Pedaling Twin Ports for workA cup of Joe and treats greet Bikers Friday during Twin Ports Bike to Work Day.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
A cup of Joe and treats greet Bikers Friday during Twin Ports Bike to Work Day.
A station offering coffee, bagels and free mini bike tune-ups will be set up 6:30-8:30 a.m. Friday at Center City Park at Tower Avenue and Belknap Street. A similar station will be set up at the intersection of Lake Avenue and Superior Street in Duluth. The tune-up and treats are available to anyone who wants to bike on over.
“The main purpose of the Bike to Work Day events is to provide some encouragement to folks to either give bicycling a try or get back into it,” said James Gittemeier, senior planner with the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Interstate Council.
The region has a high rate of obesity — in Douglas County, 22.2 percent of the population is obese and 43.7 percent are physically inactive.
“Therefore, encouraging people to bicycle is just one way of helping people become more active and live a healthier life,” Gittemeier said.
The council, Duluth, Superior, numerous businesses, the University of Wisconsin-Superior, the Superior Business Improvement District, UW-Extension and groups like Healthier Douglas County Coalition support the event.
Although Bike to Work Day has been celebrated for seven years in Duluth, this is the third year a site has been set up in Superior.
“In the past, we’ve only had eight to 10 people but we are hoping to increase that this year by having UWS and HDCC be a sponsor,” said Krisi Patterson, assistant director of campus recreation at the UWS. “If we can grow a little bit each year, it’s a success!”
As added incentive, any UWS staff or faculty who bike to work Friday will receive a free t-shirt.
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, more people are biking to work now than a decade ago. In 2000, there were 34 people in the city of Superior who bicycled as their primary mode of transportation to work. By 2010, the number had increased to 124 people. In Duluth, the number increased from 92 in 2000 to 410 in 2010. The Duluth Transit Authority offers bike racks on buses to encourage biking. Bike to Work Day serves as a reminder to members of the public of the importance of physical activity and alternative transportation.
“All ages, all abilities welcome!” Gittemeier said. “And remember to use good bicycling practices — follow traffic rules and wear a helmet.”