When Bike to Work Week kicks off May 17, pedaling to the office may not be the first thing that comes to mind for some North Texans, especially if the COVID-19 pandemic has them working from home.
But that provides an opportunity for creativity. The League of American Bicyclists, founder and sponsor of this annual event, is asking participants to simply bike more during the week as well as during Bike Month, celebrated throughout May. The North Central Texas Council of Governments is also encouraging people to get out and ride more, regardless of where they plan to go.
The growing active transportation network, which includes the Regional Veloweb, as well as supporting community trails and bikeways across the Dallas-Fort Worth area, provides many options to travel by bicycle to commute, run an errand, go to a coffee shop, meet with friends or exercise.
People who have returned to their offices also have the option of celebrating Bike to Work Week the traditional way, which benefits the individual and the entire region. The week culminates in Bike to Work Day on May 21. For those who live close enough to work to ride their bikes, a two-wheel commute is less expensive and better for the region’s air quality. For residents with longer commutes, bicycling can be incorporated into a commute by pairing it with transit. The region’s transit agencies allow bicycles on their buses and trains, so consider riding to the nearby transit stop and bringing your bike aboard.
With the weather warming up and more daylight, the regional trails offer a great place to take a ride on Bike to Work Day or any time during the week, either before or after the workday. Data collected by NCTCOG shows that since the pandemic began in March 2020, the region’s active transportation network has been a bright spot, seeing a significant increase in activity. Trail use soared by nearly 80% in May 2020 and remains high in 2021.
Need ideas for getting active this month? A list of regional Bike Month activities can be found at www.nctcog.org/biketowork. For those still unsure if they are ready to try a more active commute, “10 steps to riding your bike to work,” also available at that site, offers a helpful checklist to prepare for the journey.