July 16th, 2008 is the annual nationally promoted motorcycle Ride to Work Day. This is basically our day to ride our motorcycles to work and show our "ride pride". As background, the inspiration for an annual Ride to Work Day was officially credited from marketing materials created by Aero Design and Manufacturing Company of Minnesota. However, the actual idea of a national Ride to Work Day didn't happen until July of 1992, when Road Rider magazine promoted it in their May 1992 issue and the readers thought it was a great idea.
From that point on, every third Wednesday in July, the Annual Ride to Work Day was promoted unofficially by dealers, manufacturers, and other motorcycle advocates. Finally, in 2000, a non-profit organization, entitled Ride to Work (RTW) was formed to lead the work to organize and promote a national Ride to Work Day.
The main purpose of the Annual Ride to Work Day is to show non-riders, whether they are politicians or the general public, the many positive benefits of motorcycle riding. Some of the benefits are listed below:
- Motorcycles use less fuel consumption. For example, RTW estimates that 150,000 estimated motorcyclists riding their motorcycles on Ride to Work Day saves about 60,000 gallons of fuel for just that one day. If every day were Ride To Work Day, RTW estimates that 15,000,000 less gallons of fuel would be consumed. With the soaring cost of gasoline, how can this not be a winning proposition?
- Motorcycles use less parking spaces. Two to four motorcycles can fit into one automobile parking space. In the city I work at, motorcycles can park by the curb for free.
- Educate the public that motorcyclists are from all walks of life and are not wild, trashy, or disrespectful, as some dated stereotypes suggest. Believe it or not, some people still think of motorcyclists as the old television bad guys. Let's prove that they are wrong.
- Motorcycles cause less wear on roads. Motorcycles weigh less and only have two wheels, unless you have a trike.
- Motorcycles use less of our natural resources to manufacture and operate.
- Motorcycles create less traffic congestion even though many people argue that point. Some cities split lanes where motorcycles can go in between automobiles reducing overall road congestion. Another argument is that motorcyclists must be more aware while riding, no talking on cell phones and being distracted, therefore, more attention on the road and less congestion. In most states, motorcycles get to ride in the HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes, therefore reducing congestion.
With all the great benefits of motorcycle riding, how can you not want to show off your motorcycle to your coworkers by participating in the Annual Ride to Work Day? There is also the benefit of feeling great when you arrive at work because of riding your motorcycle and the relaxation of knowing you get to ride it home, because you can!
Don't forget to help reduce fuel consumption and promote a positive biker image on the third Wednesday of July, Annual Ride to Work Day. For more information or to obtain promotional materials about the Annual Ride to Work Day, click on the related links below.
Until next week. Ride safe.