WASHINGTON — Try it. You might like it. That’s the goal behind Bike To Work Day on May 18 in the D.C. region.
The effort to promote bicycling as an environmentally clean, fun and healthy way to get to work will include 100 pit stops throughout the region, where there will be food, prizes, bike maps, bicycle tuneups and more.
The first 20,000 cyclists to preregister by May 11 can pick up a free T-shirt at their pit stop.
“A lot of the pit stops have what are called commuter convoys, so they have really experienced cyclists that know how to get where you’re going,” Commuter Connections Director Nicholas Ramfos said.
“It allows you to feel a little bit better about not being by yourself surrounded by traffic.”
Ramfos also recommends novice cyclists take the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s Confident City Cycling Class before the event.
The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, through its Commuter Connections program, organizes Bike To Work Day along with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.
“We have two core components of programming,” said the association’s Kristin Frontiera. “We have advocacy and education; community organizing, to get people excited and motivated about making their streets safer; as well as an outreach and education component to get people confident riding bikes in the city.”
The most recent Bike To Work Day survey from 2016 suggests the test ride has the desired effect on some cyclists.
“About 14 percent of the participants had never commuted by bicycle to and from work in the past,” Ramfos said. “And after the event, there were almost 30 percent that cycled almost three days a week.”