Duke’s Den – Ride To Work, Right To Ride

Share this Article

Springtime is a joyous season for motorcycle riders, as beloved machines get to spin their wheels after a winter’s hibernation. Tree and flowers bloom from the earth as motorcycles blossom on the roads.

This seasonal influx of two-wheelers in an environment often hostile to motorcycles is nationally recognized by May’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, in which car drivers are asked to be cognizant of our lesser-visible mode of transportation. This month, the onus for the positive image of motorcycling shifts to us.

Duke’s Den – Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month

June 16 marks the 23rd-annual Ride to Work Day, a perfect opportunity for riders to show the cage-driving world that motorcyclists are their friends and neighbors. And, importantly, that there are lots of us.

“Many people do not always appreciate the societally positive value of transportational riding,” states Andy Goldfine, the primary man behind the RtW non-profit organization and founder of the Aerostich and RiderWearhouse lines of motorcycling apparel and accessories.

060214-dukes-den-ride-to-work-3

But the RtW org emphasizes the ride day isn’t just about encouraging riders to be seen on the roads, it’s also “about increasing the understanding of – and tolerance for – those who choose this form of mobility.”

So mark your calendar for Monday, June 16, and make sure your bike is ready to roll for your commute to work. It’s in our best interests for car drivers to notice more of us on the road. And, critically, for non-riders to see that we’re a responsible and friendly part of the transportation equation.

Check out the Ride To Work Day website: http://www.ridetowork.org/

060214-dukes-den-ride-to-work-1

The RtW website includes several images and graphics that can be printed so that you can display your support. My favorite (listed below) points out several good reasons to ride to work, which you are encouraged to share with the uninitiated.

I have ridden my motorcycle to work today because:

  • Riding to work is fun
  • Riding to work reduces traffic and parking congestion
  • Riding to work uses less fuel than an automobile
  • Riding to work leaves me alert and energized
  • Riding to work results in less pollution than commuting in a larger vehicle
  • Riding to work is less destructive to road surfaces, bridges, etc.
  • Riding to work gets me to work (and back home) faster
  • Riding to work demonstrates motorcycling as a social good

Preliminary estimates are for a record-breaking number of participants for this month’s RtW Day. Please do us all a favor and ride your motorcycle on June 16 to show the rest of the world we’re a segment of the transportation population that deserves their respect. It will help preserve our right to ride.

Related Reading
Duke’s Den – Motorcycle Riding vs. Car Driving
Duke’s Den – Is Electricity the Savior of Dirtbikes?
Duke’s Den – Super Bowl Super Bore For Riders?
Duke’s Den – Indian Acceptance

Get Motorcycle.com in your Inbox
  • JMDonald

    The term beloved machines could not be more appropriate. It reminds me of the freedom my bike gave me as a young man and is primarily the reason I still ride after all this time.

  • Kevin Polito

    If you wanted to demonstrate all the things on that list, you’d ride your bike to work more than one day a year. When you show up every day on two wheels, in rain gear, in cold weather gear, you make a more convincing statement.

    • Kevin Duke

      I agree 100%. But RtW Day is a group statement, which can be a powerful thing.

      • Kevin Polito

        When you show up on a bike ONLY one day a year, it implies that a motorcycle is NOT a practical, everyday form of transport, which is exactly the opposite of the message you’re trying to project.

        • Ser Samsquamsh

          I love riding to work but it isn’t practical most of the time.

          Also, “Riding to work results in less pollution than commuting in a larger vehicle” probably isn’t true.

          • Steven Holmes

            I personally disagree, Ser Samsquamsh

            If you’ve got kids to pick up, groceries to collect, and things to transport, sure a motorcycle may not be all that practical. for commuting one guy/gal back n forth to work, a single person vehicle like a motorcycle is a fantastic, economical form of transportation for that 1 person.

            “Riding to work results in less pollution than commuting in a larger vehicle” probably is true, IMO. The ratio of carbon emissions generated is directly proportional to the amount of fuel consumed, which is based heavily on the motor’s displacement and the vehicles power to weight ratio. I almost guarantee that the little toothpick driving the big ol’ SUV by herself is generating LOADS of pollutants more than my bike. Matter of displacement Vs. # of occupants. Since most people commute in cars or SUVs, by themselves, the statement is probably true.

            Now, when you start talking about carpooling, that balance changes. What I mean is, 5 people in a passenger car, or that fully loaded bus… that’s probably generating less pollutants (per person) then i do on my bike.

            I exclude Hybrid and electric vehicles from that equation.

          • Ser Samsquamsh

            I do take the exceedingly-long-way to work on my motorbike when possible. I was including the six months of the year here where there is 10 inches of snow on the ground and it’s 20 below. Any day that’s actually nice enough to ride my motorcycle is also nice enough to ride my 10 speed which is way more efficient and practical: no gear and I don’t have to go to the gym.

            I wasn’t counting carbon emissions as pollution. I was thinking of hydorcarbons. On a recent ride behind a guy on his modified Ducati I could barely breath for the emissions.

            Ultimately the point I was making is that the pollution issue is arguable unlike the other ones. Even the biggest bikes are fairly compact, fun and engaging which is certainly 100% not true of driving most cars. If everyone commuted on a bike our roads would last longer, there wouldn’t be traffic jams or parking problems.

          • Steven Holmes

            Great points, all the way around!

            Though i’m not a big fan of pedal bikes for myself, I will say that their uptick in use is a huge benefit to us all.

          • Ser Samsquamsh

            Thanks! I once had this exact same discussion with some extremely argumentative Texans work-mates. They assured me that a diesel 1 ton truck was the most efficient way to get to work. The lynch pin in the argument was that factory farming meat uses a lot of fuel and by driving you could eat less. Seriously.

            Of course that didn’t stop them from going for Brazilian BBQ twice a week!

          • Kevin Polito

            It depends on which two vehicles you’re comparing. A modern 50cc scooter delivering 90 mpg will definitely produce fewer emissions than a 15-mpg full-size pickup. A hot-rodded V-twin cruiser versus a Prius would be a different story.

  • Steven Holmes

    My co-workers think i’m funny for commuting to work on my sport-bike wannabe. I love it. There is a Zen that i get in the commute to and from work, except for this morning when my minds radio decided to play the star-wars cantina song… for 20 miles. I love seeing the 10-15 motorcyclists during the commutes. sometimes makes for really entertaining impromptu group rides :D

  • Steve Brown

    From the first rain drop to the first snowflake every day is ride to work day. As far I go always has been always will be until I can’t ride anymore. Has been for 40yrs now.

  • Kevin Polito

    I’m showing my age here, but when I started riding, people were still touring the country and the world on 500cc and 750cc bikes. They weren’t blindingly fast, but they could do the job. All the torque arrived soon after idle. There was enough power to cruise at highway speeds if not Autobahn speeds. I remember riding a Kawasaki 900 Z1 for the first time and remarking how big and heavy it was. :) Fast-forward to today, when we have touring bikes that weigh close to half a ton and need car-sized engines. We have cruisers in the same weight and displacement class that are equipped to travel only to the nearest biker bar. We in the motorcycle camp seem to be where the car guys were in the late ’60s, early ’70s with their 500-cubic-inch Eldorados.

  • fastfreddie

    That sounds so right:D Great article:)