A Bike Commuter is Born — On the Bainbridge Ferry

Yesterday was nepotism day here on Commute by Bike. Today it’ll be cronyism.

Tobias Eigen is a friend from the years I spent living in the Washington, DC Beltway — Takoma Park, Maryland to be specific. (“Capital of hippie-land… home of the squirrel lady and that guy who walks around swinging a dead fox.”)

I can’t recall ever seeing Tobias on a bike while we were neighbors. Did he and his wife even have bikes? Yes. Yes, they did. I remember seeing them. In the basement.

But now Tobias lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, just across Puget Sound from Seattle. He is discovering the joys of the multi-modal bike commute. This account is from Tobias’ blog, saidia:

First Time Biking on the Ferry

Tobias has some pretty good instincts as a photographer. His blog posts includes some great photos, including a view of Seattle from the water that belongs in a frame.

A couple of days ago, Tobias e-mailed me from his phone, while on the ferry for the second time:

Today I biked again, and even put my bike on the front of a bus! So cool… Just getting off the ferry again momentarily… On my bike along with, like, 30 other bikers. Wow.

I take no credit for influencing Tobias to try bike commuting. (Even though I secretly want to claim at least a teeny bit of credit.) It’s likely that an accumulation of many factors and influences brought him to the decision: circumstance, common sense, a focus on quality of life, and about two recent years living in Berlin (ranked as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world).

But he was ready when he was ready.

The lesson here, bike commuters, is that some of your friends and acquaintances will eventually come around all by themselves. Give ’em time, and keep doing what you’re doing.


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