!!

    Break the driving habit. You’ll be glad you did.

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