Bike to Work Day: leave the car at home on Friday
Look for briefcase-toting bicyclists on the roads on Friday morning.
There could be hundreds of them.
Bicycling and trails advocates are urging people to ride their bikes to work on Friday as part of a national campaign known as Bike to Work Week, with one of the organizers locally hoping the numbers in the Park City area match the 300 or so who participated in 2009.
Dawn Bowling, the administrator of the not-for-profit Mountain Trails Foundation, said there has been a Bike to Work Day locally for approximately five years
"It brings people out, makes them aware, gets them out of their car," Bowling said, describing Bike to Work Day as a "fun little event for a morning."
Mountain Trails Foundation, which plays a significant role in maintaining the area’s trails system, has arranged free continental breakfasts at two locations to celebrate the Friday event. The breakfasts are planned between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. at The Yarrow and the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse. Raffles are scheduled during the breakfasts as well, with prizes including recreation passes, T-shirts and hats.
Sponsors include Mountain Trails Foundation, City Hall, the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District and the Park City Chamber/Bureau.
A release about the event indicates the organizers would like people to walk to work if they do not want to ride a bicycle.
During last year’s event, Bowling said, many teachers from Trailside Elementary School and workers from the Utah Olympic Park participated. Elsewhere workers who normally dress casually were seen in bicycling attire on Bike to Work Day.
Bowling said most of the people who ride to work do so using roads instead of trails. She cautioned drivers to watch for bicyclists and give them enough room on the side of the road.
The Park City area has greatly expanded trails and trails connections in recent years, with leaders saying bicyclists can now travel between many of the neighborhoods, business districts and schools in both Park City and the Snyderville Basin.
More improvements are planned, including an ambitious set of upgrades City Hall expects to make using money voters authorized in a bond election to fund pedestrian and bicyclist improvements. The upgrades include tunnels for pedestrians and bicyclists on Bonanza Drive close to the Rail Trail and on S.R. 248 at Comstock Drive, with work scheduled to start this year, according to a list of construction projects City Hall recently released.
Park City leaders see the projects as a means to encourage more people to walk or bicycle through the city instead of driving. They say doing so is healthier, reduces traffic and cuts the amount of emissions.
Bowling said the Bike to Work Day emphasizes the outdoors lifestyle that attracts people to Park City.
"It shows, once again, we live in an athletic, hearty community," she said.
For more information, call Mountain Trails Foundation at 649-6839 or visit the group’s website, http://www.mountaintrails.org.
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