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Preparations for Bike To Work Week

by Noah

Earlier this week, a number of local bicycling, environment and pedestrian advocates joined up to start planning Bike To Work Week 2008. Several local bloggers were among them, myself included. The month of May is Bike Month, and The League of American Bicyclists recommends for 2008 that the week of May 12-16 be set aside as a National Bike To Work Week.

Although LAB recommends it, it’s up to advocates and volunteers in every community to take action and organize the events. Obviously, individuals that know about it can simply opt to use their bike that week. Without people spreading the word, not many people outside the advocacy community would really know about it. May 12 sounds like a long ways off, but it’s a lot closer than you woud expect.

While plans are still in the brainstorming phase for Bike To Work Week in Kansas City, I can say that some interesting things are already lined up. Advocates sponsor a challenge the same week as BTWW to commute and run as many errands as possible without a car. The focus of this challenge is being broadened from bicycle commuting for your job to really get people to use any kind of alternative transportation for all kinds of trips including errands, meals, and to recreation destinations such as going to the movies.

Last year, the BTWW planning committee had events running not only during the week, but for both weekends surrounding it. This included partnering with Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition to get the word out to faith communities for worship events during May. Bicycle shops sponsored give-aways, cities and advocates sponsored breakfasts for car-free commuters, and there was an epic wrap-up party at a local brewery where participants shared stories, prizes were awarded for the various contests, and a good time was shared by all. Lining up events, rallying for volunteers, and getting organizations to get behind it is no small task. If there’s a Bike To Work Week schedule of events in your area, you should consider volunteering.

During the initial meeting this week, it was amazing to see all the committee members who actually had their first bike commuting experience as part of a Bike To Work Week event. Some as recently as last year, others from several years ago. Yesterday, Tim challenged us to get more people on bikes. Volunteering to help your local bicycling advocates prepare for Bike To Work Week is a great way to start. Now is the time.

Is there a locally-organized Bike To Work Week where you are? If so, what kinds of events do they plan? How many of you had your first commute by bike as part of one of these events?

 
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2 Responses to “Preparations for Bike To Work Week”

  1. Fritz says:

    Get cracking. Yes, May 12 is just around the corner.

    It seems like the LAB has a checklist of stuff to organize a BTWD/BTWM/BTWW, but I can’t find it at the moment.

    You should have sponsors lined up for giveaways for the breakfast stations, and breakfast stations to have lined up, and media commitments to cover it. You should have a local information website, hopefully paid for by the local MPO or air quality organization. You need to identify and contact each local bike-ped coordinator in every city in your region if they exist. You need to identify and contact each mayor and city council member and do your pitch for them to support BTWD in their cities, as well as show up at local transportation board meetings to do your pitch so they’re at least aware of Bike To Work Day. Put out press releases. Have Spanish translations for all of this material and reach out to the Latino community, which is probably the largest group of bike commuters in the United States.

    There’s more I’m sure — thoughts?

  2. If you have a bike to work event (or blog), please stop by biketoworkweek.org and have it added to the online map and events list.

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