Ten years ago, I took a summer internship that ultimately changed the course of my life. Ironically, it was the commute rather than the job that opened up new avenues for me.
I was a nervous trail-only bike rider at the time, and was completely freaked out by the prospect of riding in traffic. I had questions about routes, reservations about riding in traffic, and concerns about looking professional at the office.
When I mentioned I had questions about bicycling to work, several of my new colleagues came forward to offer up encouragement and support as experienced bicycle commuters. Some brainstormed various route options with me, including how to work transit into the mix. Others shared their favorite safety tips for riding in traffic. A couple even offered to ride in with me a couple times for moral and logistical support. Not only was I touched by their generosity, I was struck by the fact that all of these folks were pretty normal people. All in all, they made bike commuting seem do-able.
Not only was bike commuting do-able, it also turned out to be awesome. My daily bike commute ignited a personal passion that led to a new professional direction. I lost weight, gained self-confidence and ultimately found myself. Today, my full-time job is creating the support required to get more people bike commuting.
I will never lose sight of the fact that I owe it all to the colleagues who took the time to encourage and support me. So, long before I even dreamed of working for Cascade, I served as a team captain for the Group Health Commute Challenge.
If you are a bike commuter, this is the perfect opportunity for you to introduce your colleagues to the joys of bike commuting. As a team captain, it is deeply gratifying to watch a new bike commuter grow in confidence and health. Of course, being a team captain also includes other tangible benefits such as a free t-shirt and our legendary Captain’s Bash at the Pike Brewery. Cascade makes it easy with an online Captain’s toolkit.
Make 2012 the year YOU make that difference for others. Start building a team today for the Group Health Commute Challenge!