What did it take to win Clean Commuter of the Year in 2015? 93 trips. A little motivation. Planning. Encouragement from friends and coworkers. An employer actively supporting smart commuting.
2015’s winner – Emma Jones – is a regular clean commuter. She takes advantage of her employer’s support for telecommuting and connects her cycling with the bus on days she’s heading to the office. But she doesn’t stop with the daily commute; because she lives in town, she can and does use her bike and her feet to get around for errands and social outings.
This post isn’t just a success story about our winner. It’s a post on how you can be a successful clean commuter, too.
I hear people saying they’d love to do that, but it’s too hard. So I asked Emma how she pulled it off. She tells me she’s been riding her bike a long time, but it used to be just for fun. Then Emma moved to a cycling-friendlier place and it became fun and transportation and then a habit. That’s how she got to 93 clean commute trips in one month.
If you’re sitting in my seat, you’re thinking, “That sounds great, but I’m a long way from riding my bike as a habit. How would I get started?” Emma had some advice for that and I’m sharing it with you. Find a friend or co-worker who does ride their bike for getting around. Talk through the logistics of getting to work, not smelling like a gym at your desk, and handling the unexpected like “weather” or traffic. Working through with someone you know who’s already doing this can help you anticipate what to expect and what you’ll need and. In the end the secret to successfully taking on a bicycle commute, Emma says, “is a little motivation. But mostly, it’s planning.”
This year’s Clean Commute Challenge starts May 1. You’ll be able to log trips for your commute, business meetings, errands and going out. Really, any trip you would have taken by car can be turned into a clean trip.
It’s not too early to prepare for the competition! Read on for how to get started with carpooling, taking the bus, or riding and walking instead of driving your car alone.
Want to carpool? Register with RIDE Solutions NOW and request carpool matches. You can set up carpooling partners right away. If you don’t get a match immediately, we’ve got time to help you find one.
Close enough to ride your bike or walk? You definitely want to identify a safe route, practice the ride or walk, and find a cheerleader now to keep you motivated in May. Check out this page for tips on getting started with a bike/walk commute.
Let me finish by giving you a hint for motivation and success: you should sign up a team for our Clean Commute Team competition, with your co-workers, your neighbors, your friends, however you want to do it.
“This competition really inspires a bit more team mentality and accountability each May in my office and is just a fun way to get others involved in something they may not normally do.” – Emma Jones