With so many people either working from home or with no work to commute to, this year’s Ride to Work Day might be especially unusual and memorable for those who believe in getting around on motorcycles and scooters. Organizers scheduled it for Monday, June 17, 2020.
The annual event, now in its 29th year, has always been a good opportunity to raise awareness, advocate for safety and dispel some myths about getting to work on two wheels instead of four.
What is Ride to Work Day?
Since its founding back in 1992, the Annual International Motorcycle and Scooter Ride to Work Day has urged everyone to ride their scooter or motorcycle on their commute on the same day. The event seeks to advance the interests of bikers who understand that, while biking is different from driving, only motorcyclists might truly get how different it is. Ride to Work Day tries to help close that gap.
Bikes and cars have different limitations
Car drivers sometimes feel motorcyclists are openly disrespecting them by swerving around a lane in front of their hood to suggest blocking the car from passing or changing lane. But riders must use as much of their lane as they have available to them because they cannot afford to risk driving over trash and bumps. A lost windshield wiper, a four-inch-deep divot or even a thin patch of grass clippings may mean life or death to a motorcyclist even if they mean little or nothing to a car driver.
Similarly, a driver can often stomp on the gas as soon as a signal turns green or deciding at the last split second if they can squeeze through a yellow light or break for red instead. These can be fatal to a biker.
Also, the next time you see motorcycles “taking up” parking lined up along a curb or in a parking garage, consider that these five or ten bikes would be taking up not two, but five or ten spaces had they been driving cars.
Seeing motorcycles as the people riding them
Motorcycles and motorcycle clubs have been especially popular among military veterans and veterans of foreign wars for close to a century. Whether or not they have served, motorcyclists are all kinds people, coming from every political party, religion, income legal, race, gender, sexual orientation, and region of the country.
While many see motorcycles as a form of recreation, it is common for motorcyclists to use their bikes as their only vehicle, perhaps using public transportation, bicycles and ridesharing as alternates.
Motorcycles remind us that everyone driving alongside us in 18-, four- or two-wheeled vehicles is a human being whose family, friends and country are counting on us to help keep them alive and well.