Published April 15, 2014
Volume 22, Number 4

Bike to Work Day Gets Commuters on Two Wheels

Bike to Work Day

By Zoe Francis

Get on your bikes and ride.
That is precisely what everyone is encouraged to do on the 20th annual Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 8. Leave your motorized wheels at home and hop on your bike to get to work.
“It’s about getting that critical mass of bicyclists on the streets so that they lead by example,” Cynthia Armour, Bike East Bay’s project manager, explained.“It’s a very visible event where we encourage cyclists to bike to work and provide them with the resources so that they see how easy and feasible it is.”
Bike East Bay, formerly the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, hosts Bike to Work Day in the East Bay with multiple sponsors, including Hacienda. Various cycling groups host the event in other counties throughout the Bay Area. Last year, more than 15,000 cyclists took part in Bike to Work Day.
“What we’ve seen long term is that there is an impact on commute patterns and on people’s health,” Armour said. “People who start bicycling on Bike to Work Day tend to continue bicycling throughout the year. There are people who come to us and say, ‘I started biking on Bike to Work Day five years ago. I bike to work every day. It changed my life. It’s been great.’ “
There are a multitude of reasons why people should bike to work, including improving their health, helping the environment, getting cars off the road and simply taking time to enjoy the great outdoors.
“Our mission is to help make the East Bay a safe, convenient and enjoyable place for all people to bike,” Armour noted. “Through Bike to Work Day, the main goal is to get more people on bikes. It improves people’s lives by making them healthier and happier.”
“It’s also just pure fun,” she added. “Biking to work can be so much less stressful and more of a peaceful and fun commute. You get to work energized, and you’re happy about your commute. You’re not stressed out.”
Bike to Work Day is a fantastic way to encourage people to hop on their bikes, despite any reservations they may have about biking to work.
“It pushes people to make that jump,” Armour said. “It can be daunting to bike five miles, especially if you’ve never done it before. A lot of people don’t realize how fast they can get to work on their bike and how little of a hassle it actually is.You arrive at work, and you’re not as sweaty as you think it would be. It’s a very liberating experience. It doesn’t take as long as you think it would take.”
Bicyclists will be treated to refreshment and goodie bags at Energizer Stations along their commute routes. Tri-Valley bicyclists may also enter giveaways at the stations for a variety of prizes.
Hacienda, a Big Wheel sponsor of Bike to Work Day, will again host an Energizer Station at the east Dublin/Pleasanton BART station, just outside the turnstile. Last year, more than 500 bicyclists stopped at that station.
Energizer Stations are “the visible presence on the street,” Armour said. “People who didn’t know about Bike to Work Day and didn’t bike to work on that day see hundreds of people stopping by these tables or booths and are inspired by all the cyclists they see.”
A free bike safety class for adults and teens will be offered Friday, May 2 from noon to 1 p.m. at 4305 Hacienda Drive in the first-floor conference room. Visit bikeeastbay.org/education for more information and to register.
For more information about Bike to Work Day, including a map of Energizer Stations, visit ebbc.org/btwd.


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