The Cleanest Line


Bike Commuting in Connecticut

Bike Commuting in Connecticut

May 15, 2008 May 15, 2008

WptpatagoniaEarlier in the week we mentioned that the Westport store was leading the 2nd Annual Patagonia Retail Bike to Work Challenge. Nate Paulson, manager of Patagonia Westport, sent along this update:

Patagonia Westport is attacking Bike to Work Week like the last hill on a mountain leg of the Tour de France. Yesterday, 9 staff rode, totaling 155 miles — that’s 35 pounds of CO2 we eliminated. And mention of bike lanes around here is like a foreign language; between the drivers and the hills, each ride is a challenge.

On Saturday, we hosted three cycling groups in the store to kick off the week: Connecticut Bicycle Coalition, East Coast Greenways Alliance, and Elm City Cycling. The groups were all super-engaged with customers and staff, educating folks about safety, advocacy and a grand vision for cycle corridors. Local TV news even came by to see what was going on, and a segment about Bike to Work Week aired Saturday evening.

[A peak inside Patagonia Westport, with local cycling groups tabling in the foreground. Photo: Su Ruh]

The weather these last couple days has been pleasant, though Monday’sriders faced high winds and light rain early. Overall, we’re all havinga lot of fun, staying safe, and inspiring each other and the publicabout the benefits of Cycle Commuting.

On a lighter note, I stopped 15 miles into my ride yesterday for aClif Bar on a strip of grass that happened to be next to a gas station.The poetic irony of the situation struck me immediately; I wasrefueling and so were the motorists…only the byproducts of my travelthis week aren’t accelerating catastrophic climate change. One womanwho was filling up her Prius asked where I was riding and I told herabout Bike to Work Week and Month. She was stoked about the idea andthanked me for taking environmental concerns seriously. I thanked herin return for choosing a hybrid vehicle and wished her a good day,clipped in, started cranking and settled into my saddle for the rest ofthe journey.

Over the last two and a half years, I’ve cycled to work a dozentimes maybe and the beauty of Bike to Work Week for me personally isthat it serves as a compelling reminder of how easy it is to cycle allor part of my trip and how big the long term impacts can be. Now that Ihave my route and routine ironed out, I plan to cycle once per weekuntil the weather turns too inclement and daylight hours make biketravel more hazardous.

Thanks for supporting Bike to Work Week in the E-world!

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Nate Paulson and Su Ruh (Westport’s Shipper) getting ready for the evening commute. Photo: Ben Harrell III

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