Sunday, May 20, 2007

NPR reporter survives (!) Bike to Work day

From National Public Radio Weekend Edition Sunday, 05.20.07:

A Four-Mile Commute on Two Wheels
Ah, the joy of a bike ride. Cool breeze, sun at your back. But also narrow streets and rude drivers. Not to mention menacing dogs and murderous buses. So why does anybody bike to work?

Friday was National Bike to Work Day, and the commuting cyclists in Washington, D.C., ranged from intimidating athletic types in the latest moisture-wicking lycra to smart-looking professionals in well-tailored suits and sensible low-heeled pumps.

The question is, what was I doing among them, biking to NPR with a microphone cleverly tethered to my helmet? Well, it was all producer Ned Wharton's idea. But he was aided and abetted by Eric Gilliland, executive director of the Washington Area Bicyclists Association. (Read more, includes audio.)
The media thrives on dramatic conflict. Reporter enjoys bicycle ride to work and nothing happens? Ain't "news." Reporter rides and nearly gets squeezed by bread truck? Now that's news! Hard to say how threatening the actual incident was, but on the whole this was a pretty positive report. Congrats to WABA for pushing this story to an important national outlet.

Image: Ned Wharton/NPR.
Visit: A Virtuous Cycle: Bicycling in DC,
Visit: Zen and the Art of Bike Commuting
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips


Charlie D. said...

There was a similar radio story on this week's "Only A Game" on NPR. The reporter rode along with the Executive Director of MassBike (Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition) on his daily commute:

The story is about 37 minutes into the audio feed.

Fritz said...

I commuted by bike today and there were NO MISHAPS! From all the news reports, you'd think I should expect death and mayhem every time I take two tires to the road. Instead, I had a pleasant ride to work across Palo Alto and Menlo Park and I greeted several of the pedestrians and cyclist I saw along the way.

Regarding your earlier story about car culture and movie car chases, I'm reminded of a bicycle chase in "ENEMY OF THE STATE." The good guy is running from the bad guys, steals a bicycle to get away and he's squashed by a fire truck.

danc said...

Oh yes, that old maxium about local news coverage: If it bleeds, it leads . Otherwise I agree it was well done, interesting story. By the way did you miss this NPR "hard pedal" Story: California Community Promotes Biking to Work by Marjorie Sun

Morning Edition, May 17, 2007 · Marin County, Calif., is one of four communities to win a $20-million federal grant to promote commuting by bike. The goal is to combat climate change, cut traffic congestion and promote fitness. Still, it's a hard sell.

gwadzilla said...

very cool story!

Bike to Work Day went well in DC
it usually rains

I think the rain held off for the ceremony this year

the mayor of DC was there

images on my blog
but you will have to scroll back