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Published April 17, 2012
Volume 20, Number 4


Bike to Work Day Serves as Centerpiece to a Month-Long Celebration of Cycling  
 


Renee Rivera of the EBBC, left, along with happy riders from the 2010
event. (Photos courtesy of EBBC.)


One day is not enough! Although Bike to Work Day on May 10 is the main attraction, cycling-related events are scheduled in the Tri-Valley and East Bay throughout May, so perhaps it’s more appropriate to call it “Bike to Work Month.” Bike safety classes, a flat tire repair clinic, a bicycle donation drive, and a special “Bike to the Market” evening are all part of the local festivities (see bottom of article).

The East Bay Bicycle Coalition is joining with Hacienda and a number of other businesses and community groups to put on this year’s events, all part of the celebration of the 19th annual Bike to Work Day. “There has never been a better time to jump on your bike and make a healthy bike ride a part of your daily routine, whether that ride is to work, school, the grocery store or out to your local coffee shop,” says Renee Rivera, the EBBC’s executive director.

“Bike to Work Day is a great day to discover just how safe, fun and convenient it is to bike to work.,” she notes. “Our East Bay cities are blessed with flat terrain, easy access to BART and public transit, and commercial districts with great places to stop in the morning for coffee or a pastry.“



Get Energized on Bike to Work Day
This year, Bike to Work Day falls on Thursday, May 10, and it promises to be the best of the event’s 19-year history. Over 100 Energizer Stations will be set up at locations throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties, including one in Hacienda at the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART station on Owens Drive. Volunteers at Energizer Stations greet cyclists with all the information you need to thoroughly enjoy the Bay Area’s biggest bike event of the year as well as morning snacks, refreshments, and special “Bike to Work Day” bags full of fun items. These durable canvas bags are a great way to carry your stuff around all year, but more than that there are some great gifts waiting for you in the bag. This year, thanks to a generous sponsorship from Amtrak’s Capital Corridor line, each Bike to Work Day bag will have either the 2012 Chinook Book or the Chinook Book mobile app for your smart phone.  Whichever version you get will provide you with thousands of dollars in coupons to local businesses you shop at every day.

Additional Pleasanton Energizer Stations will be located at Foothill High School and the new West Dublin/Pleasanton BART station. For a full listing of Energizer Stations in the East Bay, access www.ebbc.org/btwd for an interactive map.

Say Hello to Your Bike Buddy
Once people try biking to work, on Bike to Work Day or anytime during the year, many of them stick with it because they find it is quicker and easier than they thought and they arrive at work full of energy and ready for the day.  To help with this endeavor, the East Bay Bicycle Coalition provides assistance to get you out there riding for the first time, or to get you back on your bike after a break. 

For example, there is nothing like getting the help of an experienced rider when you are getting started. If you don’t have a friend who fits that category, the East Bay Bicycle Coalition’s Bike Buddy program can connect you with your own bike mentor.

The Bike Buddy program is specially designed for people who are interested in cycling to commute to work or school, run errands, or visit friends but aren’t sure where to start. The program is also used by novice cyclists looking for guidance or companionship to help gain confidence. The Bike Buddy Program helps people in the East Bay start riding their bikes for everyday transportation by matching new cyclists with Bike Buddies.
 
A Bike Buddy can support you in two main ways:
  • By serving as a mentor by answering questions you have about anything, ranging from how to pick a route to what gear to buy to how to take a bike on BART.
     
  • Your Bike Buddy can also serve as a riding companion by volunteering to accompany you on your initial rides and help you pick safe routes and ride safely.
To sign up for a Bike Buddy, go to the East Bay Bicycle Coalition web site’s New Cyclist page at www.ebbc.org/NewCyclists, click on the "Get a Bike Buddy" button and follow the instructions. You'll provide information about yourself and what you need and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition will match you with an experienced cyclist who best can help you. Experienced riders can participate, too, by mentoring a new bicyclist on Bike to Work Day. Invite a new or younger cyclist to ride with you, and help them learn the rules of the road and the joys of riding a bicycle to work.


Photo courtesy of EBBC.

Cycling Suggestions
Whether you make the acquaintance of a new Bike Buddy or not, the East Bay Bicycle Coalition has a number of tips for new bicycle commuters:
  • Safety check your bicycle: Be sure that your tires are not cracked or worn through, inflate your tires to the pressure recommended on the tire sidewall, and be certain that your brakes are in good working order. If you will be riding in the dark, be sure your lights and reflectors are working.
     
  • Helmet: Wear a helmet and be sure it is adjusted so that it fits snugly and is seated properly across your forehead.
     
  • Apparel: Dress appropriately for the weather. Do you need to bring a change of clothing for your workplace? Roll up your right pant leg or buy a reflective strap to keep it from getting caught in or soiled by your chain.
     
  • Your route: Plan your route to work in advance. There are many good online resources to help you find safe cycling routes between your home and workplace. If your bicycle commute includes using public transportation, be sure you understand your carrier’s rules for bicycles. BART, for example, does not allow bicycles on some of its trains during commute hours.
     
  • Ride safely: Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers. Ride on the right side of the road, not on sidewalks or against the flow of traffic. Signal your turns. Stop at red lights and stop signs. Take the lane when road or safety conditions require it, but look and signal before you do that. Avoid the “door zone” by riding at least 4 feet from parked cars, even if this means riding out in traffic. Use lights and reflectors and dress so that you are visible if you must commute in the dark.
     
  • Take a free bike safety class:  The East Bay Bicycle Coalition provides free bicycle safety programs for adults, family and kids.  One recent participant said “I better understand ‘the rules’ and my confidence is increased, which raises the level of both my comfort and safety.” For a full list of upcoming classes, go to www.ebbc.org/safety.
     
  • Secure your bicycle: Find out if your workplace has a safe place to store your bicycle during work hours. If they don’t, buy a good lock, or better yet, two locks. Be sure to lock your bike to secure objects in such a way that your bike can not be lifted over or away from them.
     
  • If you don’t already have a bicycle, consider attending one of the Berkeley Bike Station’s monthly sessions on How to Buy a Bike. They don’t sell bikes, but they’ll give your great impartial information that will help you decide what bike will be best for your needs.  Go to www.ebbc.org/?q=calendar for upcoming workshop dates.

Above all, have a great time biking to work!

The East Bay Bicycle Coalition works for safe, convenient and enjoyable bicycling for all people in the East Bay and is supported by over 3,000 members. For more information, check out the organization’s web site at www.ebbc.org, follow them on Twitter @EBBC, or check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EastBayBicycleCoalition.

Tri-Valley Bike Month Events

Team Bike Challenge Meet & Greet
April 19, 5:30-7:30pm
El Balazo Restaurant, 5331 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton
Info at www.ebbc.org/tbc

Bay Bicycle Coalition Free Bicycle Safety Classes
May 1, 12-1 pm
Pleasanton City Council Chambers, 200 Old Bernal Ave., Pleasanton
A free workshop providing tips and tools for bicycle commuters

Free Flat Tire Repair Clinic
May 5, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Iron Horse Trail at Amador Valley Blvd intersection, Dublin
Get your bike ready for Bike to Work Day with a safety check from City Staff and Dublin Cyclery, including proper helmet fitting, flat tire fixes, and other basic bike maintenance.  Bring the whole family.

Bike to Work Day
May 10, All Day
Hacienda Energizer Station
East Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station
Join thousands of other Bay Area residents and commute via bike on this annual one-day event. Energizer Stations are set up throughout the Bay Area to offer giveaways, refreshments, and encouragement to cyclists as they commute.

Bike Donation Drive
May 12, 11am– 3pm
REI Dublin, 7099 Amador Plaza Road, Dublin
The City of Dublin, Cycles of Change and REI Dublin are teaming up to host a Bike Donation Drive!  Bring your gently used bicycles to REI Dublin and turn them into a tax-deductible donation, where they will be repaired, polished, and distributed for use in local youth programs and to disadvantaged residents throughout Alameda County, and get giveaways and a discount coupon from REI Dublin.

Bike to the Market
May 17, 4 – 8pm
Emerald Glen Park, 4201 Central Parkway, Dublin
Bike to the Dublin Farmer's Market – the first 50 cyclists to visit the City booth will earn a $5 Carrot Cash Voucher (good at any booth at the market). In order to receive your Carrot Cash, you must visit the Dublin Bikeways booth with either your bicycle or helmet as proof that you biked. No limit per family!
 

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