By Amy Poffenbarger
With any luck the weather will finally warm up a little for National Bike to Work Month in May this year. But just in case, keep your layers handy when you hit the streets this month. National Bike to Work Week starts May 16 and ends with National Bike to Work Day Friday, May 20.
There are lots of celebrations and activities around the Puget Sound area and across the region this month. Enjoy – and be safe out there!
Bike to Work Week Activities by City
May 1 – 31, Bicycle Commuter Contest
A month-long event for Thurston county residents. Log your miles and win prizes. Everyone who turns in a completed mileage log receives a packet of coupons and is eligible to win prizes (including one of several bikes) in random drawings. Win prizes for going the extra mile or riding the most often. Return a completed registration form and payment of $5 (18 or younger, FREE) in person or mail. Print a registration form from the web: http://www.intercitytransit.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/BCC-2011-registration-form.pdf
Celebrates its Bike to Work month in September. http://bikecommutechallenge.com/
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) offers challenges and rewards to bikers and businesses when they bike to work. The BTA’s annual Bike Commute Challenge is a friendly competition – workplace against workplace – with benefits for companies and individual cyclists when employees bike to work during the month of September.
May 1 – 31, The Group Health Commute Challenge. Register with firstname.lastname@example.org
May 12, 4 – 7 p.m., UW Trail Party at the Burke-Gilman Trail (between Brooklyn and University avenues). Roll by for discount bike gear, live music, complementary safety checks, bicycle fits and fun. www.cascade.org
May 20, 6 – 9 a.m., Bike to Work Day. Thousands of bike commuters will be rolling to work. Visit various commute stations for some “bike love” including Seattle, Bellevue, Lynnwood, Bremerton, Bainbridge Island Ferry, Kirkland, Issaquah, Renton, Kent, Everett, Bothell, Marysville Edmonds, and Everett. See an interactive map at http://www.cbcef.org/btw/btw_stations.html
May 20, 7:30 – 8 a.m., Ride with Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. From Gasworks Park to City Hall ride with Mayor McGinn and other elected officials. Leaves the Fremont Bridge Commute Station (Fremont Bridge at 318 Nickerson) at 7:30 a.m. to a rally at City Hall until 8:30 a.m. Join anywhere along the route.
May 20 from 4 – 7 p.m., Summer Streets Party. In partnership with Cascade Bicycle Club, the Seattle Department of Transportation is hosting the first Summer Streets party of the year on 22nd Street NW between Market Street and Ballard Avenue next to Bergen Place Park in Ballard.
June 7, 5 – 8 p.m., Bike Month Awards and Recognition Celebration at Pyramid Brewery, 1201 First Ave. S. Seattle, WA 98134. All Commute Challenge participants will receive a complimentary beverage ticket and a chance to win in an onsite drawing. Friends and families are welcome (but not eligible for free drinks or prizes.)
May 12, 7 p.m. Bike Commuting 101 at Snohomish County PUD, 2320 California St., Everett. Learn the art of bicycle commuting hosted by B.I.K.E.S. Club of Snohomish County. Includes how-to’s for clothing, routes, bikes, gear, traffic laws and techniques. Practice putting your bike on a bus bike rack and learn how to fix a flat tire.
May 16-June 17 Bike Commute Challenge, presented by B.I.K.E.S. Club of Snohomish County.
May 20, Bike to Work Day, 6-9 a.m. Celebration Stations with snacks, area maps and goodies throughout the region. Chance to win a new commuter bicycle courtesy of Harvy’s Bike Shop.
May 1-31, 2011, Spokane Bike Month. Celebrate by Bike to Work, Spokane is a group of volunteers working toward making bike commuting a more attractive transportation choice. Go to their website and create your registration to be added to their e-mail list. www.spokanebikes.org.
May 16 – 20, Bike to Work Spokane on Facebook and Twitter, www.facebook.com/BiketoWorkSpokane for updates.
May 1- 31 Bike to Work Commuter Challenge. Log trips at www.piercetrips.com. Sign up as a team or individual to participate. Log at least five trips during the month and be entered to win prizes including a $250 gift certificate to REI.
Free Flat Repairs, Tacoma Bike, 309 Puyallup Ave. During the month of May, free flat repairs; includes tubes and labor, but not tires.
May 16, 5 – 7 p.m., Bike to a Better Tacoma at The Hub, 203 Tacoma Ave. S. Bicyclists and city staff members talk about hopes, visions and plans for a more bike-able Tacoma. Meet members of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Committee; get updates on implementation of the Mobility Master Plan. Enter to win a $50 Hub gift certificate. Tacoma’s only valet bike parking.
May 19, 5 – 8 p.m., Zeit Bike: Bike Racket at the Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave. See innovative bicycle racks designed and fabricated by local artist and metalsmith Jennifer Weddermann-Hay. The racks will be permanently installed on the future Prairie Line Trail. Admission is free as part of Third Thursday.
May 20, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Bike Commuter Picnic and Fashion Show (RSVP required for lunch) at the Pierce Transit Theater Square, Broadway Street between South 9th and 11th avenues. Free lunch will be provided for the first 50 cyclists who RSVP to email@example.com with their name and employer by May 13. Sponsored by Downtown On the Go.
These organizations have a comprehensive collection of tips and resources for bicycle commuters.
Cascade Bicycle Club: www.cascade.org
Bicycle Alliance of Washington: http://www.bicyclealliance.org
Bicycle Transportation Alliance (Oregon): www.bta4bikes.org
Sound Transit: www.soundtransit.org
Oregon DOT: www.oregon.gov/ODOT
City of Portland: www.portlandonline.com/transportation
City of Seattle: www.ci.seattle.wa.us/html/citizen/bicycle.htm
Washington DOT: www.wsdot.wa.gov/bike/commuting.htm
Amy Poffenbarger is a Seattle-based writer who enjoys riding bicycles with her family and commutes by bicycle when she can.