Home » Bicycle Commuter Contest is For Businesses Too!

Bicycle Commuter Contest is For Businesses Too!

Olympia/Thurston County WA –The nationally recognized Bicycle Commuter Contest is gearing up this month for its 24th season in Thurston County.  The month-long Bicycle Commuter Contest, administered by Intercity Transit, encourages new and veteran cyclists to ride to work, school and on errands during the month of May and rewards them with prizes, camaraderie,
cash savings and physical fitness.

Event organizers expect a good turnout this year, especially given the recent and dramatic increases in gas prices, now nearly $4 a gallon.  In market research of commuters conducted in 2009, 94 percent of those surveyed said they would make transportation changes if gas prices rose to $4 (Source: 2009 Market Segmentation Study).

Intercity Transit officials acknowledge that the unstable economy, rising gas prices and concern about climate change, energy independence, and resource preservation are top-of-mind issues to many.  “Our community is concerned about sustainability, and individuals seek effective ways to decrease their own impacts,” states Sandra Romero, chair of the Intercity Transit Authority and a Thurston County Commissioner.  “Riding a bicycle is a simple way to address all these issues with one single action.”

Participation in the Bicycle Commuter Contest has grown dramatically in recent years.  Last year, more than 1,300 people registered and rode their bicycles in communities throughout Thurston County and six area jurisdictions provided proclamations supporting the event.  Participants logged more than 11,765 commute trips by bicycle, more than 80,000 miles traveled, and 3,674 gallons of gasoline saved in the 2010 event.

The Bicycle Commuter Contest, recognized by the American Public Transportation Association for its innovation and success on a shoestring budget, encourages people to get acquainted – or reacquainted – with cycling as a viable and attractive form of transportation.  Participants simply register in April, ride their bicycles in May and record their miles traveled. “Commute trips,” are defined as trips to work, to school and on errands done by bicycle, count toward contest prizes. For this event, recreational miles do not count, as the program rewards only trips that otherwise might be made by car.  To receive prizes, riders must return their completed
mileage logs to Intercity Transit in early June.

Registration forms are available at area bike shops, the Olympia Transit Center or by visiting www.intercitytransit.com or www.bccblog.com.  Adult registration is $5 and ages 18 and under register free. Organizers encourage teams to form and compete against each other for team prizes.  Participants must register by May 6.

Event organizers indicate how much an individual rides is up to him or her and any participation pays dividends.  Bicycle commuting provides a built-in workout, saves on gas costs and
automobile wear and tear, contributes to reducing air pollution and supports individual and
community health.  “It’s a win-win-win for the individual, the community and the planet,” states Duncan Green, coordinator of the Bicycle Commuter Contest for the past three years.

The contest provides cycling tips and educational opportunities, free bicycle safety checks, and awards prizes and gifts to riders of all abilities and ages, thanks to generous donations from more than 50 businesses and local merchants.  Cyclists also submit feedback on cycling conditions of roads, bike lanes and bike paths throughout Thurston County.

Intercity Transit compiles this data and reports it to area jurisdictions, which consider the information when they make decisions about future bicycling infrastructure development.
Bike and Bus. Riding the bus can serve as a complement to bicycling when weather, distance, or schedules warrant.  Bike-and-ride services are available on all Intercity Transit bus routes, including Express service between Olympia and Tacoma. Every Intercity Transit bus, except the Dash shuttle, is equipped with bike racks, as are connecting Pierce, Mason and Grays Harbor transit systems.

For bicyclists interested in the bike-and-bus option, bike lockers are available on a low-cost, first-come basis at the Olympia and Lacey Transit Centers. These locking units safely protectbikes and cycling gear. Rental is $8 a month with a 3-month minimum ($15 key deposit).  To rent a locker, call Intercity Transit at 360-786-8585.

For information about the Bicycle Commuter Contest, contact Duncan Green, 360-705-5874, or Customer Service, 360-786-1881.  You can also get contest information materials at local bicycle shops.  Bike and Ride information is available in the agency’s Transit Guide, at the Olympia Transit Center, area Timberland Libraries and Safeway stores, or by contacting 360-786-1881, or www.intercitytransit.com.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.