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Tomorrow is Bike to Work Day

Tomorrow will be the third annual C-U Bike to Work Day. For many it is nothing special to ride their bikes to work or school. They already ride their bikes every day, rain or shine. However, on May 1 cyclists will get to stop along their way for some snacks and a free t-shirt if they register to participate in C-U Bike to Work and School Day. There is a website where you can register to participate that includes great resources to help you plan your route, tips on commuting by bike, and more:

For others, though, biking to work or school is a challenge. It is something new. For some people, it will be a new experience — riding a bike to work or school for the very first time, or at least for the first time in a long while. One of the reasons for this event is to help folks discover just how easy it can be to commute by bicycle. At the bike stations you can pick up a local bike map and some literature on the rules of the road (in addition to snacks and free t-shirts), and maybe bicycling will become a more regular event in the future.

Bike to Work Day is about celebrating bicycling for those who already kick up their kickstands each morning, and about encouraging everyone else to give it a shot. It’s an opportunity for the entire community to see how we’d look on a bicycle diet. Even people who drive cars to work on May 1 can use it as an opportunity to learn how to drive more safely around cyclists (don’t pass too close on their left, look in your side mirror for cyclists before opening your car door when parallel parked, etc.).

Before last year’s Bike to Work Day, I shared some stats about the benefits of commuting by bike. Converting more car-commuters to bicycle-riders is not only good for the health of the rider, but it’s good for all of us because it reduces our community’s greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, decreases time in traffic for those left in their cars, and has a smaller impact on our streets and roads.

Champaign-Urbana is embracing bicycles and bike commuting. The University of Illinois was recently awarded bronze-level Bicycle Friendly University status by the League of American Bicyclists. Three businesses in town have been awarded Bicycle Friendly Business designations (Common Ground Food Coop and Rentertainment are bronze, and CUMTD is silver) and the City of Urbana is a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community.

Participating in C-U Bike to Work and School Day is a great way to say that you want to see even more bicycle-friendly improvements around town in the future, and to raise awareness about bicycling in general.

Whether you’re a daily bicycle commuter already or tempted to try it for the first time in your life, register for C-U Bike to Work Day today and join the fun on May 1!

Learn more at

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