Washington, D.C. - Commuters swapped gas pedals for bike pedals in the metropolitan Washington region today, as 12,700 cycled to work for the annual Bike to Work Day event. More people than ever before participated in this year’s event which promotes bicycling as a healthy, low cost commute alternative. Bike to Work Day 2012 exceeded its goal of 12,500 commuters and the number of participants increased by almost 2,000 compared to 2011.
The event, coordinated by Commuter Connections and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, was attended elected officials from across the region who spoke to crowds of cyclists at 58 pit stops located throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, from Frederick County to Prince William County. Pit stops welcomed cyclists and bicycling convoys with free T-shirts, food, beverages, entertainment, bike checks and prizes provided by regional and local sponsors.
“This event has increased the popularity of bicycling as a reliable, sustainable, and healthy commuting option thanks to the support and dedication of participants, sponsors, volunteers and officials,” said David Robertson, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. “Regionally, Bike to Work Day has grown tremendously. Five years ago 6,600 people participated in the event, since then the number has nearly doubled and pit stops have increased from 49 to 58. Next year, we look forward to even more participants.”
“Commuters throughout the metropolitan area are looking for ways to make their commutes easier and less costly. Bicycling to work is one of the options that can improve the daily commute,” said Nicholas Ramfos, Director of Commuter Connections. ”The dramatic growth of this event is an indicator that area commuters view bicycling as a viable commute alternative that can fit into their daily routine.”
Generous contributions from major regional sponsors, including, Marriott International, REI, ICF International, City Bikes, Whole Foods Market, Bike Arlington, BicycleSPACE, AAA Mid-Atlantic and The City of Alexandria helped make the event a success. Bike to Work Day celebrates National Bike Month in cities throughout the United States.