With National Bike Month underway, local cycling enthusiasts are hitting roads and trails throughout the month and looking to resume a signature event to promote the alternative mode of transportation for commuting in the Tri-Valley.
This May is the 29th annual National Bike Month, recognized enthusiastically by all nine Bay Area counties, with Bike to Wherever Days throughout the month and the return of Bike to Work Day this Thursday (May 18) following years of adapted celebrations amid the shift to remote work brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in recent years.
"Bikes are a growing and important part of the transportation network around the Bay Area," said Alfredo Pedroza, chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). "In this time of change in commute patterns, it's critical that we look at all modes to get people moving in the region, and bikes play a big role."
With Bike to Work Day having served as one of the month's most high-profile events, the COVID-19 pandemic led to restructuring it as Bike to Wherever Day during the past three years. With the continued popularity of remote and hybrid work -- as well as bicycling -- this year marks the first in which biking to wherever and biking to work are both being celebrated.
While May 19 is National Bike to Work Day, the event will be a day earlier in the Bay Area to accommodate hybrid workers who often work remotely on Fridays, MTC officials said.
Bike to Work Day in the Tri-Valley is set to offer riders all the amenities and celebrations of pre-pandemic years, with incentives, prizes, and rewards for those who choose to bike for their commutes on May 18.
The cities of Pleasanton and Dublin are jointly hosting energizer stations equipped with refreshments, giveaways and other amenities at both BART stations -- the Dublin-Pleasanton Station at 5801 Owens Drive in Pleasanton and the West Dublin-Pleasanton Station at 6501 Golden Gate Drive in Dublin from 7-9 a.m.
Further east, Livermore will host an energizer station at the corner of Discovery Drive and West Jack London Boulevard from 7-9 a.m. offering bottled water and snacks.
San Ramon Valley riders can start the day at two different energizer stations -- one at the intersection of the Iron Horse Regional Trail and Bollinger Canyon Road in San Ramon, hosted in partnership with the city and Bishop Ranch from 7-10 a.m., and the other on the Iron Horse Trail in Danville behind Lunardi's at 35 Railroad Ave. from 7-9 a.m.
Participants are encouraged to pledge to ride on May 18 in advance in order to secure a "digital goody bag" as well as a free tote bag that they can pick up from any of the energizer stations.
In addition to the return of the month's signature event on May 18, the Tri-Valley will see other rides and classes aimed at preparing novice urban riders to commute on Bike to Work Day.
Thousands of Alameda County students were due to take part in this year's Bike to School Day on May 11, according to the Alameda County Transportation Commission as part of its Safe Routes to Schools program. The effort's aimed at promoting active transportation amongst students, also making its return in full force this year following COVID-19 closures over the past three years.
Earlier this month, Contra Costa students participated in National Bike and Roll to School Day on May 3, organized by StreetSmarts Diablo.
Dublin will host a two-day Urban Bicycling 101 class this weekend (May 13 and 14) at the city's library at 200 Civic Plaza. The first day is set to be classroom-based, before participants practice their road skills starting at the library parking lot on day two. The workshop is set for 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Those who complete both days of the workshop will receive free bike lights.
Nearing the end of the month, Dublin officials are hosting a Bike to the Market Day on May 25, with $5 in "market money" being disbursed to two-wheeled visitors to the city's Farmers Market at Emerald Glen Park between 4-5 p.m., as well as a group ride kicking off with music and water at 100 Civic Plaza at 5:30 p.m. and ending at the market.
More information on National Bike Month events, including Bike to Work Day in the Tri-Valley and greater East Bay, is available at bikeeastbay.org.