Every once in a while I need to get back to what this blog was actually started for. That's the encouragement to use a motorcycle for commuting. Even further, to use a bike for everyday transportation as much as possible. Whatever I write about in this blog, that factor is always on my mind.
As I travel around I keep a watch for bikes being used as work commuters. I came across one in a very special parking place. Back to that in just a minute.
In accordance with my established habit, I can't stop myself from taking a very short side trip first!
The other day I was in the middle of trying to help an architect sell a client on a product I represent. One of our lines is a plastic locker. It's pretty beefy while looking good. The other popular choice is metal lockers. Our line is more durable. Not only that, but we use recycled content. The standard locker contains 30 percent post consumer material. There is also the option of having a hundred percent recycled content. Between the increasing push to use "green" products and the ever growing LEEDS standards, our lockers are being specified more often.
So this client wants to see some lockers that have already been installed. The client is a big health care facility. I happened to know of a similar facility in Eugene. I offered to meet the client there but they did not want to make the four hour round trip. The next best thing was pictures. Which is how I found myself riding to Eugene with the Nikon in a saddlebag.
This is one of the photos. Imagine this. You show up at a medical clinic. Nobody knows you from Adam or Charlie Manson. The riding gear is stashed in the bike to reveal business casual attire. Nothing hides the helmet hair, though. Finding a likely person to accost, you request to take some pictures of their lockers. Fortunately, the girl you see above has an adventuresome spirit! Between that and my winning personality, I find myself in the women's locker room with her. It's evident I've won her trust. Although she made sure the room was clear, first!
So that's the background.
I parked among a bunch of cars far out in the lot. When I got close to the building, I saw this scooter parked right up next to the sidwalk near the employee's entry.
This is a very interesting building. It's built on a very modern philosophy of green construction. Showing a level of sophistication not commonly found, the areas not open to wandering members of the public are protected by electronic card access portals. A number of buildings have card access systems. What makes this one more unique is that the readers are biometric. They read thumbprints.
The green construction is also reflected in the parking lot. Note the lettering behind the scooter.
The intent is obvious. Whether or not motorcycles actually qualify could be up for grabs. Admittedly, I haven't made a deep study of the subject. My general understanding is that the total volume of exhaust pollutants are lower than cars. Proportionately, however, motorcycles aren't exactly what you would call "clean". Although the standards keep going up for newer models.
What's important here, I think, is the perception factor. As you know, perception is reality for a great deal of the population. It's human nature. Take the age old example of walking along a trail in the forest. If a person dressed in a bear costume jumps out in front of us from behind a tree, our perception certainly becomes our reality at that moment. The brain doesn't say, "Hmmm, let's take a minute to see what's really here." No, it immediately takes the perception as reality and starts the feet pumping. A definite possible additional act might be making loud noises as we scream and run. Of course, I'd never do that, but you get the point of the illustration!
The same thing applies to motorcycles. I get so many students who come into classes with the desire for more economical transportation. The reality might be different. Once tires and maintenance are figured in, the costs may not be that much less than an economy car. There's no arguing the fact that two wheeled vehicles certainly tread more lightly upon our planet, though. A fact I'm pretty smug about as I intermingle with Hummer drivers.
Whatever the reality versus perception, I'm pleased to see a large entity like this medical clinic recognize and reward the use of motorcycles for transportation. The more of us who ride to work, the more of this kind of thing will happen. Here's to building positive perceptions!
Miles and smiles,