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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bike commuting works, even in Alaska

Image of bicyclist in AlaskaFrom the Juneau Empire (Alaska), 05.27.07:

Commuting by bike means cleaner air, clearer heads
Joanna Roth does it to "blow out the cobwebs" in the morning. Tim Cater does it because he's cheap. Rick Johnson does it for the exercise. Amy Turner does it for all the above.

Granted, all four employees at Alaska Biological Research Inc. in Fairbanks avoid using petroleum products whenever they can and would be classified as bona fide greenies, or as Cater referred to it "save the world and all that stuff." But that's not necessarily the only reason they ride their bikes to work on a regular, and for some, daily, basis.

"It's a combination of things," said the 50-year-old Roth, a plant biologist who has been commuting to work on her bike year-round for almost 20 years. Mostly, it's because Roth enjoys cycling. "I just love being on a bike," she said. "Riding a bicycle is the most efficient way to get around." (Read more. Requires registration.)
One very interesting item this article is how the environmentally conscious Alaska Biological Research company reimburses employees who bike to and from work--or use other forms of alternative transportation--$3.50 a day. We need more bicycling-supportive employers like this, and government policies to reward them. The article also interviews a bike commuting employee of the Bureau of Land Management, who doesn't get a cash reward.

Year-round bike commuting in Alaska must be a challenge, but not an impossible one it seems. A cash reward of $3.50 a day would buy a hot beverage or two.

Image: Alaska Magazine: Cruising Through the Cold
Visit: Ice Bike
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site

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