Seattle Parks invites community to take the Bike Month Challenge

Celebrate Bike Month this May and commute or recreate on two wheels.

Celebrate Bike Month this May and commute or recreate on two wheels.

May is Bike to Work Month and Seattle Parks and Recreation staff would like the community to join them on their mission to commute more on two wheels.

Bike Month is a 31-day push for people to ride their bikes to work, on errands or just for fun. Biking is a low-cost, eco-friendly way to travel. It’s been proven to reduce stress and provides low-impact exercise.

Cascade Bicycle Club hosts a Bike Month Challenge website where individuals, companies and teams can compete against one another in a free, online trip-tracking contest. According to the website, more than 2,400 people started riding for the first time during Bike Month in 2014, and this year, joining the effort is even easier.

Pronto! Cycle Share has 50 stations throughout the city, and new bicycle infrastructure has made commuting safer and more convenient. Plus, Bicycle Sundays start Sunday, May 3.

Seattle Parks has many parks with bike trails and maintains the Burke-Gilman Trail in partnership with Seattle Department of Transportation and the University of Washington.

In 2014, Seattle Parks’ participating staff logged 266 bike trips and pedaled 4,132.8 miles during the Bike Month Challenge. This year, the department hopes to travel even farther.

Ready to pedal? Share your Bike Month adventures, photos, favorite rides and tips with us on Twitter at @seattleparks.

Bicycle Sundays start May 3 along Lake Washington Blvd.

2015 Bicycle Sundays kick off May 3.

2015 Bicycle Sundays kick off May 3.

May is Bike Month, and we’re celebrating by kicking off the 50th anniversary series of Bicycle Sundays on May 3, 2015.

During Bicycle Sundays, a portion of Lake Washington Boulevard will be closed to motorized vehicles from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Seattle Parks and Recreation invites everyone in the community to bike, jog or stroll along the boulevard between the Seward Park entrance and Mount Baker Park’s beach during these times.

The 2015 event dates are:

  • May 3, 17, 31
  • June 21, 28
  • July 5, 12
  • Aug. 9, 16, 30
  • Sept. 13, 20

The Cascade Bicycle Club will sell helmets in Seward Park for $15 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and offer professional helmet fittings on June 21 and 28, July 5, Aug. 9, 16 and 30. King County law requires all cyclists to wear helmets. Wearing a properly fitted helmet reduces the risk of severe head injury by 85 percent.

Bicycle Sundays are sponsored by Seattle Parks and Recreation, Cascade Bicycle Club and Seattle Department of Transportation with the support of the Seattle Police Department.

For more information, including bicycle trail etiquette and traffic codes, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/bicyclesunday/. Mt. Baker Beach, Mt. Baker Rowing and Sailing Center and Seward Park remain open to all users.

 

Seattle Parks staff end Bike Month with 4,000+ miles under their belts

Seattle Parks Bike Month participant Chloe Wallace

Seattle Parks Bike Month participant Chloe Wallace

 

May was Bike Month, a 31-day push for people to ride their bikes to work, on errands and for fun. So naturally, this May Seattle saw about a 160 percent increase in average monthly rainfall. Good thing we Pacific Northwesterners are tough.

Seattle Parks and Recreation had three teams participate in Bike Month’s Adobe Commute Challenge presented by F5. Employees signed up and tracked their trip mileage online competing against teams from other City departments and businesses for top mileage.

The three Seattle Parks teams logged 266 trips and 4,132.8 miles total.

Management Systems Analyst Supervisor Eric Asp claimed nearly 850 miles, topping the chart for the department. He said he looks forward to the Commute Challenge every year and sees it as a way to get in shape for summer bicycling. “I have been riding for many years,” Asp said. “I like passing cars in rush hour traffic.”

Spin, Pedal, and Ride Team Captain and Community Center Coordinator Kyle Griggs logged the most trips for the department totaling 21. Griggs has ridden his bike to work consistently since January 2013 and has served as a team captain for Bike Month for the past three years.

Adobe Commute Challenge Seattle Parks team captain Kyle Griggs

Adobe Commute Challenge Seattle Parks team captain Kyle Griggs

“I really enjoy talking with either new bike commuters or individuals that are getting back on the bike for the first time in a while,” Griggs said. “Their excitement is infectious and it is awesome to see people enjoying themselves getting to work.”

Parks Naturalist Anne Bentley returned to regular riding after getting out of the habit. Bentley rode her bike to and from work every day in May.

“This month is the most consistent riding I’ve done since 1997 when I was training for a triathalon,” Bentley said. “Riding my bike to and from work is a mini vacation, and I liked secretly competing with my teammates to see who made the most trips.”

Environmental Communications Intern Chloe Wallace also overcame some challenges to participate in her first Bike Month. She spent May biking to and from the University of Washington and from the university to the Westbridge Parks facility in West Seattle. “The weather was pretty nice this month, but there was one day that I kept waiting for the rain to stop and it wouldn’t,” Wallace said. “So I put on all my rain gear and went for it anyway. Those are the days I’m most proud of biking. Even if I go at a slow pace, at least I’m out there.”

To learn more about Bike Month and to check out the 2014 results, visit http://commutechallenge.cascade.org/.