Summer biker commute returns!

Now that Spring is really finally here and the deluge of rain has temporarily stopped, I’m back to taking advantage of a bill that I fought for and won in my county.

A few years ago, I engaged my elected officials (along with fellow biker-friendly activists) to have our county pass a bill that provides free parking for motorcycles at any local Metro (subway) station in the county. This wasn’t easy — doing anything that reduces revenue for any public entity is never easy — but it did pass, and I should reap the benefits of what I fought for.

Now each morning, I put on my business casual clothes, “office friendly” biker boots, chaps, biker jacket, gloves, and my helmet, and after doing the daily T-CLOCS inspection of the Harley, off I go to my local Metro station. I park the bike and lock it up six ways from Sunday, cover it, and then lock my gear in the trunk of my partner’s car so I don’t have to carry heavy leathers to and from the office. My partner gets to the Metro about a half-hour before I do. I then hop on the subway and I’m at my office a half-hour later. Doing this saves me $22.50/week.

Why don’t I ride the Harley to work? Several reasons: 1) cell-phone yapping cage drivers don’t see motorcycles; 2) riding in traffic is a pain in the ass and exhausting; I would have to pay $17/day for safe parking, as well as pay for more gas; 3) my insurance premium would go up, since my premium is rated by how and where I use my Harley; and 4) my employer provides a subsidy for using Metro, which it wouldn’t provide if I drove to work. Plus, Metro is quick, usually reliable, and less stressful — especially at oh-dark-30 when I depart my home to go to work, and early afternoon when I return. (I beat the crowds.)

I’m happy to be back in my summer commuting routine, back on the bike daily, using my gear for why and how it’s made, and be able to benefit from some of my civic activism.