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Consortium promotes National Bike To Work Week in Sitka

Posted: Sunday, May 10, 2009

SITKA - Want to have fewer $50 gas fill-ups and get healthy at the same time? The SEARHC Health Promotion and Injury Prevention programs are teaming up with Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop, the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus and the Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition to promote National Bike To Work Week this week in Sitka.

Sitka cyclists who bike to work or school during the week can stop by Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop and enter once per day they make the bike commute. Share the Road stickers also will be available at Yellow Jersey. The winning ticket will be drawn at the Julie Hughes Triathlon on May 16 and the winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to Yellow Jersey.

The University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus also will host a free pancake breakfast for bike commuters from 7 to 8:30 a.m. Friday, which is National Bike To Work Day. This year's local spokespeople for Sitka's National Bike To Work Week events are Jeff Johnston and Matt Hunter.

"I've seen statistics report that when you add up all the costs of owning and maintaining a bike in the U.S. it averages less than $300 a year. Cars, on the other hand, average more than $3,000 a year," SEARHC Health Educator Doug Osborne said. "Bike riding is cost effective, plus it's a great way to get our needs for transportation, physical activity and fun all in one."

All cyclists should follow a few basic safety rules, such as staying off all sidewalks, riding with traffic, signaling all turns, and wearing a helmet and reflective gear. Sitka city code requires all cyclists age 18 or younger to wear a bike helmet.

National Bike To Work Week events are held nationwide and across the state, including Juneau, Fairbanks and Anchorage. The month of May also serves as National Bike Month, www.bikemonth.org. The League of American Bicyclists sponsors events the entire month and even makes grants available for communities wanting to promote local events.

For more information on Sitka bike events and creating your own local Bike To Work Week programs, contact Doug Osborne at 907-966-8734 or doug.osborne@searhc.org.



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