Bike to Work Day: 6 tips, tricks, & things to know

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May is National Bike Month and every year Commuter Connections, a program of the TPB, partners with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) to sponsor Bike to Work Day. This year’s event will take place on Friday, May 20.

Bicycling in the region keeps getting easier, and more people are doing it! Since 2005, we’ve seen a 40% increase in major bike lanes and shared-use paths. Since 2000, the share of people biking to work every day has tripled. So grab your helmet and join us for #BTWD2016. Here are 6 things to know before you ride:

1. Classes! The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) has classes for people who want to learn how to ride or to ride more confidently. Classes are happening all month long so be sure to check out the schedule on WABA’s website.

2. Map your route and visit a pit stop—you have 83 to choose from! There are more Bike to Work Day pit stops this year than ever before. Pit stops are great places to meet up with commuter convoys and other cyclists, grab a quick snack, get a free tune-up, and—most important of all—pick up your free event T-shirt! Just be sure to register for the pit stop where you want to pick up your shirt. (And do it soon! Only the first 15,000 registrants get shirts.) Here’s a map of all the pit stops:

3. Not used to biking every day? That’s okay. You have options. Not sure you’ll be able to bike home? Concerned about the weather at the end of the day? Don’t want to bike uphill to get home? No problem, there are multiple options for you. Take advantage of Capital Bikeshare, which lets you use a bike for just one leg of your trip. Another option is biking to transit. If you have a long commute, you can always bike part of the way and take transit for the rest of your trip.

4. Worried your bike might break down or that you could get sick and not get home? If you can’t ride home because of an unexpected emergency, you can get a free taxi ride home through Guaranteed Ride Home, a program run by Commuter Connections.

5. New to bike commuting and want someone to show you the ropes? Join Commuter Convoys or get matched with a ride buddy through the Washington Area Bike Forum. Veteran bike commuters will help you find your way easily, stay safe on the road, and make your trip more fun! Commuter convoys meet at Bike to Work Day pit stops or other designated locations.

6. Rain or shine, we ride. It has rained on Bike to Work Day before. Since most of us have to get to work every day regardless of the weather, we have to learn to ride in the rain. Get tips and tricks form WABA about how to dress and ride in wet weather. (You don’t necessarily need special gear, but it does help to plan for being out in the elements.) You can also take advantage of Capital Bikeshare for a one way bike commute if rain threatens in the afternoon and you don’t want to brave the elements. For other tips and tricks, check out Commuter Connections’ helpful guide!

Share your experience: Document your experience by sharing photos and observations on Twitter. Use #BTWD2016 and follow @BiketoWorkDay, @WABADC, @NatCapRegTPB, and @MWCOG to join the conversation. If you’re out and about on Bike to Work Day, share what you see and don’t forget to have fun. (Just don’t have so much fun that you forget to get to work on time.)

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All month long tweet pics of bike infrastructure!

As part of National Bike Month, show us all the different kinds of bike infrastructure that helps you get around the region. Show us bike lanes, maps, parking racks, tune-up stations, Bikeshare stations, or anything else that makes it easier and safer to ride. Tweet at us @NatCapRegTPB all month long. We’ll retweet you!

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