For years now, local cyclists get together to organize festivities the morning of National Bike to Work Day (May 17th, traditionally). While there are many cyclists in Lafayette and West Lafayette that regularly commute to work by bicycle, most of our city’s cyclists aren’t functional riders and prefer the recreational aspects of the sport. National Bike to Work Day is a day when all cyclists (and non-cyclists) are invited to take to the streets, even if they wouldn’t normally. It’s a little like a critical mass for commuters without the organized ride and taking up the streets.
While this event isn’t specifically an organized ride, there is some organization to it! Friday morning cyclists are encouraged to come out to one of two locations at 7:30am for coffee, bagels, some prizes, and a short proclamation read by city officials in support of the event. In previous years there has been only one location for riders to meet in the downtown area, but this year the Wabash River Cycle Club, Virtuous Cycles, and Bicycle Lafayette the event has been expanded to offer a West Lafayette location as well for those that might not have the time for a ride all the way downtown and then back to the west side for work. So whether you work in Lafayette or West Lafayette, there should be an easy, convenient location for you to come out and show your support and join the fun!
Those wishing to meet in Lafayette should head to the corner of 11th street and Main at 7:30am.
Those wishing to meet in West Lafayette should head to 3065 N. Salisbury at 7:30am (location of the West Lafayette Farmers Market next to the Arni Cohen Softball Fields).
Riders will be departing to their final destinations as they feel comfortable between 7:30 and 8:00am.
- Why does it matter if I show up to this?
It’s important to turn out for the Bike to Work Day rally in a town where there is an avid cycling community and a lot of opposition to cyclists slowing down traffic and impeding motorists. This event calls the community’s attention to the legitimacy of bicyclists on the roads, and promotes commuting to work by bike. So please show up, and pass the word along to colleagues, friends, and neighbors. We need to do what we can to promote changes in attitudes, laws, and amenities (bike lanes, racks) that make Lafayette an easier, safer place to ride bikes. Once we reach a critical mass, drivers become more aware of bikes on the road and cut us more slack in traffic, employers accommodate employees who commute to work and shower/change before they appear at their posts, people realize that bicycles are the ultimate green vehicle–and change snowballs, especially as people become more aware of the national obesity epidemic and chronically high gas prices. So help make it happen! Show up tomorrow morning!
- Is it OK to attend a Bike to Work Day rally even if I can’t come by bike?
Yes! All of us have days when for various reasons we can’t commute by bicycle. If you occasionally ride your bike around town, or you generally commute to work, or you’re somewhere in between, please feel like it’s OK to come to one of these rallies. Warm bodies are what count!
This would be a prime opportunity to come speak with some city officials about your support of the 3-foot Safe Passing Ordinance for West Lafayette and Lafayette!