The commute on Friday for some Parkites, perhaps even more than on a typical day, will rely on pedal power.
The day will be celebrated as Bike to Work and School Day in the city, and organizers hope people will be encouraged to ride bicycles to their jobs that day instead of commuting in vehicles.
Bike to Work and School day will be celebrated during an event running from 7:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. at the Olympic Welcome Plaza at the intersection of Park Avenue and Kearns Boulevard. Squatters Roadhouse Grill, steps from the Olympic Welcome Plaza, will provide a free light breakfast to the first 50 riders at the plaza, the event organizers said. Mountain Trails Foundation, a not-for-profit organization heavily involved in bicycling issues, will provide bike bells.
Students, meanwhile, plan to ride to school from three gathering spots. The Park City Police Department will escort them to the schools. The gathering spots are at the Park City Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center, the Aspen Villas apartment complex and the pocket park at the intersection of Sidewinder Drive and Comstock Drive.
The riders will leave the gathering spots at 7:45 a.m. Police officers will talk to the youngsters and their parents about bicycle safety. A giveaway with goodies from Mountain Trails Foundation and the Police Department is planned at McPolin Elementary School. A bicycle rodeo is also scheduled and two inspection stations for bicycles will be set up at the school.
Each of the Park City-area elementary schools will celebrate the day with some sort of event, the organizers said.
Charlie Sturgis, the executive director of Mountain Trails Foundation, said he hopes upward of 60 people attend the event at the Olympic Welcome Plaza. He said Park City is a bicycle-friendly place, mentioning trails, bicycle lanes and other upgrades meant for bicyclists and pedestrians.
"It's easy to leave your car at home," Sturgis said, adding that he would like more students to participate on Friday than have in the past.
According to a League of American Bicyclists spreadsheet based on census data, there were 9,400 bicyclist commuters in Utah in 2011, a little less than 1 percent of the state's commuters. Nearly three-quarters of the bicyclist commuters were male, the advocacy group's spreadsheet indicates.
Sturgis said it has snowed on Bike to Work and School Day in past years. That is not expected to be the case this year.
"The weather looks more accommodating than most times," he said.