Work to Ride, Ride to Work

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From BMW

President's Message

Work to Ride, Ride to Work

Paul Glaves

Sometimes about ten years ago, Andy Goldfine, the founder of RiderWearHouse and father of the Aerostich line of riding apparel, spearheaded the first Ride to Work Day. This year will mark the tenth annual occurrence of Ride to Work Day on July 18, the third Wednesday in July. Ride to Work Day is now sponsored by Ride to Work. The essence of its purpose is captured in the simple mission statement: "To advocate and support the increased use of motorcycles for transportation, and to provide information about transportation riding to motorcyclists and to the public."

Ride to Work Day, as a scheduled annual, nationwide event is intended to demonstrate:

1. The number of motorcyclists to the general public and to politicians.

2. That motorcyclists are from all occupations and all walks of life.

3. That motorcyclists can reduce traffic congestion in large cities.

4. That motorcycles are for transportation as well as recreation.

You might think that Ride to Work is only concerned with folks riding to work that one day a year, but it really is much more than that. As captured in the Mission Statement, it is about promoting the recognition that motorcycles are about transportation as well as recreation.

To further this pursuit, Ride to Work has established some awards and other activities to recognize organizations which foster the awareness and use of motorcycles as transportation. These awards include a Best Company Participation Award for businesses that do the most to encourage and support employees riding to work; and, a Best Public Practices award to governmental entities and officials which support the use of motorcycles for transportation.

Ride to Work also recognizes Ride to Work Motorcycle Shops nominated by riders if those shops meet timeliness standards for basic services such as tire changes and tune-up service. They are also in the process of establishing a fund to provide a motorcycle mechanic scholarship.

More information is available from Ride to Work at Box 1072, Proctor, MN 55810; by calling (218) 722-9806; or by visiting their website at www.ridetowork.org.

Some of us ride to work every day; some almost never. But as a City Planner in an urban area by profession, and as an avid motorcyclist by avocation, I recognize the many simple truths in the concept that motorcycles make great transportation vehicles.

I've had many people tell me how much better they feel when they arrive at work, after riding their motorcycles to get there. Those positive emotions are reason aplenty to break the tiresome routines of our commutes to work by adding the enjoyment of riding our motorcycles. I would encourage all of you to ride your motorcycle to work on Wednesday, July 18, unless, of course, you are otherwise occupied with our non-work related National Rally in Redmond, Oregon. So, even if you don't happen to be going to work on July18 - then pick some others day to ride to work.