Well over 100 people traded their business casual attire for colorful spandex to ride in the 13th annual Energy Corridor Bike to Work Day on May 18.
Their morning commute culminated in a free sunrise celebration hosted by the Energy Corridor District at the Terry Hershey Park Gazebo – where generous sponsors provided breakfast, refreshments and raffle prizes to a smiling crowd that seemed rejuvenated and ready to tackle the work day.
For many making the annual Bike to Work Day pilgrimage, commuting by bicycle has become part of their morning routine. But several riders at the event were bicycling into work for the first time.
“Bike to Work Day is all about showing off the benefits of bicycling, but what’s really great is that it’s just a fun way for people to discover that they can really pedal into work,” explains Kelly Rector, TDM program manager for The District. Rector often commutes into The Energy Corridor from near downtown via a combination of bicycle and METRO.
For Zina Schwartz, vice president project manager at AIA Engineers, Ltd., her first Bike to Work Day two years ago was an epiphany. She’s now biked the event for three consecutive years.
“That was first time I realized it was even a possibility; it opened my eyes to using the bicycle for something other than fitness or pleasure,” Schwartz explains. “I would bike with my kids, but not really to any destinations. After my first Bike to Work Day, I started biking to yoga class and other destinations. Our office also competed two years straight in the Energy Corridor Bike Challenge. It’s been a really good experience.”
As always, veteran cycling commuters called Bike Champions volunteered to lead riders from several popular commuting origins, such as the historical Heights fire station and Cinco Ranch. They traveled into The Energy Corridor on bike routes vetted by riders and The District.
Riders filled the gazebo wearing colorful bike jerseys and enjoyed music, smoothies, fruit and breakfast from sponsors like Shipley’s Do-Nuts and Chick-fil-A Parkway Village. Many took home giveaways and raffle prizes donated from the event’s other sponsors, including Bike Barn; BikeHouston; Chipotle; Enterprise CarShare; H6 Apartments; Hyde Park at Enclave apartments; Memorial Athletic Club; Parkway Flats apartments; Rock Spine & Sports Therapy; Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P.; VERTS Energy Corridor; plus, community partners METRO and the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) Commute Solutions team.
“Our generous Energy Corridor Bike to Work Day sponsors made this a great event,” says Rector. “We really appreciate their support of bicycling in West Houston.”
Bike to Work Day is part of National Bike Month every May, launched by the League of American Bicyclists in 1956 to showcase the benefits of biking.
To give bicycling into work a try, visit The District’s Commuter Solutions webpage, where you can download vetted bike routes here.