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PUBLISHED: 5:20 PM on Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Juneau Bike Week sets 10,000-mile goal
Bike to Work Week, May 10-16
In conjunction with National Bike to Work Day and National Bike Month, Juneau will be holding a Juneau Bike Week for the first time this year. The events leading up to the Bike to Work Day on May 16 include a challenge to Juneau residents to collectively ride 10,000 miles from May 10-16.

Progress toward the 10,000 mile goal will be tracked on the sponsors website www.juneaufreewheelers.com. To do this, cyclists need to create an account on velog.com and join the group at www.velog.com/group/juneau-bike-week


Naomi Judd photo
  Juneau's Bike to Work Week, held May 10-16, is replacing the previous Bike to Work Day.
During the last 10 years, said Barb Kelly of Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club and Bike to Work coordinator for this year, there have been anywhere from 75 to 150 riders on Bike to Work day.

The event is now a week long to counter inclement weather.

"In the past, if that one day happens to be bad (weather) then ... people might not participate. This gives them more of a chance," said Kevin Maier of Juneau Freewheelers and assistant professor of English at the University of Alaska Southeast.

JRC/Alaska Club is sponsoring the week and will be hosting week-long open houses. Pavitt Health and Fitness also will offer free showers to anyone who presents a helmet on Bike to Work and School Day. Pavitt is charging a fee for towels in order to cut down on their electricity costs for washing and drying club towels. Fitness Essentials also will offer free showers to anyone who shows a helmet on Bike to Work and School Day.

Juneau residents are becoming more drawn to alternative transportation for more than one reason.

"Alternative transportation is so important ... look what's happened in the last week," Maier said. "We've realized that in the light of two pretty serious economic drivers, the Snettisham incident and this gas incident, it seems like people are willing now to do these things and voluntary conservation, it turns out, isn't really that hard. I think that biking to work has the added benefit of health too. You actually feel better for it.

The week will provide many chances for cyclists to engage in related activities and connect with other like-minded travelers.

On May 9 there will be "Lunch and Learn" bike tune-up seminars at the State Office Building from 12-1:00 p.m. at the 6th floor Conference Room as well as the Federal Building from 12-1:00 p.m. in room 150.

Silverbow bakery will be showing cycling movies at 8pm from May 12-14. A free Bike Maintenance class with Lou Edwards will be offered on Tuesday, May 13 from 7-9pm at the Valley Club and is open to the public.

There also will be a Ride and Rally at noon on May 16, leaving from Centennial Hall and riding to Marine Park via Glacier Ave., Calhoun and Main St. to Marine Park.

On the morning of May 16, there will be group departures or "Pedal Pools" at 7am from the various points around town: Superbear, Wal-Mart (at 7:15a.m.), Bonnie Brae, Douglas Library, and Marine Park where there will be a free continental breakfast from 6:30-9am. People are encouraging to form their own Pedal Pools from their neighborhoods to meet at these places.

"Though the emphasis is bikes, we also want to encourage people to travel differently on May 16, in example, walk, ride a skateboard, kayak, take the bus or carpool," says Maier.

Walking and taking the bus also count toward the 10,000 mile goal.

Drivers and bikers are encouraged to use the roads with care, as there will be more cyclists out and about from May 10-16.

JRC will give a one-week pass to group cycle classes when a rider shows their helmet.


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