On Friday, bike owners across the country will dust off their wheels and hit the pavement as part of National Bike to Work Day, and those in Savannah are encouraged to kick off the celebration with a free breakfast.
The Savannah Bicycle Campaign is hosting a commuting breakfast for Savannah bikers hustling past the intersection of Lincoln and Henry streets from 7:30 to 9 a.m. The event encourages people to consider biking as a viable option for transportation, said John Bennett, SBC executive director.
“We know that for some people, riding to work on a bike is not a choice,” Bennett said. “They do it because it’s the most affordable way for them to get around, or they don’t have a car, or have other reasons why they don’t drive. And so for at least one day of the year, they can stop by and grab a free breakfast on their commute.”
Friday’s event will feature coffee and healthy snacks and will be an opportunity for anyone to receive bicycling education. The event is one of many across the country during the annual celebration of active transportation.
National Bike to Work Day was first recognized in 1956 by the League of American Bicyclists, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making a “Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.” May is also National Bike Month.
Since their inception, National Bike to Work Day, National Bike to Work Week and National Bike Month have helped to increase the national number of bicyclists, one community at a time. Across all 50 states, LAB recognizes 416 bicycle-friendly communities, including Savannah, which earned a bronze level status as a bicycle friendly community in 2013.
“We have highest rate of bicycle commuting in the state of Georgia,” Bennett said. “More people get to work on their bikes here than anywhere else in the state.”
The National Household Travel Survey reported that the number of bicycle trips made in the United States more than doubled from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009, and the numbers are still climbing. From 2000 to 2013, bicycling commuting rates increased 105 percent in large bicycle friendly communities, increased 62 percent across the country and increased 31 percent in non-bicycling friendly communities.
“For many people a bike is not an option, it is the way to go,” Bennett said.
For more information about National Bike to Work Day events in Savannah, go to bicyclecampaign.org.