May is National Bike to Work Month for most of the nation. That sounds auspicious indeed, but for lots of folks around the country, special calendar designation doesn’t factor into their daily routine. These are the folks who get out of bed, get ready for the day, and always throw a leg over the bike for the ride to work. To get a better picture of what it’s like to opt outside on the way to work, we asked our own Ibex employees what factors into their decisions to ride to work versus sitting in traffic.
Lisa-Marie, Ibex Seattle, Washington
Seattle’s Burke Gilman Trail
What has influenced your choice to skip the car commute? I live in Seattle and parking is awful to say the very least. I hate trying to find parking before or after my day at work, so riding or running just seems to make sense for me. I now live less than two miles from work, so when I ride I tend to take a fun detour on my way…like 12 miles out of the way! LOL
The Indie top is an Ibex favorite
Do you have some favorite layering pieces when you’re bike commuting? Well because I wear Ibex at work, I just toss on my Izzi tights and an Indie…I love, love my Indies! I have three now and have only been working here 3-ish months. If it’s raining, which it does like every day from Nov-April, I don’t always ride as much and just run to work wearing the same pieces. If it’s just light rain, then I have a rain shell I toss on.
What does your ride to work look like? To work, it’s on road and with traffic, but Seattle also has amazing bike lanes to make biking a little more road-friendly. We also have a trail called the Burke Gilman Trail which is right behind the store. After work, I can jump on that to get in a fun, longer ride and then hop back on the road to head home.
Sean Malone, Ibex Denver, Colorado
When and why did you start bike commuting? I have commuted by bicycle for many years. I started riding to school as a young teen, later in high school and then in college when I didn’t have a car. As an adult, I started commuting to work and realized how enjoyable it is; no traffic, the opportunity to be closer to nature and the city, and the additional benefit of exercise. What can you tell us about your ride to work? My commute right now is right about five miles, which in reality isn’t too far. Sometimes I will extend the commute to get a bit longer ride in. Other times I’ll stop for a coffee or run a quick errand. Fortunately, Denver has great bike paths, lanes and routes making interaction with cars minimal, however I do ensure my safety at busy intersections by making myself visible and by making sure drivers acknowledge my presence. On occasion, I will change up the route in to see other neighborhoods and for a little variety. What keeps you riding the bike vs. hopping in the car on a daily basis? By commuting to work and other places like the supermarket, coffee shop, etc. I have made a choice to reduce how much gasoline I use, but more importantly, it enables me to get additional exercise. Quite often the commute by bike is faster than driving. Also, it’s just plain cool to ride a bike!
Michael Logan, Ibex White River Junction, Vermont
Ibex headquarters in White River Junction, Vermont
Can you tell us about how you started riding your bike to work? I started bike commuting to Ibex in April 2015. There are many reasons why I started, including my desire to lessen my footprint, getting daily exercise, self-reliance, fresh air, some “me” time, and the fact that I only live nine miles away from work. To sum it up, I commute because I want to reduce my impact on the environment, get exercise, and, in my mind, it’s the right thing to do.
The Trio shorts are a three-season staple
Why do you ride your bike instead of driving to work? I’m going to be honest: I don’t commute via bike every day. There have been times when I’ve ridden five days a week, but that’s not every week. Why do I stick with it? Because I can do it. There are certainly days when I don’t want to ride, but once I’m on the bike I immediately start feeling better.
Vermont can present some interesting weather conditions. What kind of clothing selections work best for you when you’re bike commuting? I pretty much bike exclusively in Ibex. My go-to layers for three seasons are the Trio Shorts with an Indie Full Zip. I also have another Ibex half-zip jersey that I like a lot for when it’s really hot. I pair these with our leg and knee warmers when it’s cooler (30s for knee warmers, 20s for leg warmers), and when it’s below 20 degrees, I wear the El Fito full length tight. If it’s in the single digits, I pair those with a Woolies 1 Bottom, or layer them over a pair of leg warmers. I do have a simple nylon shell for extra coverage in light rain, or to just take the chill off of the initial morning ride.
Vermont presents interesting road conditions in mud season.