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The Changing Reactions To Daily Commuting

Written by Boston Biker on Dec 27

I have been riding my bike to work for a long time now, and I have noticed that the reaction I have been getting has changed over the years. I have noticed that the reaction I get from my coworkers has changed as the infrastructure of Boston has changed.   It sorta went like this.

mcs87_450

Several Years Ago:

“We are not sure we want you riding your bike to work, there might be liability issues.”

A Little After That:

“We don’t care if you ride your bike to work, but we will not have anyplace to park your bicycle, and please use the back door if you are going to have ‘cyclist clothing’ on when you come in.”

Slightly Later:

“We put a rack out back in the spooky dark alley, you can park your bike there.”

Later Still:

“You ride your bike to work?! That’s insane, I could never do that, 2 miles is way too far.”

Then:

“You ride your bike to work?! That’s insane, I could never do that, 4 miles is way too far.”

Then:

“You ride your bike to work?! That’s insane, I could never do that, 6 miles is way too far.”

Then:

“You ride your bike to work? Me too! But only on nice spring or fall days.

And Then:

“You rode your bike today?! But its raining?!”

But Then:

“I think I am going to ride all year this year, last year I rode until Thanksgiving and it wasn’t so bad”

What The?:

“Here is your health insurance benefits, you see you get a reduction in premiums for regular physical activity, including cycling to work.”

Holy What Now?!:

“This is our bike room, you can store your stuff here, the showers are on the 3rd floor.”

Well Flip My Pancakes:

“Oh you ride your bike to work, so does Sam, Grace, and Jessica, and our executive director Bob you should talk to them you might get along.”

Getting Cocky:

“Bet I can do more miles this year for the bike to work week competition than you can!”

Kicking It Old School:

“Did you see how many Hubway people there were this morning, damn traffic!”

Still The Holdout:

“You rode your bike today, but the snow!”

Boring Acceptance:

“Hi! Now get to work.”

I have either been super lucky with the places I have worked in this town over the last decade, or things are actually getting better. I still get asked “did you ride today” on every day that isn’t perfect, but the attitudes of employers have changed dramatically. Cyclists used to be outcasts, and now they are encouraged because it lowers health care bills and improves productivity. Businesses either petition the city for racks, or buy their own.

New cyclists are springing up in cubicles all over the city and businesses are helping to encourage them…at least the ones who want to keep talented employees are. Because times they are a changing, and if you want to compete in Boston’s business climate, you have to be bicycle friendly.


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