Ride to Work Day was inspired by "Work to Ride - Ride to Work'" marketing materials created between 1989 and 1991 by the Aero Design and Manufacturing Company, a Minnesota based manufacturer of motorcycle riders clothing. In 1992 these items inspired motorcycle magazine editor Fred Rau to write an editorial calling for a national ride to work day.
The first annual Ride to Work Day event was proposed in Road Rider magazine (now titled Motorcycle Consumer News) in the May 1992 issue. This is an excerpt from that "Ride to Work" editorial: "You may remember several months ago when Bob Carpenter, commenting in his 'Two Up' column, mentioned how neat he thought it would be if there was one day a year when everyone who owned a motorcycle used it to ride to work. That comment was prompted by a T-shirt produced by Aerostich RiderWear that simply said, 'Work To Ride, Ride To Work.' Everyone seemed to think that a national 'Ride To Work' day was one heck of a good idea."
The first Ride to Work Day event date was July 22nd, 1992, which was the third Wednesday of that month. For several years various motorcycle businesses informally continued promoting every third Wednesday in July as Ride To Work Day. These early advocates included Road Rider Magazine, Dunlop Tires, and Aerostich/Riderwearhouse. The event continued to grow as an informal grass roots demonstration every year until 2000. That year a non-profit organization, Ride to Work Inc., was formed to help organize and promote Ride to Work Day. The first Ride to Work Day event led by this group was the third Wednesday in July of 2001.
Ride to Work is a 501 c4 nonprofit, all-volunteer effort. Organizers include Andy Goldfine, Lynn Wisneski and Christine Holt.