Thursday, May 27, 2010

City employees promote bicycle commuting


City administrative assistant Peach Stebbins bikes 13 miles round-trip to and from work about three times weekly in the summer. “It gives me great energy and satisfaction,” she said. Photo by Kathie Meyer
City administrative assistant Peach Stebbins bikes 13 miles round-trip to and from work about three times weekly in the summer. “It gives me great energy and satisfaction,” she said. Photo by Kathie Meyer
Bike-to-work basicsFor more information about bicycle commuting, download the handout (PDF, 66 KB).


Fourth annual Fort2Fort Bike Ride
The Fort2Fort ride offers three choices, beginning at McCurdy Pavilion in Fort Worden State Park: a fun ride of 17 miles round-trip, a more challenging 42-mile loop to Old Fort Townsend or a 62-mile round-trip to Fort Flagler. Riders may start any time between 8 and 10:30 a.m. Preregistration is $35 if postmarked by Saturday, May 29; cost is $40 after May 29 and on the day of the ride. For more information, visit www.fort2fortride.org. Mail the registration fee to:
F2F Ride
c/o Friends of Fort Worden
200 Battery Way
Port Townsend, WA 98368

By Kathie Meyer of the Leader


Bust out the bike!City employees are making a commitment to ride their bicycles to work more often and want others to join them. Last week, some of the city’s most ardent and aspirant bikers met for a short training and encouragement session on the benefits of biking, led by Rick Sepler, director of development services. The training was sponsored by the city’s Wellness Committee.
“We figured everyone in Port Townsend can be well,” said Mary Heather Ames, civil engineer.
City employees who bike to work regularly are Sepler, Ames, Judy Surber, Peach Stebbins, Tyler Johnson, Ken Clow and Ian Jablonski. Some of them meet at the Haines Place Park-and-Ride, at Haines and 12th streets, at 7:30 a.m. and bike to City Hall together. While they don’t do this every day, any other interested bikers are welcome to show up and join them, they said.
Some of the essentials for bike commuting are a headlight, a rear red blinking light, a bell and panniers for transporting a change of clothing, your lunch and other daily needs.
Sepler, who coordinates the upcoming Fort2Fort Bike Ride (see sidebar), has an answer for every excuse in the book that people can use for not riding more often.
“The hills are the biggest reason people don’t bike here,” said Sepler. To tackle the steepest inclines, he said, use the smallest front gear with the biggest back gear. Using alternate, less direct routes that are flatter is also an option.
One can always drive to work, ride their bike home and ride back the next day, said Sepler. Jefferson Transit is another way to get your bike back home, if a two-way commute feels daunting or the weather turns sour. Jefferson Transit also offers bike lockers for use at the park-and-ride and at the Jefferson County Library.
“Right now, all four [lockers] at the [county] library are available, and three of the six at the park-and-ride are available,” said Carla Meyer, transit services administrator.
The lockers, which come with a built-in lock, are available for an indefinite period of time and are renewed semi-annually. Occupants must sign a user agreement and pay a $45 refundable security and key deposit. Call 385-4777 and ask for Meyer.
The benefits of cycling include less pollution, staying fit, saving money and a sense of accomplishment, said Sepler. Biking from work to home is a great mental transition from those stressful problems we sometimes carry home with us, he said.
For those who also want to ride recreationally, the Port Townsend Bicycle Association is the best resource for area cycling activities. Visit www.ptbikes.org.

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