OAKLAND, CA — Tens of thousands of new and seasoned bike commuters are getting ready to pedal to work on Thursday, May 12, as part of the 22nd annual Bay Area Bike to Work Day. Several hundred energizer stations sprinkled across all nine counties — manned by more than 1,000 volunteers — will cheer riders on and fuel them with refreshments. Local bike groups are planning a range of activities throughout the day and into the evening, including after-work happy hours to reward those who are pedaling to and from work that day. A number of local officials — including several commissioners from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the presenting sponsor of the event — will do their part by cycling to their offices on May 12.
Given that the majority of automobile trips are less than two miles long — barely worth the time and fuel it takes to pull into traffic — and the ever increasing congestion in the Bay Area, bicycling is an easy, efficient and healthy way to get to work, run errands and much more.
“Your commute can be enjoyable,” said MTC Chair and Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese. “You can get your daily exercise and also help improve air quality in your community and do your part to reduce traffic congestion throughout the region.”
While much of the focus is on Bike to Work Day proper, Bike to Work Week takes place May 9–13 in the Bay Area, while all of May is designated as National Bike Month, with many activities taking place throughout the region, including free bike repair workshops, bike safety classes and the like. Several major Bike to Work events are listed below. Commuters can stay on top of offerings in their area at the event website, YouCanBikeThere.com, and on social media streams at facebook.com/biketoworkday and on Twitter by following @BikeToWorkSFBay.
Also coming back to the Bay this year are the Team and Company Bike Challenge competitions, in which coworkers, friends and companies form teams and compete to log the most miles cycling during the month of May. A new and improved Team Bike Challenge tracking website, new rules and a first-ever smart-phone app will make it easier than ever to participate.
Another highlight of the season is the Bike Commuter of the Year Awards, recognizing one person in each of the nine counties who shows commitment to cycling for everyday transportation. Local bike coalitions and other organizations will announce the winners shortly on YouCanBikeThere.com.
Last year, even with the unseasonably late rain, participation was tremendous:
- More than 60,000 cyclists stopped at an energizer station on Bike to Work Day with thousands more participating in the event
- Almost 1,650 teams — over 11,724 individuals and 535 companies — took part in the Team & Company Bike Challenge, collectively riding almost 482,000 miles over the course of one month!
- Over 1,900 volunteers were on hand to ensure Bike to Work Day was a success
- Nearly 400 energizer stations located across the nine counties supported the riders with snacks and information
Major Bike Month Events*
- May 1–31 — Team Bike Challenge & Company Bike Challenge competitions
- May 9–13 — Bike to Work Week
- May 12 — Bike to Work Day*
- 5:30–9:30 a.m. — Bike to Work Day Super Energizer Station at Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point
- 7 a.m. — Bike to Work Day Pancake Breakfast at Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland (12th Street BART station)
- 8:30 a.m. — Bike to Work Day Press Conference at San Francisco City Hall
- 5:30–11 a.m. — Morning Bike to Work Day Energizer Stations
- 4–7 p.m. — Evening Bike to Work Day Energizer Stations
* Complete local event information and Energizer Station locations are available at youcanbikethere.com/2016/04/get-ready-to-bike-to-work-on-may-12/.
Presented by MTC, 511 and Kaiser Permanente, Bike to Work Day encourages local residents to try commuting on two wheels for the first time and celebrates those who bike to work regularly. Complete event information, including Energizer Station locations, is available at YouCanBikeThere.com.
In addition to MTC (the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area), 511 (the region’s traveler information system) and Kaiser Permanente, Bike to Work Day 2016 receives regional support from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Clear Channel Outdoor, Canary Foundation Challenge and Clif Bar, as well as from many sponsors at the local level. Bike to Work Day’s media sponsor is KPIX. Prizes for the Bike Commuter of the Year winners were donated by MTC, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), Chipotle and Mike’s Bikes. The event is made possible through the cooperation of thousands of volunteers, MTC, county congestion management agencies, local jurisdictions and local bicycling coalitions.
Hallie Baron, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, 415-793-7435
Leslie Lara, MTC, 510-817-5813