Everyone is invited to participate in the eighth annual Keweenaw Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 20. The event will be held on National Bike to Work Day, and is coordinated locally by Bike Initiative Keweenaw (BIKE!) in an effort to raise awareness of bicycle commuting as a transportation alternative, bike safety, and the importance of sharing the road.
Bike commuters, pedestrians, and other non-motorized travelers can visit one or more of eight rest stops located in Houghton, Hancock, Calumet, Lake Linden and South Range on their way to or from work, school or running errands. Volunteers at each station will offer free refreshments, bike safety literature, advice on bike commuting routes and gear, and in some cases, even simple bike fixes like topping off tire pressures and checking brakes.
Six stops will operate from 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., located on the Houghton Waterfront Trail east of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge; near the Michigan Tech Outdoor Adventure Program building on Townsend Drive; in the Western U.P. Health Department parking lot near the multi-use trail in Hancock; in Calumet on Highway 41 near the CLK School in the morning and at Cross Country Sports on Oak Street in the afternoon; at the Lake Linden Park gazebo; and at the BP station in South Range. A seventh stop at the corner of Sharon Avenue and Portage Street in Houghton will be staffed during the peak hour of 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. This year, there will also be an eighth rest stop outside of Barkell Elementary School in Hancock from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m., where students who walk or bike to school can stop for snacks and kid-friendly bike safety information.
Finlandia University staff will be on hand to help at the Hancock stop located in the Western U.P. Health Department parking lot.
Bike to Work Day volunteer Danielle Shannon said that it has been exciting to see community support for this event continue to grow from year to year, and to see all kinds of riders participate.
“We have people who have been bike commuting for years stop by our rest stations, as well as people who are trying it for the first time,” Shannon said. “We even had a commuter pass by on a unicycle last year.”
Event Coordinator Kristen Schmitt said the event highlights how many residents enjoy having the option to travel by foot or bike, and helps to showcase local support for city infrastructure that safely accommodates all people.
“Our communities have made great progress in recent years in listening to the needs of cyclists and pedestrians,” Schmitt said, “and we hope to keep that momentum moving forward.”
This year’s Keweenaw Bike to Work Day is also part of the Step Into History program, a series of healthy outdoor activities organized by Keweenaw National Historical Park and the Western U.P. Health Department.
There is no fee to participate and no registration required. For more information, visit KB2WD.org.