Bike to Work Day: 11 tips for employees biking to work April 19

Workiva bikers in 2016. (photo by city of Scottsdale)

Commuters throughout the city of Scottsdale are preparing to ditch their automobiles for a simpler mode of transportation on Wednesday, April 19, to participate in Bike to Work Day.

Bike to Work Day is a day designated as part of Valley Bike Month festivities to give bike commuting a try, according the city of Scottsdale website.

The city recommends a number of tips for riders to consider to have a successful and enjoyable trip to work.

Tips for residents participating in Bike to Work Day:

  • Use bike maps to play your route ahead of time: Riders might not take the same route they would in a car, and there’s often a quieter or more scenic option on paths or through neighborhoods. Check-out this interactive map for citywide bikeways, unpaved trails and path crossings like tunnels and bridges: http://eservices.scottsdaleaz.gov/maps/public-amenities
  • Try a practice run: Before having to bike on a schedule, try to plan out your route.
  • Check out the bike a few days before trying the full commute: Make sure the tires aren’t losing air, chain is moving and shifting smoothly and brakes are working properly.
  • Is there support at work? Find out what, if any, support your office provides for bike commuters, such as showers for employees.
  • Put together a biking essentials kit: At a minimum, bring the following items: water, helmet, sunscreen and a bike clock.
  • Will lighting be needed? If there’s any chance of biking in the dark, riders will also need a front light and a red rear reflector or light, which are required by law. Bike shops will have the most selection, but the minimum lights can be purchased for less than $10 at hardware stores, discount department stores like Target or Walmart, and sporting goods stores.

    A bicycle officer patrolling around Scottsdale City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. (photo by Melissa Fittro)

  • Freshen up at work: Riders will probably also want to bring a toiletries kit to freshen up when they get to work, and if riding in work clothes isn’t an option, some riders might need to bring a change of clothes. Consider bringing these items in earlier in the week to have less to carry.
  • Consider finding a bike buddy: Depending on the size of an office, riders might be able to find a co-worker who bikes from the same part of town. If there aren’t partners within the office, Valley Metro offers a Share the Ride program here: https://www.sharetheride.com/public/Home.aspx
  • If riders are riding alone, let someone know: Make sure a friend or co-worker knows of employees commuting by bike and when they should expect to either see or hear from the rider.
  • Have a fully-charged cell phone and a backup plan: Just as drivers would with a car, make sure to have a backup plan in case of bike problems or an emergency. It’s a good idea to bring a bus card or money for a cab, or have a ride service contact.
  • Get out of the all-or-nothing mentality: Riders don’t have to bike 20 miles or 15 miles, or event five miles, if they don’t want to. Riders can participate in Bike to Work Day anyway they want. Maybe that means driving to a Park and Ride, and then biking to work from there. Combining a bike ride with public transportation is another option.

In addition to participating in a city-wide initiative, reducing pollution and congestion, riders can be rewarded with a Starbucks discount and a free t-shirt.

Send a photo during the bike commute, with your name, address and shirt size to Susan Conklu at SConklu@Scottsdaleaz.gov, to receive a free bike month t-shirt while supplies last, the city website states.

Starbucks at the following locations are offering a discount for Bike to Work Day riders. On April 19, patrons who are participating in Bike to Work Day will receive 20 percent off their order order:

  • Scottsdale Road and Thomas Road;
  • Scottsdale Road and Goldwater Boulevard;
  • Scottsdale Road and Indian School Road;
  • Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall;
  • Hilton Village;
  • Scottsdale Road and Indian Bend Road;
  • Hayden and Osborn roads;
  • Hayden Road and McCormick Parkway.

Riders participating in Bike to Work Day are encouraged to share their photos and stories on social media using #BikeScottsdale and #ValleyBikeMonth.

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