As the cherry blossoms turn and the thermometer ticks up, you may notice more cyclists in city bike lanes. This can only mean one thing – Bike to Work Day is quickly approaching! On Friday, May 17, goDCgo and many other local organizations and businesses will be celebrating bicycling as a clean, fun, and healthy way to get to work – and you’re invited! Before we share registration information and locations for the celebratory events, let’s reflect on how far biking has come in the nation’s capital.
- According to the 2017 ACS Survey, 5% of DC’s commuters bike to work. When compared to other cities nationwide, DC ranks #4 after New York City, Portland and Chicago for the most bicyclists. When comparing states, DC ranks #1 for bike commuters.
- The increase of bike commuters can be partially attributed to the expansion of Capital Bikeshare (CaBi). CaBi began in 2010 with 49 stations and 400 bikes. Today, the service has expanded to over 500 stations with close to 5,000 bicycles.
- DC’s support of biking has also expanded in a big way. Currently, there are more than 140 miles of trails, bike lanes, and cycletracks throughout the city. This is one of the reasons Bicycling Magazine has ranked DC in the top 15 best bike cities in America.
It's these factors and more that make our city an amazing place to ride a bike. So, lets get back to Bike to Work Day (BTWD) business.
BTWD is an annual event that celebrates commuters who bike to work regularly and encourages everyone to give it a try. To put it simply, it's better to bike. It's cheaper than driving to work, improves your health, and is better for the environment. Despite the rain on BTWD 2018, 17,000 people still commuted to work by bike.
Registration is free, so hop on your seat and be counted! If you are one of the first 20,000 people to register, you'll get a free Bike to Work Day t-shirt.
If you don’t want to bike alone, you can find a ride buddy on the Washington Area Bike Forum. There, you can look for riding buddies, ask questions about commuting and route selection, and discuss bicycle safety, advocacy and so much more. If strength in numbers is your thing, you should join one of the free BTWD Commuter Convoys which are led by experienced volunteer bicycle commuters. To join, simply meet the convoy group at the start location at the start time, or you can meet up with them anywhere along their route as they pedal by. Just make sure you registered for BTWD prior to meeting the group.
As you're pedaling to work, don’t forget to stop by one of the pit stops for refreshments, snacks, and prizes provided by various local vendors. There are 30 pit stops in DC and over 100 around the DMV! Find your pit stop.
Perhaps you have not been on a bike in a while, or maybe you want to sharpen your skills. The Washington Area Bicycle Association has several classes and seminars that may be a good fit for you.
Lastly, we want to thank the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments for organizing this event along with the many sponsors. Happy riding!