Did you know that there was a tax deductible organization dedicated to riding your motorcycle? A friend of mine started it.
The 25th annual worldwide Ride to Work Day is expected to be one of the largest-ever, according to Ride to Work, the non-profit organization that coordinates this annual event.
On Ride to Work Day a much higher number of America’s 8,000,000 cycles and scooters are ridden to work. Some estimates put the numbers of added riders at over 1,000,000. Across equal distances, commuting riders can reach their destinations more quickly—in up to 20% less time than those using automobiles in some situations—and motorcycles and scooters consume less resources per person per mile, and they take up less space on roads and in parking areas.
“Many people do not always appreciate the societally positive value of transportational riding, and some don’t know there are also a few hidden deleterious ramifications from having almost everyone default to private autos. Cars are wonderful machines, and we love them, but the reasons to ride, when one can, go beyond stuff like energy or carbon footprints” states Andy Goldfine, an event organizer.
This Day is about more than traffic congestion, motorcycles and economics. Winston Churchill famously said: “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” Other thought-leaders have presented or expressed the same idea in different ways. It applies to things beyond our homes and buildings. It’s about all technologies, including our mobility tools.
That’s why riding and the annual Ride To Work Day event is important. This Day is not narrowly about encouraging the wider adoption of transportational riding…it’s about increasing the understanding of—and tolerance for—those who choose this form of mobility, and about providing support and encouragement to those who like to ride in transportation-centric ways.
Ride to Work Day was inspired by “Work to Ride – Ride to Work'” marketing materials created between 1989 and 1991 by the Aero Design and Manufacturing Company, a Minnesota based manufacturer of motorcycle riders clothing. In 1992 these items inspired motorcycle magazine editor Fred Rau to write an editorial calling for a national ride to work day.
The first annual Ride to Work Day event was proposed in Road Rider magazine (now titled Motorcycle Consumer News) in the May 1992 issue. This is an excerpt from that “Ride to Work” editorial: “You may remember several months ago when Bob Carpenter, commenting in his ‘Two Up’ column, mentioned how neat he thought it would be if there was one day a year when everyone who owned a motorcycle used it to ride to work. That comment was prompted by a T-shirt produced by Aerostich RiderWear that simply said, ‘Work To Ride, Ride To Work.’ Everyone seemed to think that a national ‘Ride To Work’ day was one heck of a good idea.”
The first Ride to Work Day event date was July 22nd, 1992. For several years various motorcycle businesses informally promoted every third Wednesday in July as Ride To Work Day. These early advocates included Road Rider Magazine, Dunlop Tires, and Aerostich/Riderwearhouse. The event continued to grow as an informal grass roots demonstration every year until 2000. That year a non-profit organization, Ride to Work was formed to help organize and promote Ride to Work Day. The first Ride to Work Day event led by this group was the third Wednesday in July of 2001. This day was the annual day until 2008, when it was changed to the Third Monday In June. This change was made to climatically better accommodate riders world-wide, and to give more riders an opportunity to participate.
Ride to Work is a 501 c4 nonprofit, all-volunteer effort. Organizers include Andy Goldfine, Lynn Wisneski and Christine Holt. The Ride to Work website includes forum areas, merchandise, information, and free promotional support materials.
I used to have a rolling podcast called Motorcycle Radio but it has since podfaded/gone flat.
Rev. Kenn Blanchard is a professional speaker, writer, podcaster, and digital influencer. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook He is the founder of Blanchard.Media and the GunPodcastNetwork.com