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Decades of research shows that expanding roads doesn’t provide lasting congestion relief. More lanes means more traffic.

Orbitz staff gear up for Commuter Challenge

The following is a guest blog post by Katherine Schneider, a senior recruiter with the online travel company, Orbitz. Schneider is a team member on Orbitz's Commuter Challenge team. The Bike Commuter Challenge will be held during Bike to Work Week, June 11-17.

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Katherine Schneider

I started commuting to work at Orbitz during 2010 Bike to Work Week and have enjoyed the benefits immensely ever since. While I’ll secretly admit that I was initially drawn to Bike to Work Week because of the awesome swag bag Orbitz was providing its riders (backpack, t-shirt, bike light, ankle strap, towel and water bottle all with the custom Orbitz biking logo) and some strong arming on the part of my co-workers, biking to work has become an important part of my life—any time it is above 40 degrees.

My bike is a 30+ year old Raleigh Sport with a sheepskin seat that I found at a garage sale in 2005. My three baskets make it easy to commute with my lunch, change of clothes, shoes and computer.

The bike’s age and typically full load ensures I keep a very, very leisurely pace—although I still beat the time would take to commute on the El by a long shot. It’s a refreshing way to start and end the day.

The side streets I take from Chicago’s North Side allow me to avoid busses and traffic until I get to the Loop. Even going slow, the 90 degree summer days can be pretty hot so I often stop in a gym at Union Station for a quick shower before heading to my office at 500 W. Madison St.

Orbitz employees are enthusiastic about biking to work. We took the prize for most riders in our size category during Bike to Work Week last year.

To ensure great participation last year, employees went all out. They created attractive signs on their own time to promote the week and held employee-organized meetings to think of new ways to generate buzz around biking to work.

It’s mid-May and we’ve had our share of cold and wet days, but things are already gearing up around here for Bike to Work Week in June. We are hoping to beat our total number of riders from last year and once again claim the prize of most riders in our size category. Orbitz will again sponsor a Bike Pit Stop with Active Trans to give out coffee and snacks, and spread the word about the benefits of bike commuting.

See you on the road!

Stay tuned for more blog posts from guest bloggers who are gearing up for Bike to Work Week, June 11-17.