Bike to Work Week encourages alternative transportation - WRBL

Bike to Work Week encourages alternative transportation

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Bike to Work Week rolled to a conclusion in Columbus Friday as hundreds of citizens opted for two wheels over four.

The 5th annual event culminated with Mayor Teresa Tomlinson's five-mile evening ride, leading into the weekend's Cutbait Music Festival, and this year more people got involved than ever before.

With the recent talks of alternative transportation options like bike lanes in Columbus, Bike to Work Week helped encourage citizens to get out of the car and onto a bicycle.

The River Valley Regional Commission plans the events each year, and Bicycle-Pedestrian Planner Julio Portillo says he's happy to see so many people get involved.

"You're helping the environment," says Portillo. "You're saving on fuel costs, you're reducing your carbon footprint, and it's just fun."

Ride on Bikes has been instrumental in helping with the week's activities. Owner Jason McKinzie says he just wants people to love cycling as much as he does. "We gave free bike rentals to anybody who wanted to ride with the mayor, for Tuesday night ride, Ride of Silence, or Bike to Work, so we're just trying to facilitate the movement here in Columbus," he says.

More than 700 people participated throughout the week, hundreds more than years past, and 70 cyclists joined the mayor in an evening ride to finish it off.

Mayor Tomlinson says, "It's important, one, for the environment, and also as we build these cycle lanes and we build these multipurpose trails, we need people to take advantage of them, and so there's more than one way to get around town. You don't have to get in your car. You can walk, you can jog, you can bike."

McKinzie says this year is different because the Cutbait Music Festival makes a unique backdrop for the finish. He says, "The fact that we got to do the Bike to Work, and then we had the mayor's ride, and then we got to end up at a music festival with 40 acts. It doesn't get much better. Columbus, what an active city to live in."

The festival takes place Friday and Saturday night. That's 40 artists on nine stages. You can buy tickets online starting at $15 each

The festival is named for the cutbait rapids on the river, which will be a main attraction of the Whitewater experience that opens Memorial Day weekend.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.

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