If you've ever been tempted to trade your car keys for a bike lock, Thursday, May 15 is the day to give it a try. Join at least 50,000 other commuters throughout all nine Bay Area counties in the 14th annual Bike to Work Day, the showcase event sponsored locally by the East Bay Bicycle Coalition (EBBC) and friends as part of National Bike Month.
According to the regional travel guide 511.org, "more than one million Bay Area residents live within five miles of their workplace, an ideal distance for bicycling. The work commute only represents 23 per cent of all trips," leaving plenty of room for improvement.
To encourage the switch to two wheels, on May 15 Energizer Stations will spring up along bike commute routes, offering refreshments, giveaways, information, and moral support to cyclists who have accepted the challenge. As a key sponsor of the event, Hacienda is supporting the effort, co-hosting a local Energizer Station with Pleasanton and Dublin. Signs at entrances to the business park, around BART, and in various spots in both cities will point the way to the local station, which will be open from 7 to 9 a.m.
Several other activities are planned to help Tri-Valley residents gear up for the event:
Sign-ups for the Team Bike Challenge begin April 1. Cyclist teams compete by earning points for each bike ride in May. "Hacienda businesses can form teams and challenge each other in online chat rooms," enthuses EBBC chair Dave Campbell. Last year Alameda County had the most teams competing, and "we intend to keep our crown!"
Bike Commuter of the Year Award nominations are due April 23. Acknowledge the "everyday cycling champions" in the neighborhood-people who "ride long distances, drop off kids at school, haul heavy loads, ride through rain, sleet, or dark of night."
Spring Bicycle Safety Classes cover the basics of safe cycling for adults 14 and over. The Day One Street Skills Class meets from 6 to 9:30 p.m., Thursday, April 17, at the Dublin Library, 200 Civic Plaza. Day Two, the six-hour road instruction class, will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, in the Pleasanton Tennis and Community Park Meeting Room, 5801 Valley Ave.
An ad campaign promoting cycling debuts on buses, in BART stations, and at least one prominent freeway billboard on April 28. EBBC will also be doing outreach at the Dublin Sports Fest on May 4. Watch for the four-page Bike to Work Day guide, with advice for a safe commute and a list of events, in the May 7 issue of East Bay Express, distributed throughout Hacienda.
May 15 closes with Bike Away From Work Party , from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe in Emeryville. Along with raffle prizes, silent auction items, and t-shirt sales, EBBC will present the Bike Commuter of the Year Awards for Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. You can find further details at w ww.ebbc.org and on the Bike to Work Day site at 511.org .
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