National Bike to Work Day, established in 1955, was created to promote bike riding as a healthy and safe alternative to car commuting. With more and more riders discovering the benefits of e-bikes, ditching your car for a bike is more realistic than ever before. Just ask Juiced Bikes rider Dr. Ryan McCorkle, who has ridden his Juiced e-bikes a total of 7,000 miles over the past 4 years, during his commutes to work as an ER physician at St. David’s Medical Center and Austin Emergency Center. He’ll tell you it’s WAY easier (and faster) than you might think! To encourage other riders to participate in Bike to Work Day, we wanted to share Ryan’s story as an example of how convenient and fun it is to ride to work on an electric bike.
McCorkle first began commuting to work via bike back in Buffalo, New York during his emergency medicine residency. “Our local bike shop there had a ‘no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear’ motto,” recalls McCorkle. “So I had metal-studded tires and rode in the snow and ice, and just got used to it.”
He switched to a Juiced Bike once he moved to Texas so he wouldn’t arrive at work sweating, one of many perks of upgrading from a traditional bike to an e-bike: riders can choose how to ride by cruising with the throttle or putting in more pedal power. “When you’re practicing (medicine) in Texas and it’s 105 degrees, your patients don’t seem to like it when you get there looking like a wet rat,” McCorkle says. “So an e-bike became a way for me to get to work, not all sweaty, and I can ride it home with less pedal-assist and get my workout in that way.”
The HyperScorpion’s 30mph speeds makes his commute a breeze he says. The moped-style electric bike also allows McCorkle to easily navigate traffic with integrated turn signals, brake lights and horn. And, his e-bike helps him to conquer the city traffic and take the stress out of never having to look for parking when he’s working at Austin’s biggest music venues.
“I ride it to the backstage medical for all the venues in Downtown Austin, where parking is awful,” says the admitted Pearl Jam fanatic who’s seen the band in concert 78 times. “I can just ride it up to the door, walk in, take care of the artist – they commonly deal with upper respiratory and throat problems – and then be gone. Those rides are all 10-15 minutes on the e-bike and I’m inside the venue, where in a car it would take at least 45 minutes to battle traffic, find a parking spot and get into the venue.”
Besides the convenience factor, McCorkle says the mental and physical benefits of riding are part of why he commutes via bike so much. “When you’ve been in the ER for 8-12 hours pretty stressed out, especially over the last couple of years of COVID. It is a godsend to de-stress and ride that e-bike around a little bit before you come home,” he says. “It gives you a chance to unwind, to feel the wind on your face and you get to look at the beauty of the city of Austin and get to feel better about where you are and what you’re doing and get some perspective before you come home.”
Dr. McCorkle rides his HyperScorpion for every single one of his 18 ER shifts a month and has ridden close to 7,000 miles over the last 4 years on all his Juiced Bikes. For those who aren’t sure about biking to work, he has some advice, “If you have anxiety around bike commuting, it’s important to map out your route. Try your route before your first day, on a day off beforehand. In Austin we do have dedicated bike lanes, many that have a curb between you and traffic. I think finding those and using those will give you a lot more confidence in getting safely to and from work.”
If you’re inspired by Dr. McCorkle’s bike-to-work lifestyle and already have an e-bike, participating in Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 20 is the perfect occasion to try e-bike commuting with fun local events planned in dozens of cities throughout the country. And, if you’re still thinking about purchasing an e-bike, what are you waiting for? With summer approaching and most e-bikes in-stock and ready for immediate shipping, this is the ideal time to transform your life with a revolutionary new way to ride!