By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
This month National Bike To Work week will be celebrated from May 16-20. On Friday, May 20, Oklahoma City will offer free giveaways and discounts in the downtown area during Bike to Work Day.
Morning bicycle commuters can meet up with neighbors, new friends and fellow cyclists at Myriad Gardens for free coffee and breakfast from Junction Coffee, courtesy of Downtown OKC.
Group rides to Myriad Gardens begin at 7:15 a.m. from five neighborhood parks: McKinley Park, 1300 N McKinley Ave.; John F. Kennedy Park, 1824 NE 16; Edgemere Park, 3301 N Harvey; Perle Mesta Park, 1900 N Shartel; and Wiley Post Park, 2021 S Robinson Ave.
Ward 5 Oklahoma City Councilman David Greenwell will speak at 7:35 a.m. about the importance and role of commuting by bicycle and public transportation.
This is the eleventh year that Oklahoma City has participated in the national Bike to Work Day program. Partners for the event include the City of OKC, Downtown OKC and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
“This year’s Bike to Work Day will be our best yet, thanks to the many partners working together to provide opportunities for people who choose to ride their bikes,” said City of OKC Planning Director Aubrey Hammontree.
“This type of community support and collaboration is critical to advancing our goal of creating a safer and easier environment for people to ride bikes for both recreation and transportation.”
Nine businesses in Downtown and Midtown will be offering discounts and other incentives for cyclists during lunch and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation will provide some cool bike swag for cyclists.
Participating businesses offering Bike to Lunch discounts are: Bow & Arrow Boutique, 617 N Broadway Ave: Brown’s Bakery, 1100 N Walker Ave; Coffee Slingers Roasters, 1015 N Broadway Ave; Elemental Coffee, 815 N Hudson Ave; Peloton Wine Bar & Café, 900 N Broadway Ave; Perch’d, 14 NW 9th St.; Slaughter’s Hall Bar and Deli, N Central Ave; and The Black Scintilla, 1112 N Walker Ave #104.
Bike to Work Day also coincides with the free fares on EMBARK and free Spokies bike-sharing rentals, which are offered as part of Free Fare Friday on the third Friday of each month April through September.
Commuting on a bicycle will get even easier in Oklahoma City as work nears completion of BikeWalkOKC, the City’s first bicycle-pedestrian master plan.
This initiative shows how to plan and build a complete bicycle and pedestrian network through the city to promote safer, healthier and more enjoyable active transportation choices.
“Biking to work is a painless ‘hands on’ way you can feel good about yourself by increasing your cardio exercise and lessening the use of fossil fuels,” said Oklahoma City resident and avid biker, James Nimmo.
National Bike Month is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to highlight the many benefits of bicycling and to encourage more people to give biking a try.
According to the League, forty percent of all trips in the U.S. are less than two miles, making bicycling a feasible and fun way to get to work. With increased interest in healthy, sustainable and economic transportation options, from 2000 to 2013, the number of bicycle commuters in the U.S. grew by more than 62 percent.
Map routes for Bike to Work OKC Day can be found here.