Monday, April 25, 2011

May is Bike Month – celebrate by cycling!

Spring is in the air (hopefully!?) and bicycles are taking to the streets. Sure, there are plenty of die-hard cyclists in this soggy region who bike year-round. But for the rest of us mortals, May marks the annual Bike Month when we’re inspired to dust off our bikes, tune up the tires and hit the roads.

This year, National Bike to Work Day will be held on Friday, May 20. You’ll find Celebration Stations set up all over the Puget Sound region, where bicycle commuters can stop by for healthy snacks, bike safety checks and some cyclist camaraderie. Community Transit has participated in Bike to Work Day events in Snohomish County since 2001, partnering with Everett Transit as part of both agencies’ commitment to helping businesses reduce employee drive-alone trips. The 2011 Bike to Work Day will see nine Celebration Stations around the county – find the one nearest your home or your workplace.

Community Transit also hosts the annual Bike Commute Challenge, presented this year by B.I.K.E.S. Club of Snohomish County.
Teams of co-workers, neighbors and friends compete with each other for bragging rights and some stellar prizes. Last year saw 148 teams participate in the Bike Commute Challenge, logging over 85,000 miles and removing 10,453 single-occupancy vehicle trips from Snohomish County’s roadways. These cycle-powered trips eliminated 69,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, too – we can all breathe easier about that.

If you’re a past participant, welcome back! If you’re new, there are lots of resources to get you ready for your trips, whether you’re trying Bike to Work Day for the first time or going all-out in the Bike Commute Challenge. Several local groups even offer biking classes that’ll help get you road-ready (for Bike to Work events and classes in King County, visit Cascade Bicycle Club).

2011 Snohomish County Bike to Work Events

April 28 - Bike to Work Kick-Off Event
3 – 6 p.m. at Everett Station, 3201 Smith Ave., Everett.
Learn about the Bike Commute Challenge and how you can form a team. Stop by for a snack, check out the commuter bike display, practice with a bus bike rack and pick up Bike to Work brochures and posters to educate and encourage your co-workers, neighbors and friends.

April 30 - Alderwood REI CycleFest
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 3000 184th St. SW, Suite 952, Lynnwood.
This event is designed to get you pumped about riding your bike. If you commute, race, ride or roll, you won't want to miss CycleFest. Your favorite vendors will be here as will local rides, races and clubs.

May 12 - Bike Commuting 101
7 p.m. at Snohomish County PUD, 2320 California Street, Everett.
Get some advice on how to get started as a new bicycle commuter at this friendly class hosted by B.I.K.E.S. Club of Snohomish County. Learn about clothing, routes, bikes and gear, traffic laws and techniques, plus you can practice putting your bike on a bus bike rack and learn how to fix a flat.

May 20 - Bike to Work Day
6 – 9 a.m. at various locations
Find the Snohomish County Bike to Work Day Celebration Station location closest to you. Stop by and celebrate!

June 11 - Brunswick Majestic Lanes Bike & Bowl
2:30 – 5 p.m. at 1222 164th St., Lynnwood
Bike to Brunswick Majestic Lanes and get two games and shoe rental for $10 per person. Space is limited and is first-come, first-served. Brought to you by Curb the Congestion, a Community Transit program.

May 16 – June 17 - Snohomish County Bike Commute Challenge, Presented by B.I.K.E.S. Club of Snohomish County
Teams of 4 to 10 members compete for prizes and bragging rights. Register online by June 3 and log those trips!


  1. It’s the time of year when we get comments about bike capacity on buses, why we celebrate Bike to Work on Friday (when people with flexible schedules often take Fridays off) and other barriers to bicycling.

    For instance: “I am hearing that the transportation agencies promote the Bike to Work event, however there is little actual support by these companies for the biker, examples are: not enough bike racks on buses, bus drivers not allowing bikers to bring bikes on buses, therefore people having to lock bikes up unprotected and vulnerable to being stripped or stolen. Many people may choose to participate in BTW and other events by a combination of busing or driving part way to work and biking part way, however with a lack of space for bike storage on buses workers choose to not be hassled and just opt to do their usual drive commute.”

  2. We are aware that a single Bike to Work Day - whether Friday, Thursday or some other day - might not fit some people's schedules. Some work sites organize their own, on-site bike to work activities and celebration on a different day. The month-long Bike Commute Challenge starts on the Monday of that week, so there is lots of flexibility.

    Community Transit has addressed the bike rack capacity issue by allowing bus drivers discretion to let bikes be brought on board for the past several years. If a Community Transit driver gives someone a hard time about bringing a bike on board when the bus is not crowded, that should be reported to the agency. Everett Transit and Sound Transit do not allow bikes on board buses.
    Another solution to full bike racks and parked bike security may be to rent a bike locker at a park & ride - many are now available (including at Everett Station).

    There are all sorts of personal reasons people might choose not to participate in Bike to Work Day - we cannot address them all. What we can do is offer a fun event that encourages people to overcome their personal barriers and give it a try - on whatever day, in whatever way works for them.