Fear is the biggest deterrent I see to people not commuting by bike. Being out of shape, getting cleaned up at work, not having the “right” bike, etc etc… these all come second to the fear of sharing the same pavement as those enormous, fast, internal combustion vehicles.
When I first began riding my bike to work it was pretty terrifying due to my lack of knowledge on what to do, where to ride and how best to keep myself from getting flattened by a car. A lot of that could have been relieved if I had another bike commuter willing to escort me into work and show me the ropes.
Fritz recently posted about joining a Bike Convoy, but I know that most people live in cities where they don’t have such a luxury. So to help people get over this fear, consider inviting a friend or coworker to commute by bike this week and offer to escort them in.
This can be quite the sacrifice on your part as it will probably add several miles to your commute, but it could also be the perfect way to get someone new started.
Most people already have a bicycle and other necessary equipment, but they don’t have someone willing to ride along with them and teach them how to safely get from point A to point B.
This week is Bike to Work Week, so use it as a perfect motivator for someone in your circle of influence to ditch the car for the bicycle.