Thousands roll out for Bike-to-Work Day
on May 13, 2011
Taking the podium at Oakland City Hall during the Bike-to-Work Day celebration on Thursday morning, city councilmember Libby Schaaf of District 4 started a chant. “When I say ‘bike,’ you say ‘Oakland,’” she announced.
“Bike!” she yelled. “Oakland!” the crowd chanted back.
It was Oakland’s 18th Bike-to-Work Day and record numbers of people hopped on their bikes and commuted to work. “We saw a 12 percent increase in overall people coming to energizer stations yesterday,” says Renee Rivera, executive director of East Bay Bicycle Coalition, one of the event’s organizers. “Our top three were Emeryville, Berkeley and Oakland.”
In Oakland, Bike-to-Work Day is an annual event jointly organized by the East Bay Bicycle Coalition and Walk Oakland Bike Oakland. The goal is to raise bicycle awareness and show that commuting by bicycle can be easy, fun, affordable and good for the environment.
A total of 10,000 people biked to work in Alameda County on Thursday, according to Rivera, and Oakland showed an 8 percent increase in bike commuters over last year’s Bike-to-Work Day. She estimates that around 700 people showed up at the morning’s City Hall event to get goodie bags and eat the free pancake breakfast. Around 600 people came to the after-work party in Old Oakland and drank beer, listened to the live country band and played on the bicycle themed carnival rides.
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