SEARHC, partners promote National Bike Month in May

April 26 2011

Want to have fewer $75 gas fill-ups and get healthy at the same time? The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is teaming up with other groups in Sitka to promote National Bike Month in May, National Bike To Work Week on May 16-20 and National Bike To Work Day on May 20. There are several excellent reasons to bike to work or school in Sitka, which is Alaska’s first official Bicycle Friendly Community. Most employees live within five miles of their workplaces, gas prices are expensive and there are important health benefits. During National Bike Month there are more incentives to ride. “A few years back, a colleague gave me a promotional sticker with a worker on a bicycle and words, ‘Be part of the solution,’” said SEARHC Health Educator Doug Osborne, a regular bike commuter. “When you look at the layers of benefits that come from commuter bicycling, it’s easy to see why it is part of the solution. And Sitka is a great place for it.” There are several free events for Sitka cyclists in May, including:
  • Morning Edition interview — 8:18-8:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 4, hear Sitka’s Bike to Work spokesman Bill Payton interviewed on KCAW-Raven Radio about why he bikes.
  • Bike commuting lunch-and-learn — noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, May 5, at S’áxt’ Hít Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Litehouse Cafeteria conference rooms, bring your lunch and listen to local bike commuters discuss how easy it is to commute to work by bike, participants will be entered in a drawing for a gift certificate to Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop compliments of SEARHC.
  • Sitka Bike Rodeo — 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, May 7, at the U.S. Coast Guard-Air Station Sitka, this free event teaches kids about bike safety and includes bike and helmet safety checks, sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Rotary Club of Sitka.
  • Women on Wheels: A Brown Bag Bicycling Discussion — noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, May 11, at Kettleson Memorial Library, women of all ages and experience levels are invited to join moderator Susan Suarez for a discussion of women cycling in Sitka.
  • Biking in Sitka lunchtime panel discussion — noon to 1 p.m., Friday, May 13, at Sitka Community Hospital Classroom, panelists will field your questions, first 10 participants receive a free lunch from the Basement Bistro compliments of Sitka Community Hospital, panel discussion will be televised later.
  • National Bike to Work Week Contest — Monday through Friday, May 16-20, ride your bike to work/school, then stop by Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop (329 Harbor Dr.) to enter for your chance to win a $100 gift certificate, enter each day you ride, the winning ticket will be drawn at the Julie Hughes Triathlon on Saturday, May 21.
  • National Bike to Work Day Pancake Breakfast — 7:30-9 a.m. on Friday, May 20, at the University of Alaska Southeast-Sitka Campus (1332 Seward Ave., on Japonski Island), ride your bike to school/work today and receive free pancakes compliments of UAS-Sitka.
For more information on Sitka bike events and creating your own local Bike To Work Week programs, contact Doug Osborne at 966-8734 or doug.osborne@searhc.org.