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Motorcycle Ride to Work Day: July 19, 2006

Every July, motorcyclists who don't normally motor-commute are encouraged to take their motorcycles to work on one day to remind the public of their effiency, economy and social benefits as transportation. This year the date is July 19, 2006.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 is the 15th annual Ride to Work day. It is a chance for motorcyclists around the world, and especially in the United States, to remind the public that motorcycles are efficient transportation as well as recreational devices.
The stated goals of the U.S. Ride to Work organization, the lead group for the event, are "to advocate and support the use of motorcycles for transportation, and to provide information about transportation riding to the public." The group publicizes the annual event to the general media and public as a means of raising awareness about the benefits that commuting other general transportaion riding offers not only motorcyclists themselves but also the larger non-motorcycling public.

By getting many motorcycles on the road on July 19, the motorcycle community hopes to: Remind the public and policy-makers that there are lots of motorcycles and motorcyclists out there
Remind the public of the advantages motorcycles offer in reducing traffic and parking congestion and reducing fuel consumption
Show that motorcycles are for transportation as well as recreation
That motorcyclists come from all social segments and strata
That motorcycles can provide benefits to society
Only about one-tenth of a percent — one in a thousand — people in the United States make their daily commute by motorcycle. Less than five percent of motorcycle owners use their machines for year-round transportation, though that percentage increases during more seasonal periods. Ride to Work Inc. (RTW) estimates that motorcycle use for commuting doubles on RTW Day.
With recent increases in fuel prices, more people have reportedly turned to motorcycles for daily transportation. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the typical street motorcycle gets an average mileage (50.1 mpg) that's over twice that of the average car (22.3 mpg) and almost three times that of the average SUV or light truck (17.7 mpg). RTW estimates that those using motorcycles to commute instead of a car, truck or SUV save 30,000 gallons of fuel every day in the U.S.. On Ride to Work Day, that doubles to 60,000 gallons saved. The organization also estimates that if as many people commuted by motorcycle every day as do on RTW Day, that the annual fuel savings in the U.S. would be 15 million gallons. Former car commuters that have switched to motorcycles typically tell us that moto-commuting cuts their fuel bill in half, but some who switched from particularly large vehicles to very thrifty two-wheelers have told us that they spend less than a fifth or what they used to on gas.
Motorcycles are also about four times as efficient in parking-space usage as four-wheelers. Three to five motorcycles can park in the space occupied by a single car. They can also get through traffic more efficiently, particularly where local laws permit them to exploit their small size and pass between lanes of stopped cars. This not only reduces travel time and fuel cost for the motorcyclist but also for other drivers, who don't have to wait for motorcyclists as frequently as they do when they are behaving like cars. In our own comparisons of commute times for cars and motorcycles traveling from and to the same places at the same times in Southern California rush-hour traffic, motorcycles reduced travel time by just over 20 percent on average.
So get out your riding gear and take the high road to work on Wednesday, July 19. Everybody will benefit.
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