Bike to Work Day ready to roll
Mountain Trails Foundation’s Carol Potter wants Park City to work on itscarbo footprint as well as its carbon footprint, and that’s why, for the second year in a row, she is organizing a Bike to Work Day.
The event, which will take place on Friday, May 18, is part of Bike Month as designated by the League of American Bicyclists. Potter, along with city and county officials as well as dedicated community members, like Bo Pitkin, has organized the day to encourage people to exercise, save the environment, socialize with fellow citizens and increase bike awareness.
The central event of the day is the Commuter Cup Challenge, in which different local businesses compete against each other for the most employees biking to work during the week of May 14-18. Potter says that the team with the highest percentage of participants biking or walking to work each day of Bike Week wins. Winners receive prizes from a variety of different vendors.
Potter points out that most of the prizes come from eateries and local non-bike shops to encourage bikers and non-bikers alike to take part in the challenge.
"It’s not necessarily hard-core bike places because we’re trying to encourage everyone to do this whether they wear spandex and Lycra or not," Potter said.
And to help Joe Q. Citizen get involved, Potter has offered many different ways to participate. If people can’t feasibly bike to work, they can walk a mile at lunchtime or if they are Salt Lakers, they can bring their bikes up the canyon and go on a two-mile ride. People are also encouraged to go on longer rides if they desire. Last year, a large group rode from the County Courthouse in Coalville to Park City. There are also promotions within the promotion. The Summit County Health Department has offered T-shirts and other schwag to their employees if they participate.
Last year 150 people signed up for the Commuter Cup Challenge, but this year Potter is aiming high with a target of 1,000 people.
"There’s a lot of buzz and we’ve expanded, Potter said.
To encourage people to join in, both the Yarrow and the Basin Recreation Field House will host a continental breakfast from 7-9 p.m. for those biking to work that want to stop in for a quick bite. There will also be prize drawings and free bike tune-ups offered at both locations. Already, companies like Sundance and Backcountry.com have signed up for the challenge.
"I know there’s more out there getting their teams together," Potter said.
Winners of the Commuter Cup Challenge will be announced on National Trails Day on June 2. "Car Free Fridays," will continue through the summer to keep people biking and walking to work.
At noon on Friday, Mountain Trails is inviting locals to gather at the Rail Trail by White Pine Touring for NOMA at Noon, a fun ride on the Rail Trail.Then in the evening, at 5:30 p.m., all cruiser bike riders are invited to do a police-escorted cruiser ride from Cole Sport to Squatters Brewery in the city, or from Park City Rides to Red Rock Brewery at Redstone Towne Center. A happy hour for all bikers will follow from 6- 8 p.m. at both breweries.
"We’re making a whole day of it," Potter said. "We’re encouraging people to register. There’s lots of fun things all through the day."
She has also stretched her mission to the surrounding areas. Heber City will be running their own Bike to Work activities and the South Summit School District is holding a Bike to School Day.
All of this participation also helps Mountain Trails Foundation and the trails of Park City in a broader sense. Carol takes the numbers from events like Bike to Work Day and uses them for grant writing to increase funding for work on Park City trail systems and to enlist more sponsors for trail-centered events.
"I want to grow to continue to gain funding," Potter said.
But right now, Potter isn’t thinking about money, she just wants everyone to hop on their bike and show the rest of the world that Park City is bike-friendly city.
For more information on Bike to Work Day, visit http://www.mountaintrails.org. Cole Sport will hold a bike swap to benefit Mountain Trails Foundation the next two days, May 19-20 from 9-5 p.m.
Jennifer McDonald, a self-described lifelong Republican, was selected as the Summit County Republican Party chair last week.