Gone is the focus on biking to work. Instead organizers are focusing on total bike trips.
Emily Yetman, the founder of Living Street Alliance, the group organizing Bike Fest, sent an email detailing the changes.
“This year we’re modifying the “Commuter Challenge” to focus on trips rather than miles,” Yetman wrote. “We’re hoping that by incentivising trips made by bike, people may change their transportation habits during Bike Fest. We’re reminding Tucsonans that roughly 45% of household trips are 2 miles or under and that converting just a few of these trips a week to bike can save them money, provide them with built-in exercise, and give them a chance to enjoy beautiful weather. (Not to mention that it’s FUN!) This also means that people who work from home or ride for domestic reasons can be rewarded for doing so. A young mom, for example, can log her trips to the grocery store, to daycare, to the park, etc. and have them count. This is about encouraging everyone to ride a bike on a regular basis!
To that end, the group has created a website to track the trips bike riders in Tucson make during the month. You can join the tracking website here. Cyclists who register their bicycle trips will be entered to win various prizes including a Linus brand bicycle.
To help solidify the new focus of getting everyone on their bike as opposed to people going to and from work, the group renamed Bike to Work Week to Pedal the Pueblo, which starts on April 8 and runs until April 12.
“One of the big changes we made this year is to rebrand ‘Bike to Work Week’,” Yetman wrote. “We want to expand the program to incentivise ALL types of trips made by bicycle; to the store, to school or work, to a cafe or the library, for recreation, for fun — you name it.”
Also new for this year is the big Bike to Work celebration, which has been traditionally held downtown and on Friday of Bike to Work Week.
This year the Pedal the Pueblo celebration will be held on Monday at the Whole Foods on Speedway.
“We’re partnering with Whole Foods on Speedway to host an event that is more centrally located in hopes that more people can stop by on their way to work, school, etc,” Yetman wrote.
Awards for Bike Commuter, Advocate and Business of the Year awards will also be handed out at the breakfast.
The group will also have a bike-in happy hour at Borderlands Brewery on Thursday from 4-6 p.m. They will have entertainment for kids at the event too.
“Our goal is for both the breakfast and the happy hour to be very family-friendly,” Yetman wrote.
Various businesses will be hosting bike stations throughout the Pedal the Pueblo week. Check out all the details at the Bike Fest website. We will have more in-depth posts on some of the events like Cyclovia too. Check back often.