Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Not so Fast: maybe you should shower

Last year, I'd cycle to work every day - rain, shine or even snow. As the summer
months came, one or two other bikes began to inhabit the rack in front of the
JFK Federal Building on Cambridge Street. And on days when rain
threatened, there were always a few spaces under the overhang at City Hall as
well.

Fast forward to this past week. Unless I missed something, it's not National Bike to Work Week.
Yet, on the way in, I'm passing 15 or 20 bikers each morning, the City Hall rack is full and the JFK Building is teetering on overflowing. Come 9:15am, I have to settle for a spot tucked somewhere in the middle of the rack.

So, who's to blame (or thank) for this increase in ridership? Perhaps it's the oil companies with their skyrocketing prices... perhaps it's our wounded Mayor Tom Menino and his new found passion for biking... perhaps there are other factors that i'm missing.

No matter the cause, there are concerns. It's not just the safety of the increasing amount of riders... It's their work colleagues whom I worry for.

Here's the thing: my riding clothes consist of shorts and a t-shirt and a backpack full of work clothes... and conveniently, my health club (gym) is located approximately one block from work. I always shower there on my way into work. But i'm sure not all riders have that luxury. And along with an increase in riders, I've noticed an increase in riders who are wearing pants/work clothes. Does this mean they are skipping the shower?

It's been 70-80 degrees each morning, and you may not break a sweat with a manufactured 15 mile-per-hour breeze in your face... but, unless you're cold-blooded, when you come to a stop, the increase in "feels-like" temperature is enough to cause anyone to break a sweat.

So, while drinking and driving don't go together, biking and showering do...
You may be "saving the environment and money," but at what cost? A better world for everyone includes an odorless you.

So please, for the love of your colleagues, take a shower. Otherwise, consider another means of transportation like driving or taking the T...