The slogan is "Work to Ride - Ride to Work". You probably already save up your pennies for your parts, maintenance, and riding gear, so you work to ride. But do you ride to work?
For the past 24 years, scooter riders and motorcyclists around the world have celebrated the annual International Motorcycle & Scooter Ride to Work Day, which takes place the third Monday of every June. This year marks the 25th Annual International Motorcycle & Scooter Ride to Work Day which takes place on June 20, 2016.
The purpose of setting aside this special day is to demonstrate the growing number of motorcyclists to the general public and to politicians, that motorcyclists are from all occupations and all walks of life, that motorcyclists can reduce traffic and parking congestion in cities, that motorcycles are great for transportation and commuting as well as for recreation, and that motorcycling is a social good.
Many of you reading this will reply that you already ride to work every day. That's great and we're all very proud of you, and glad to have you on the team. Your next step is to encourage your friends and coworkers who only ride for recreation, or who ride to work only occasionally, to ride to work on the third Monday in June, through the rest of the summer, and beyond.
Throughout most of the western world, motorcyclists are a minority. Most motorcycle owners reserve their bikes for recreation, whether that might be in the dirt or street, so motorcycle commuters are a smaller minority. With over half the world's population now living in cities, rather than rural communities, scooters and motorcycles are excellent solutions to urban and environmental concerns. By reducing traffic congestion and emissions, everyone benefits if more commuters leave the cars at home and ride the motorbike. Scooters and motorcycles are fun, and for properly trained riders, they can be safe, too!
Traffic gridlock is an ugly and genuine reality in most cities, especially in our most vibrant and thriving urban areas. Too many cars and trucks are being utilized by only one person. Increased traffic congestion can be directly related to increased incidents of road-rage. Vehicles stuck in blocked or slow moving traffic consume more fuel, and emit more toxic fumes than moving vehicles.
Too many people see motorcycles strictly as "toys," when actually motorbikes are an effective solution that haven't yet been recognized for their greatest possible potential. Too many people responsible for traffic control and urban planning fail to see the social good of scooters and motorcycles in the traffic mix.
By picking one day, the third Monday in June, to get more scooters and motorcycles out on the daily commute, we form a critical mass, and we will command and receive better attention. If other drivers have an easier commute to and from work that day, hopefully they'll recognize that it was because of us - the people riding motorbikes to work.
Ride long and prosper.
Paul Andor Nagy