|Bicycle commuters are creating a better community through bicycling. More than 7,000 King and Snohomish county residents will bike to work on Friday, May 16 to celebrate the 13th annual WRQ Bike to Work Day. Produced by the Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation and sponsored by integration software company WRQ, this event is one of the nation’s largest bicycle commuting events and coincides with National Bike to Work Day/Month. WRQ Bike to Work Day raises awareness of bicycle commuting benefits, including increasing physical fitness, reducing stress, saving money, reducing traffic congestion, and simply having fun. |
In addition, this year's event kicks off the WRQ Bike to Work Month Commute Challenge, for which bicycle commuters may register and be eligible for prizes. 2003 honorary co-chairs endorsing the Commute Challenge include: Greg Nickels, mayor of Seattle; Mike McKinnon, mayor of Lynnwood; Richard Conlin, Seattle City Council; Doug Walker, chairman and CEO, WRQ Inc.; Rick Arthur, vice president of administration, Starbucks Coffee Company; Rosemarie Ives, mayor of Redmond; and Val Stouffer, Newsradio 710 KIRO host.
Friday, May 16, 6 am - 9 am WRQ Bike To Work Day: Kick-off event with 36 Commuter Stations around King, Kitsap and Snohomish Counties
Friday, May 16, 8 am - 9 am Celebration Rally: Bikestation Seattle, 311 3rd Ave S (across from King Station)
May 16 - June 15 Commute Challenge: A month-long commuting program
Friday, May 30, 4 pm - 7 pm UW Bicycle Hubbub Rally: Burke-Gilman Trail @
Brooklyn Ave.; music, food, fun
Today’s bicycle commuters prove that bicycle commuting is a great option for many people. “I continue to encourage employees to explore alternative transportation options," said Doug Walker, chairman and CEO of WRQ and daily bike commuter. “Bicycle commuting can help alleviate stress, even in a fast-paced work environment. Events like this demonstrate that bicycle commuters come from a variety of different professions, but all have the same pride in the resulting benefits such as increased exercise, time savings and the opportunity to reduce traffic congestion and pollution."
BIKING TO WORK IS FOR ANYONE: COMMUTER PROFILES
Name: Greg Harper
Profession: Research Engineer, UW Nuclear Physics Lab
Years Bicycle Commuting: 18
Two years ago, Greg started unicycling to work. Greg has two commuter unicycles, a geared unicycle of his own design and construction that he can modify from a 29" diameter wheel to an effective 43.5" diameter wheel, as well as his standard unicycle with a 36" diameter wheel. Greg commutes 5 miles daily from Crown Hill to the University District, but he does ride his bicycle in the rain and winter dark seasons.
Name: Gary Ford
Profession: Training Manager, Nintendo
Years Bicycle Commuting: 1
Since selling his car in early 2002, Gary has been bussing to work and using his feet, bike, and Flexcar to get around. Gary used the $1,400 he saved on car insurance to pay for airfare to France and a week in a chalet in the French Alps. All totaled, his airfare, lodging, food, drink (including lots of good French wine, French brandy, espresso and Belgian beer), ski rental, trail passes, and cross-country ski lessons), cost less than his car insurance. “I’m surprised at how little I miss my car, and my trip to France for Christmas was amazing!"
Name: Craig Smith
Profession: Software Development Manager, WRQ
Years Bicycle Commuting: 9
More than nine years ago, Craig began bicycle commutes six miles daily, when he was getting out of shape and could no longer schedule visits to a fitness club. Plus, he was sick of paying for two cars and trying to find parking for both of them in an urban neighborhood.
By the time he gets home, Craig has ‘decompressed,’ and his family does not notice his work-day stress. In addition, he’s realized significant health benefits. “I'm a 50 year old male who can run up three flights of steps without having to breathe hard," says Craig. “My resting heart rate has dropped 20 beats per minute, my chronically high blood pressure dropped 15 points, and I can fit in the same clothes I had 20 years ago."
Name: Jay Douglas
Profession: IT systems analyst, Starbucks Coffee Company
Years Bicycle Commuting: less than a year
As a Hood Canal area resident, Jay begins his work day from a regional park and ride in order to commute to Seattle on his bike via the Washington State Ferry system. Jay enjoys the freedom of bike commuting: riding a bike is part of his healthy lifestyle, and not sitting in traffic to and from the ferry. For example, during this year’s Mariners’ season opening game, many were stuck in traffic. Jay’s bike commute got him to the ferry only two minutes later than usual. Another advantage for riding is that bicyclists are the first passengers allowed on and off the ferry.
Name: Cyndi Robinson, MS, PT
Profession: Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education, University of Washington
Years Bicycle Commuting: 17
Cyndi lives in Shoreline and works as a part-time physical therapist at Harborview Medical Center, where she cares for many children who are injured in cycling accidents. She is also a part-time physical therapy faculty-member at the University of Washington. Cyndi bikes to and from work sites nearly every day, 16 – 24 miles round trip.
As the best things about her bicycle commute, Cyndi cites the daily exercise that is built into her schedule and the benefits of a stress-relieving commute rather than a stress-producing one. She also appreciates that bike commuting is faster than driving, and is able to save money on commuting expenses and avoid parking hassles when running errands.
Commuter Stations throughout King and Snohomish counties will provide bicycling maps, prizes, small repairs, WRQ Bike To Work Day T-shirts, water bottles, and more. At the rally, commuters will enjoy food, drinks, fun and camaraderie. For a list of the stations nearest you, cycling tips, additional commuter profiles, and a full event schedule visit www.biketoworkday.org.
This free community event is made possible by contributions from sponsors including: Adobe, Bikestation Seattle, City of Seattle, Clif Bar, Community Transit, Flexcar, Greater Redmond Transportation Management Association, King County Metro Transit, 710 NewsRadio KIRO, Puget Sound Energy, Pyramid Communications, Sakson & Taylor, Starbucks Coffee Company, University of Washington and WRQ.
For 22 years, WRQ has been developing industry-leading software for simplifying host access and integration. WRQ Reflection® software connects web or Windows desktops to host applications, as well as file and print services. WRQ Verastream® software encapsulates host functionality into services for rapid reuse in web applications, packaged applications, and portals.
WRQ has the highest ratings in the technology sector for quality support and customer loyalty. With over six million users in 51 countries, it is one of the largest privately held software companies in the U.S. Four out of five Fortune 500 companies rely on WRQ daily.
About Cascade Bicycle Club
Cascade Bicycle Club is the nation’s largest bicycle club with over 4,200 members in Greater Seattle. Cascade produces eight annual events, including three marquee events: Seattle International Bicycle Expo, Bike to Work Day and Seattle To Portland Bicycle Classic. CBC promotes bicycling for transportation, recreation and health - providing over 1,000 recreational rides annually. Cascade is a non-profit organization, directed by a board of nine elected volunteer directors and seven professional staff. The Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation, a 501(c3) organization, promotes bicycling safety and skills throughout Washington State.www.cascade.org