Tip of the Month – May 2015
It’s a celebration of bikes; a reminder to get rolling again; a gateway to riding more often; a time to evangelize the beauty of bikes; and much, much more. Since 1956, May has been recognized as National Bike Month and the League of American Bicyclists has sponsored this celebration of bicycling for decades. National Bike to Work Week and Bike to Work Day are often cited as the month’s flagship events—but Bike Month is about so much more than just getting to and from the office.
Bike East Bay went out and asked local bicyclists why they ride. It turns out, we all have different reasons; some of us ride because it’s cheap or because it’s simply the easiest way to get around. Others ride because they believe riding bikes is a way towards strengthening their community’s sustainability and health.
With growing cultural awareness around health and wellness, sustainability and economic savings, bicycling is being seen by new and broader audiences as a simple solution to many complex problems, from reducing obesity rates to increasing mobility options. And while a Saturday ride on the Iron Horse trail demonstrates the growing number of multi-generational bicyclists—the National Household Travel Survey showed that the number of trips made by bicycle in the U.S. more than doubled from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009.
This year’s Bike to Work Event is scheduled for Thursday, May 14th. Throughout the East Bay, there will be over 100 Energizer Stations to fuel your journey to work, school and about town. The event’s organizers, 511.org and Bike East Bay have a simple webpage to help you find an Energizer Station along your route. Visit https://bikeeastbay.org/energizer for an interactive map of where and when on May 14th, you can pick up your free Bike to Work Day canvas bag and other goodies to make the ride fun. Take the pledge to ride this May at the You Can Bike There website http://www.youcanbikethere.com/ and be entered to win prizes at the end of the month.
Bike commuting is a growing phenomenon with over a 62% rise since 2000. Bicycling is a ‘zero-pollute’ travel option and the Bay Area is the best place in the country to ride a bike to work, school, on errands or to a local restaurant for lunch or dinner. There are thousands of miles of bike paths, lanes and routes and the 511BikeMapper http://gis.mtc.ca.gov/btp/ can help you find them. For longer trips, combine bicycling and public transit and 511.org will guide the way with information about taking bikes on transit http://bicycling.511.org/infrastructure/transit.aspx
Need more reasons to consider riding your bicycle this season? One study showed that the average bike commuter lost 13 lbs. in the first year without changing their diet. While that’s enough to get me ‘back in the saddle’, 511 Contra Costa is rewarding folks who make the change from driving alone to bicycling—or carpooling, taking transit or walking. The Drive Less Commuter Incentive Program provides eligible participants a $50 check. To receive the incentive you must live or work in Contra Costa County, be 18 years of age or older, would otherwise drive alone to work and lastly, complete the brief questionnaire to determine the effectiveness of their program. Want to apply? Visit http://511contracosta.org/commuterprogram/ to get started today.
We want to know what motivates you to ride your bike locally. Is there anything that would encourage you to use this transit mode more often? We want to hear from you. Send us your pictures from Bike to Work Day and join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sustainabledanvillearea or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.