Rolling with Mayor Ralph Becker

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Salt Lake City has seen a sizable increase in bike-friendly programs and infrastructures the past few years, thanks to pedal pusher Mayor Ralph Becker and his team of cycling enthusiasts. You won’t see Mayor Becker preaching the bicycle’s many benefits to our city and its residents, and then riding off into the sunset in a Hummer like you’d expect from most politicians, though. Salt Lake’s Mayor lives his word as a dedicated bike commuter himself, riding 2.5 miles to work every day! We picked up some bicycle-commuter tips from the city’s pedaling hero himself—and don’t miss out on your chance to ride alongside him on Mayor’s Bike to Work Day, Tuesday, May 7, meeting at the north end of Liberty Park at 7:30 a.m.

SLUG: What’s your favorite part of commuting via bicycle?
Becker: Exercise, outdoors, interaction with community members, developing better understanding of our bicycling infrastructure and needs going forward.

SLUG: What kind of bicycle do you prefer to commute with?
Becker: I’ll take two-wheel, non-motorized transport of any kind, happily.

SLUG: What are three must-have accessories/gear for your commute?
Becker: Helmet, lights and not doing anything to get me distracted.

SLUG: Are you a ride-in-a-tie kind of guy, or do you change when you get to work?
Becker: I wear my suit (my uniform) to work and home, but have the advantage of a downhill ride to work. When I get home, I’m usually sweaty, so I strip off my clothes quickly to try to avoid ruining them. I’d wear more suitable biking gear to work and shower and change, but often have meetings to start the day or end the day away from the office.  

SLUG: What’s the most challenging part of your commute?
Becker: Staying alert and being prepared to make changes based on driver behavior.

SLUG: What advice can you give to other commuters, or those who want to start commuting via bicycle?
Becker: Please be careful and follow the rules of the road. And, please give us input on how we can make Salt Lake City the great bicycling city it should become.

Find out more on the bicycle initiatives Mayor Becker and his team are working on, along with details on events that they have planned for Bike Month over at slcgov.com or bikeslc.com.