Confession: My favorite day of the year is Bike to Work Day. And that is saying something, since my birthday happens to fall on one of the most popular holidays of the year. My birthday is a double-win for me personally and I still love BTWD more, because it combines so many of my favorite elements – bicycling (because it saves the environment, saves me gas money, and contributes to my health), the community coming together in support of bicycling (again, for all the aforementioned reasons), free delicious food, and a general attitude of fun and frivolity.
This year’s BTWD on June 26 in Fort Collins was awesome – thousands of people rode, despite the heat (many of us found that after a pleasant morning ride, our commute back home after work was in the 90′s!). There were morning stations and afternoon stations, prize drawing and old-time photo booths… all in all it was awesome.
This year I got an early start and rode myself, before heading to Council Tree Library to help out with the Library BTWD booth. As a library employee, I was asked to participate on the Library Green Team. The Poudre River Public Library District is part of Climate Wise (a City of Fort Collins environmental initiative program to encourage local businesses to be environmentally friendly) and this year we are trying to move from the Gold level to the Platinum level. Part of this requires us to do at least 2 employee challenges.
The Green Team challenge, which we are in our second year of doing, is our Summer Drive-Less Challenge. For the 3 summer months we encourage all library employees to be creative and find other means of transportation to get to work. Biking is obviously a major option, but walking, busing, carpooling etc. are also included. Really anything that does not involve one individual’s solo use of a gas tank will be counted (despite mentioning it 2 years in a row, no one seems to have gone for the “pogo stick” idea…) and we keep track, do monthly drawings for prizes and have a reward at the end of the summer for the person who did the most trips to work sans car, and the person who covered the most miles. All 3 library locations are on bus lines and have a lot of options for bike parking. Walking, skateboarding, running, rollerblading, even pogo-sticking… we would love to see you come in with a helmet under your arm!
I hope that those of you who participated in BTWD this year had as much fun as I did, and those of you who did not, at least enjoyed seeing the influx of bikers that day, and maybe got encouraged to get out there yourselves. Either way, biking to work or the store, or any other location, is something I hope you will consider the next time you have somewhere to go – enjoy the summer weather, get yourself some vitamin D and burn some calories while saving gas. Everyone wins!
Did you know? The North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization (NFRMPO) has it’s own alternative transportation website to help you track your trips – the site is www.smarttrips.org, anyone can create an account and see how many miles and pounds of CO2 (among other things) they save with alternative transportation!
Some resources for you…