With many non-frontline workers still working from home, organizers of the Bay Area’s annual Bike to Work Day have rebranded the event as “Bike to Wherever Day.”
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the United States back in early March, events across the country were canceled or postponed—including Bike to Work Day, which was supposed to be held on May 14 and encourages people to bike over driving their car to work.
Now, the event will be held Thursday with an emphasis on encouraging people to bike “through a park, to a grocery store or to visit with friends and family while social distancing,” according to a news release from organizers.
“Bike to Wherever Day ... encourages folks to get out and ride,” Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition Events Manager Tim Oey said. “Once people start biking for transportation, they’ll get hooked and become dedicated bikers who are ready to ride anywhere.”
During the pandemic, bike shops have seen an uptick in sales—especially from first-time buyers. Earlier this year, Oakland launched its slow streets program that closed 74 miles of roads to through traffic to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians alike.
“Bike riding has seen a huge uptick during the pandemic as people have embraced it for exercise, mental health and as a fun way to get outside,” Metropolitan Transportation Commission Chair Scott Haggerty said. “We want to see the whole Bay Area get out on their bikes in September. We think it will be a unifying event in these challenging times.”
Bike to Wherever Days are set to run through the month of September and participants can sign up online to log their progress and potentially win prizes.
Bike to Wherever Days in Santa Clara County is organized by ￼the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. The campaign, which spans the nine-county Bay Area, is sponsored by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 511 and Alaskan Airlines.