PUBLISHED: 4:35 PM on Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Sitka plans community bike ride
SITKA - Do you have a recumbant, unicycle, tricycle or tandem gathering dust in your garage?

How about a mountain bike, road bike, BMX or cruiser? If so, bring them along to the Sitka Community Bike Ride on Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Crescent Harbor covered area.

All cyclists are invited to be a part of the largest per capita community bike ride in the history of Southeast Alaska. Events run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the community bike ride and parade starting at 11:30 a.m.

Certified protective helmets are required to participate in the ride.

This event is sponsored by Sitka's Bicycle Friendly Community project, SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Health Promotion department, SEARHC Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska program and the Sitka Conservation Society.

One of the major goals of the Sitka Community Bike Ride is to encourage cycling in Sitka and to teach people about the health and environmental benefits of riding a bike around town.

Cycling gets you outside, makes you feel better, and gives you a way to spend time with your family and friends.

It also is an inexpensive means of transportation that doesn't pollute or use fossil fuels.

"Increased bike riding will help us reach our goal of creating a carbon-neutral Sitka," said Natalie Sattler, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Sitka Conservation Society.

"Participating in events like this helps us realize the SCS vision, which is improving Sitka's quality of life."

Among the festivities are bike safety checks, two short bike maintenance clinics (one at 9:45 a.m., the other at 10:15 a.m.), a slowest bike contest at 10:30 a.m., a bike helmet demonstration (using a watermelon) at 11 a.m. with watermelon eating at 11:01 a.m.

The community bike ride and parade starts at 11:30 a.m., followed at 12:30 p.m. by door prizes, a rally and group rides for mountain bikes, road bikes, families and commuters.

Loaner bikes and helmets are available from Sitka Bike and Hike.

Fill out the safety quiz before the ride for a chance to win door prizes.

"It was really inspiring to see how the Sitka Bike Friendly Coalition raised $250 in less than three minutes to buy a great bicycle for a grand prize," SEARHC Health Educator Doug Osborne said.

"This has all the makings of a fun and memorable event."

For more information, contact Matthew Turner of Sitka Advancing Our Community at 747-3665, Doug Osborne at 966-8734 or Natalie Sattler at 747-7509.

Also, information about Sitka's Bicycle Friendly Community project can be found online at (click on the bike logo for info, and click on the online forum logo to access the online forum where residents can participate in the project).