Today is Bike to Work Day in Philadelphia (rescheduled after last Friday’s heavy showers — thanks Mother Nature.) But, for Stan Ricciuti, every day is Bike to Work Day.
54-year-old Ricciuti, of the Mayfair section of Philadelphia, works as a bicycle mechanic at Danzeisen & Quigley in Cherry Hill, NJ. And for over 30 years, Ricciuti has been pedaling the 15 miles to and from work daily.
When Ricciuti was younger, he was an avid cyclist, competing in races often.
“Back then, I was putting 10,000 miles on my bike and only about 3,000 miles on my car,” Ricciuti recalled. “The car became a waste of money since I was basically only using it to get to and from races.”
That’s when Ricciuti decided to ditch the car altogether and he’s been biking everywhere ever since. He loves the daily exercise — and says the money he’s saved doesn’t hurt either.
Though Ricciuti has “a small fleet of personal bikes,” the one he rides to work is a Cyclocross bike. The Cyclocross, Ricciuti says, has the feel of an off-road racing bike but lends a close resemblance to a traditional road bike.
For those toying with the idea of biking to work, Ricciuti finds the key to successful cycling is researching your routes.
“I stopped taking the freeways because I got too many speeding tickets,” Ricciuti joked. “But really, it’s worth going a few miles out of your way to be safe and experience a more pleasant ride.”
In all of the years Ricciuti has pedaled to work, he’s only been in a handful of accidents and he admits most of those times happened when he wasn’t obeying his own rules.
“You have to stay vigilant since cars don’t always see you out there,” said Ricciuti. “Everything else is easy — just get on your bike and do it.”