Boycott Bike to Work Day 2025

The main Bike to Work Day (BTWD) pit stop in DC, Franklin Park, is not served by any bike infrastructure of any kind. Unless and until this is remedied, all cyclists and all vendors should avoid this pit stop completely.

This was my 12th BTWD. Ok, 11th if you don’t count Boat to Work Day where it rained so much they had to park a Circulator Bus at Freedom Plaza to give out t-shirts.

I ride a few thousand miles a year, mostly in DC. I’m okay riding in traffic. But the point of BTWD is not to get cyclists like me a new cheap t-shirt and a water bottle with some vendor name on it. The point is to show regular people that they can bike to work. It’s lunacy to expect inexperienced or hesitant cyclists to brave lower 14th St NW. I certainly wouldn’t send my friends and family there.

I can’t imagine sending someone to that stop who wasn’t already an experienced city cyclist. And not all stops are like this. The main Virginia stop at Rosslyn is well-served by bike infrastructure (and the Intersection of Doom is better-ish, I haven’t been nearly killed there in years). The old spot at Freedom Plaza in DC shows off the lanes on 15th St NW and PA Ave NW (and to a lesser extent 11th NW, which is still WAY better than 14th NW).

But Franklin Park has none of this. The lanes on 13th NW and 14th NW end before the park. I St and K St are absolutely not bikeable for an inexperienced cyclist. And you can’t even bike on the sidewalk (legally) because it’s in the weird CBD trapezoid.

We need to demand better.

A Perfect Storm of Laziness

In 2018, I biked 3,213 miles. About two thirds of that was on the longtail cargo bike, and much of THAT was hauling the kids as the three of us bumped up against the weight limit of the bike. I was in pretty fantastic shape for a guy who had just turned 40.

Enter 2019. March 8th, I tore my Achilles. It wouldn’t be until July 5th that I rode a bike again. In the meantime, the kids were growing and growing and I was really no longer able to haul both of them for any distance, even if they wanted me to, which they increasingly did not. Then 2020 came around and COVID took away most of my motivation to bike – who wants to ride somewhere when you can’t go inside?

My strategy to deal with all of this and keep my fitness level was to pretend it wasn’t happening, and this clearly isn’t working. I’ve tried nothing, and it isn’t working.

I’ve always been pretty good about keeping up with fitness so long as it didn’t take any real time out of my day. Now that I have to work at it, it’s not going so well.

I’m in the New York Times!

I’m quoted in an article in the New York Times about [family biking] ( “Families Ditch Cars for Cargo Bikes”). Full disclosure – the author has kids at our kids’ school, and we’ve talked before about bikes, so it’s not like someone randomly found me and realized I was awesome or anything like that.

And I was in the Washington Post earlier this year, though purely by chance, and not in the online edition. A photographer got a picture of me taking the girls home from school and it was used in an article about DC charter schools because I happened to be passing by one when he snapped the photo.

I’m trying to decide what paper would really complete the trifecta. The Boston Globe, to keep up the East Coast thing? The LA Times to really branch out? Maybe a Chicago paper? I’m pulling for LA because, really, how the heck would I get into an LA paper?

Also, a note on the article – the author is aware that there are only quotes from men. What she submitted had quotes from women, and they didn’t make the final. I can’t speak to why that is, and I’m honestly not sure whether it’s better that the NYT editor did it on purpose, or that they are just that clueless. Either way, it’s absurd to ingore the women who are embracing cargo bikes instead of minivans. Anecdotally, I know more women who do it than men.