With the goal of creating awareness about alternative forms of transportation including biking to work, the BWI Business Partnership organized several local Bike to Work activities throughout northern Anne Arundel County on Friday, May 15, 2015, which was National Bike to Work Day.

Scattered throughout the community were three morning rally stations and one afternoon location where cyclists could stop, grab a quick bite and make their way to (or from) work. Partnership staff estimates that approximately 150 people participated in the regional events, which included morning events at Café Joe at National Business Park in Annapolis Junction, Panera Bread at Arundel Mills and Baltimore Coffee & Tea in Odenton; and one afternoon event at Maryland Department of Transportation headquarters building in Hanover.

In addition, Northrop Grumman Corp. also held an event in Linthicum. Besides a place to grab a quick treat, the stations served as a place for cyclists to share their experiences with using a bike for transportation, including commuting.

“My experience with Bike to Work Day was fantastic,” said cyclist Jason Bade. “It’s an event I look forward to every year. It is a way for me to kickstart my annual personal bike commuting campaign and to meet new people who also like this form of transportation. This year, I was really surprised to learn that the landlord of my office complex had bought participants breakfast at a local café, and I won a gift certificate for having the longest inbound commute. It definitely got my Friday off to a great start.”

As a bonus, officials at Fort Meade, held a ribbon cutting for the new sally port entrance for pedestrians and cyclists in Odenton. Cyclists assembled at the Baltimore Coffee & Tea rally point in Odenton for refreshments and then convoyed over to the new entrance for the additional festivities.

In concert with other jurisdictions in the area and to consolidate resources, partnership staff participated on a regional committee through the Baltimore Metropolitan Council. Through generous donations from regional sponsors, each bicyclist was able to receive a bright blue shirt and backpack, which contained a variety of local information and giveaways.

“This is the second year that the partnership held Bike to Work Day events in the region, and participation quadrupled from the preceding year.” said event organizer Nancy Huggins, director of grants and transportation programs for the organization. “The partnership thanks its members, The Business Monthly and Revere Bank for their regional participation, and, to Baltimore Coffee & Tea, Corporate Office Properties Trust, Enterprise, Tower Federal Credit Union and vRide for their generous support and donations. We couldn’t have done it without you.”

Bike to Work Day is not only another commute option, it is a way to connect with like-minded colleagues who enjoy the ride and getting exercise. Watch out for bigger and better regional events next year, on the third Friday in May.