Will commuters choose to pedal for Friday’s Bike to Work Day?

With Bike to Work Day on Friday, WTOP went to Bethesda, Maryland, to see how commuters planned to get to work.

BETHESDA, Md. – Friday is Bike to Work Day, and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and Commuter Connections are working to encourage first-timers to hop in the saddle and pedal their way to work.

In Bethesda, Maryland, access to the Capital Crescent Trail, Metro and Bikeshare stations make the area a busy biking hub for people from Silver Spring to D.C.

What did people there say about biking to work?

Adam Chin, who lives in Silver Spring and works in Bethesda, said it’s a straight shot by bike thanks to access to the Capital Crescent Trail – but he drives instead.

Why? Biking would take too long, he said. He estimates the bike trip takes 40 minutes while driving takes him just 15 minutes.

“I’m just not willing to wake up at like, 7 a.m. to get here, sorry,” he said, laughing.

And on the nights when he closes the bar where he works, Chin said, “Closing the bar and biking home sounds awful!”

Chessie Jones, who also lives in Silver Spring and works in Bethesda, said that she doesn’t own a car. She takes the bus to get to work, but she won’t be taking part in Bike to Work Day.

Why not? She doesn’t feel safe. “The biggest obstacle is people are not respectful towards pedestrians,” or, by extension, cyclists, she said. “I think that’s the reason that a lot of people get away from riding a bike,” she added.

Jones is a fan of biking, just not in the United States. She said the savings she enjoys by being car-free goes to foreign travel.

Among her favorite cities? Bike-friendly Copenhagen. “When I do ride a bike – I’m actually in Denmark!” she said with a laugh.

Distance is an issue for commuter Kevin Burnett. He lives in Temple Hills, Maryland and commutes to Bethesda by car. A bike commute, he said, would add too much time on both ends of his day.

He does love Metro, but doesn’t use it because it adds time to his trip: “It’s a long commute because it goes through D.C. to come all the way to work, so I just drive.”

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