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Bike to Work Day Recap

Every year for the last 20 years, the East Bay Bicycle Coalition (EBBC) has organized Bike to Work Day in the East Bay. Over time, the number of participating cyclists has grown into the tens of thousands, and cities recognize the event as a landmark day that showcases the importance of our numbers. The East Bay is rapidly growing into a region with a strong bicycling commute mode share, and the campaign for safer, better streets for everyone is strengthened by the over 14,000 cyclists that biked by an Energizer Station on May 9.

Bike to School Day events are taking place throughout the month of May, with schools reporting high numbers of students riding to school. Of the 69 schools organizing events, 22 are holding their first ever Bike to School Day event. As of May 9th, a total of 2322 students biked to 44 schools spread throughout the County. 

“With a record number of East Bay Mayors jumping on their bikes today for Bike to Work Day we see how committed our cities are to becoming truly bicycle-friendly”, said East Bay Bicycle Coalition executive director Renee Rivera. “20 years after our first Bay Area Bike to Work Day was celebrated at Oakland City Hall, cities across the region are investing in new bike lanes, bike parking and more to make a healthy economical commute by bike easier for all East Bay residents.”

The 20th annual Bike to Work Day was a record-breaking event in terms of elected officials’ participation. A dozen mayors from Alameda and Contra Costa Counties rode their bikes to work and participated at Energizer Stations this morning. Mayor Tom Bates celebrated the opening of the West Street pathway in Berkeley, and announced an important commitment to becoming a more bike-friendly city. “I’m committed to making Berkeley the most bike-friendly city in America. Lowering our transportation GHG emissions is a key component of our award-winning climate action plan,” Mayor Bates said this morning at the press event. “Berkeley’s Bicycle Plan update when complete in 2015 will be the best Bicycle Plan in America – that’s my goal”. By getting on their saddle and meeting other cyclists, these twelve mayors demonstrated to their electorate via words and action that they support better bicycling in the East Bay. They are also setting the example for students and other commuters that anyone and everyone can bike to work.

Emeryville’s Car-Free Bike to Work Day 

The City of Emeryville, awarded the bronze Bicycle-Friendly Communities status in 2012, pledged to coordinate a car-free Bike to Work Day this year. The idea came up at Emeryville’s April Bike-Ped Advisory Committee meeting, when Pedal Express approached the city of Emeryville about contributing to Bike to Work Day. With 4 stations at different corners of the city, as many tables and hundreds of bags and giveaways, one of the biggest challenges with organizing Bike to Work Day is sometimes the initial setup.

“In past years, city staff has driven a pickup truck around the stations to deliver the tables and supplies,” wrote Peter Schultze-Allen, the Environmental Programs Analyst. “This year, Dominic Lucchesi and Nick Urffer from Pedal Express along with residents Laura and Svante Rodegard will ride cargo bikes to deliver the equipment to each energizer station and station hosts Clif Bar and Novartis have agreed to leave their vehicles parked and will walk or bike their equipment. Bike To Work Day will be a zero emission event in Emeryville!”

Bike to School Day Bigger than Ever

Close to 70 Alameda County schools are organizing bike events this Month, a number that has grown by 53% since 2012. As of May 9th, a total of 2322 students biked to 44 schools spread throughout the County. On an average day, the schools reported a cumulative total of 784 bicyclists – making today’s count a 338% increase!

Helping the effort out was the Bikemobile, a pilot program that hosts Bike Fix-a-thons at schools, community centers, parks, and community events across Alameda County.  The Bikemobile helps youth repair their bikes, teaches mechanics and safety, and provides accessories and decoration supplies, and will be making appearances at 15 different schools across Alameda County this May. Last year, it fixed over 521 bikes during the Month of May alone, enabling kids to ride to school safely.

Brett Nelson, the principal at Dougherty Elementary School in Dublin, is an active proponent of bicycling. He leads by example, regularly biking to work, and champions bicycling for all by having a kids’ bike rodeo and a family cycling workshop ahead of Bike to School Day. Dougherty Elementary’s Bike to School Day was held on May 8, with over 100 kids and one third of staff. “Not all the kids have bicycles or know how to ride. So some kids walked and some had to drive anyways. But we asked everyone to try, and told them that if they couldn’t ride, to try to walk or carpool.”

The staff also led by example with some friendly class competition, playing Queen’s Bicycle Race on the intercom and Principal Nelson promising to ride to the school every day of the week. “With all the tests and schoolwork,” Nelson said, “it’s tough to organize these events. But it’s also really important because those are the experiences that are going to stay with them. Promoting Bike to School days accomplishes a lot for a school; it promotes healthy living, reduces pollution from idling cars, reduces congestion around schools, and most importantly allows students and families the ability to share and create fond memories.”

Bike to Work Day Resources

  • Thirteen mayor participated in this year’s Bike to Work Day – did yours? See the full list here and thank your representative for supporting better bicycling in the East Bay.
  • Join or Start a Team in the Team Bike Challenge The Team Bike Challenge is a great way to start commuting to work by bike, and encouraging others to ride. Join a team and earn points every day you ride. Even better, get your friends and colleagues fired up to ride this May by organizing a team, or teams. Sign-up today – although only trips logged in May count!
  • Bike Friendly Business Awards: GU Energy Labs, Sports Basement Walnut Creek and Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center win 2013 Bike-Friendly Business Award

  • Bike Commuter of the Year Awards Every year, the EBBC recognizes two commuters as Bike Commuter of the Year. This year’s awards go to Janie Pinterits from Berkeley and Steve Kersevan from Brentwood. Meet them at our Bike Happy Hour Party on May 9th! 

  • <Request a Bike Buddy, Become a Bike Mentor: The Bike Buddy Program continues the good work started by our 1000 New Cyclists campaign. Our Bike Buddy Program helps people in the East Bay start riding their bikes for everyday transportation. We do this by matching new cyclists with Bike Buddies, experienced riders who will support you in your efforts.

 

  • Get Your Workplace Ready for Bike to Work Day Businesses can be bicycle-friendly in many ways, from providing secure bike parking, shower facilities, commuter checks for bike commuting, free bike safety classes, and more. Here’s how to get started.

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