May is the perfect time to start biking to work, because Intercity Transit is running its Bicycle Commuter Challenge for the 32nd year this May.
The idea is to bike to work, school and on errands for the entire month.
Those who sign up for the challenge with Intercity Transit at https://bcc.intercitytransit.com will be given the opportunity to record all their biking miles on the organization’s web-based tracker.
“Commuting or running errands by bicycle is fun, healthy and a great way to connect with your community,” said Duncan Green, the event’s coordinator, in a press release. “And, the BCC provides a positive environment with information, support and encouragement that helps people get going by bike.”
Green said that driving alone to work, or around town puts about one pound a mile of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, so riding a bike around will prevent those carbon emissions.
In fact, a great deal of Washington state’s carbon emissions come from machines like cars.
“In our state, about half of the greenhouse gasses come for transportation-related activities,” Green said.”
When everything is tallied up, Green said that the Bicycle Commuter Challenge prevents 100,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere on a yearly basis.
And participants can get prizes for their commutes.
The grand prize this year is a bicycle vacation with Adventure Cycling, which is worth $3,800. There will also be three new bikes awarded at a value o $500 each. Finally, there will be 200 prizes given out, sponsored by local and regional companies.
The Bicycle Commuter Challenge sees about 1,000 participants each spring, willing to park their cars and grab the handlebars for a month.
Green said that Intercity Transit’s mission of finding and facilitating transportation options for the public is closely aligned with this challenge.
“We are more that just the bus company,” he said. “We are here to promote biking and support people getting around by sustainable means, and biking fits right into that mission.”
In addition, Green noted that all Intercity vanpool vehicles and busses have bike racks, encouraging a mixed mode of transportation when just biking isn’t possible.
Upcoming Bicycle Commuter Challenge Events:
• Earth Day Market Ride, Saturday, April 20. This neighborhood ride leads participants to the Olympia Farmers Market in downtown Olympia from 10 a.m. to noon. Starting locations can be found under the ‘events’ tab at https://bcc.intercitytransit.com.
• Bicycle Commuter Basics Class, Tuesday, April 23. Learn the basic skills to get comfortable with bicycling for transportation from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Intercity Transit Walk N Roll Youth Education Center, 215 N. Washington St., across from Olympia Transit Center
• Bike to Work Day, Thursday, May 16. Ride your bicycle to work and visit a bicycle station along the way for snacks and information. Station locations can be found locations can be found under the ‘events’ tab at https://bcc.intercitytransit.com.
• Note: To see a list of all the events for the 2019 Bicycle Commuter Challenge visit https://bcc.intercitytransit.com and go to the ‘events’ tab.