FDOT – reThink Your Commute

Join the Growing Bike-to-Work Trend

Join the Growing Bike-to-Work Trend

Sanford commuter reThinks rush hour

 Jessica Bond says you don’t have to be a highly trained athlete with an expensive racing bike to become a pedal-to-work commuter.

You can be like her: someone with average fitness and a modestly-priced bike. Someone who just wants to get a little exercise, enjoy their ride, and arrive at the office feeling invigorated and happy, rather than drained by a tense commute.

Thanks to programs such as reThink Your Commute, you also can be part of a larger trend of people taking small steps that add up to big changes. Between 2000 and 2017, the number of bicyclists commuting to work increased by 43 percent to 836,500, based on the estimated totals from the U.S. Census. That number will likely grow as communities become more bike-friendly, offering people a safe and healthier commute option.

“You don’t even need to spend much to make it happen,” said Bond, who has been biking to work since June. “Try it. Even if only one or two days a week. Just try it.” 

Bond knows, of course, she is lucky to live less than two miles from work. When a job change in June meant a new office close to home in Sanford, she decided it was time to trade horsepower for pedal power. She wasn’t sure what to expect as she rolled out that first day. “But I knew it would make my muscles move, and I wouldn’t use the car or burn gasoline.”

After years of seeing mostly bumpers and taillights during previous commutes, Bond was delighted to glide past placid Lake Monroe, savoring the lovely sight on a leisurely bike ride to work. “After a couple of rides, I knew I made the right choice.”

Her 10-year-old son, Everett, even joined her on the morning ride during part of the summer. He went to a day camp near her work, so the mother and son biked in together.

Commuting by bike takes just a little extra planning. Bond puts her office clothes in a lightweight backpack and leaves the house earlier to have time to cool off and change before work begins. Occasionally, she has to wait out afternoon rainstorms before hopping back on her bike. But it’s worth the wait for a healthy way to decompress on the way home.

“When I arrive, I’m ready for family time.” And these days, family time even includes some weekend bike rides with Everett and her husband, Olivier.

Bond knew she made the right choice one day last summer when, pressed for time, she took the car and dropped her son at his day camp instead of biking in together. While gazing out the car window, the youngster told her, “I wish we were on our bikes right now.”

reThink Your Commute and the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County invite all Sanford-area employers and their employees to participate in a Bike to Work Day event in Sanford on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. Visit fdot.tips/bikesanford21 for route information and to register.