How could you not? If you’re lucky enough to have a job that you can ride to, that is. For more than a bunch of years now, RTW day is observed on the third Monday in June – this year, that would be the 20th. What’s it all about anyway?
RTW says: World-wide, more than an estimated million riders become two-wheeled commuters to demonstrate riding as a fun and practical form of utility transportation.
“Motorcycles and scooters take up less space in parking areas and on roads. And there’s a lower footprint. Riders seek recognition for this form of personal mobility, and government and public awareness of the many benefits,” states Andy Goldfine, an event organizer. Over 100 American cities formally recognize Ride to Work Day by proclamation, and rider’s clubs around the world encourage their members to participate in this annual demonstration.
According to the Ride to Work non-profit organization, for hundreds of thousands of US workers, riding is a socially beneficial form of transportation which provides a broad range of other public benefits. According to the United States Census Bureau and the Department of Transportation, over eighty million cars and light trucks are used every day for commuting, and only about 200,000 motorcycles and scooters are a regular part of this mix. On June 20th, the practical side of motorcycling and scootering becomes more visible as a higher percentage of America’s 8,000,000 cycles and scooters replace automobiles.
Ride to Work Day was inspired by “Work to Ride – Ride to Work‘” marketing materials created between 1989 and 1991 by the Aero Design and Manufacturing Company, a Minnesota based manufacturer of motorcycle riders clothing. In 1992 these items inspired motorcycle magazine editor Fred Rau to write an editorial calling for a national ride to work day.
The first annual Ride to Work Day event was proposed in Road Rider magazine (now titled Motorcycle Consumer News) in the May 1992 issue. This is an excerpt from that “Ride to Work” editorial:
“You may remember several months ago when Bob Carpenter, commenting in his ‘Two Up’ column, mentioned how neat he thought it would be if there was one day a year when everyone who owned a motorcycle used it to ride to work. That comment was prompted by a T-shirt produced by Aerostich RiderWear that simply said, ‘Work To Ride, Ride To Work.’ Everyone seemed to think that a national ‘Ride To Work’ day was one heck of a good idea.”
The first Ride to Work Day event date was July 22, 1992. For several years various motorcycle businesses informally promoted every third Wednesday in July as Ride To Work Day. These early advocates included Road Rider Magazine, Dunlop Tires, and Aerostich/Riderwearhouse. The event continued to grow as an informal grass roots demonstration every year until 2000. That year a non-profit organization, Ride to Work was formed to help organize and promote Ride to Work Day. The first Ride to Work Day event led by this group was the third Wednesday in July of 2001. This day was the annual day until 2008, when it was changed to the Third Monday In June. This change was made to climatically better accommodate riders world-wide, and to give more riders an opportunity to participate.
Ride to Work is a 501 c4 nonprofit, all-volunteer effort. Organizers include Andy Goldfine and Lynn Wisneski.
Plenty more info and MERCHANDISE to be found here.