What Is Bike to Work Day?

Every Wednesday leading up to Bike to Work Day, we’ll post here about ways you can get ready for the region’s biggest annual celebration of bike commuting. Register for Bike to Work Day now!

Bike to Work Day sounds pretty simple: Once you register, all you have to do is commute to work by bike on May 17.  Here’s a more involved description of what Bike to Work Day is, from its website:

“Bike to Work Day has grown into a widespread event with countless bicyclists taking to the streets nationwide in an effort to get commuters to try bicycling to work as a healthy and safe alternative to driving alone. In the Metropolitan Washington region, Bike to Work Day has grown from a small group of a few hundred in 2001 to over 12,000 participants in 2012.”

There is a little more to the whole thing. Pit stops spread across the region—this year, there are 70—greet commuters. The stops are the backbone of Bike to Work Day and enliven what for many is a routine commute. Below, we’ve provided a glossary of other commonly referenced Bike to Work Day terms:

  • Bagel: Pit stops often have breakfast-esque snacks for Bike to Work Day riders. But get there early—bagels and their ilk tend to go quickly.
  • Bike: You’ve got to be riding one, especially on Bike to Work Day! Make sure yours is in working order, even if you ride it daily. If you need a steed, try Bike and Roll.
  • Convoy: Are a number of people in your office participating, too? Do you have neighbors who are planning to ride to work? Are you a Bike to Work Day newbie who’s looking for the support of a group? Join a convoy that will swing by your pit stop.
  • MWCOG: The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, sometimes referred to as COG, partners with WABA to put on Bike to Work Day.
  • Pit stop: 70 regional pit stops provide support, snacks, and entertainment for riders. Pit stops are sponsored and run by a variety of organizations and individuals, so your experience will vary. Find your pit stop today.
  • T-Shirt: Distributed at pit stops and available for free to the first 12,000 Bike to Work Day registrants.

Maybe this is your first, third, or bazillionth Bike to Work Day. Regardless, it’s not too hard to figure out: Get yourself and your bike ready to go on the morning of May 17—in subsequent posts, we’ll provide suggestions on how to do that—meet up with your convoy or commuter friends, and swing by a pit stop on your ride to work. New riders can appreciate the support that comes from a day dedicated to bike commuting, and Bike to Work Day veterans can revel in a fun, familiar event (and add to their T-shirt collections).

Next Wednesday, we’ll be talking about how Bike to Work Day first-timers can prepare. Sign up for Bike to Work Day now!