For more information on National Bike to Work Day or the Corporate Challenge, contact coordinator Emmanuelle Vital at 846-1063.
For those who decide to bike to work next week, here's a checklist of things that may help you prepare for and enjoy your ride:
- Check the weather forecast and have rain gear if needed
- Wear a helmet
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated and you have a spare or patch kit
- Carry your work clothing, shoes and personal hygiene items
- Be predictable and visible to drivers
- Be aware of traffic and be assertive, not aggressive
- Share the road or trail with pedestrians and drivers
Imagine walking into your workplace with a big smile on your face, full of energy and the knowledge that you just did something good for yourself and the environment. You can stop imagining this picture and start experiencing it next week.
The city of Steamboat Spr-ings, in conjunction with Routt County Riders, is sponsoring the first annual Bike to Work Week from June 25 to 29. Event coordinator Emmanuelle Vital says the week will be filled with a schedule of events that centers around Bike to Work Day on June 27.
"On this day, we are hosting a breakfast on the courthouse lawn from 7 to 9 a.m. for all Bike to Work participants, with a live broadcast on KBCR and coverage by TV-18," she said. "We will also have a grand finale on Saturday, June 30, when Routt County Riders hosts Steamboat's first-ever Bicycle Cruiser Rally."
The bicycle rally will start from the courthouse parking lot at 9 a.m. and wind its way safely through the downtown area, ending at the courthouse parking lot. The purpose of the bike rally is for people and families to have fun while promoting a more bicycle-friendly community in the Yampa Valley.
Many local businesses also are sponsoring activities for Bike to Work Week for their employees. Mary Johnson, member of Yampa Valley Medical Center's Bike to Work Committee, is excited to help coordinate the first annual Bike to Work Week and Corporate Challenge.
"Various activities and incentives are being offered to encourage employees to bike to work. We anticipate a great amount of support and riders that week," she said.
The challenge also will spur an alternative transportation program set to begin July 1 and run through the remainder of the summer.
Those who have made biking part of their daily routines feel good about saving the environment and saving money. Dedicated cyclists can eliminate up to $3,000 in annual vehicle expenses by riding instead of driving.
Local event organizers are aware that most of us have never biked to work. Even people who enjoy recreational cycling might find it hard to exchange the gas pedal for the bike pedals.
But if you have a bike and you live a reasonable distance from work, Bike to Work Week could be the perfect opportunity to start experiencing the many health and environmental benefits of bicycle commuting.
If you're up for next week's challenge, you may want to start preparing now. Take a trial run on the route you plan to ride and time your ride. Pack a backpack with work clothes and bicycle necessities. On the big day, be sure to set your alarm earlier and give yourself plenty of time to ride safely at a comfortable pace.
By leaving the car at home and taking your bike, you can save on gas, improve your mental and physical health and reduce environmental pollutants - all while simply traveling to and from work.
Mindy Fontaine is Public Relations Coordinator for Yampa Valley Medical Center.