Nebraskans are encouraged to trade their four wheels for two this week as part of National Bike To Work Week. Tina Hadden, one of the event’s organizers, says the goals include encouraging Nebraskans to try bike commuting, increasing cycling awareness and promoting a healthy alternative form of transportation. Hadden says it’s not practical for all Nebraskans to hop on their ten-speeds and head to work, but many can — and do.Hadden says: “The truth of the matter is, if you’re going to ride your bike to work, you’re going to be on the streets part of the time. Our goal would be to make the streets more user-friendly for the bikes by putting in bike lanes or bike routes and having those connected to the trail heads.” Some larger cities, including Lincoln and Omaha, have already put in bike lanes on main roads and she says the movement is catching on. Hadden says: “Some of the suburbs are already starting to put bike lanes in when they’re putting in new streets or they’re going back and refurbishing old streets. You are starting to see a lot more awareness from our political leaders about the need for bicycle-friendly, complete streets.”
Some communities are hosting events this week, including discounts for bike riders at coffee shops, bike commuter breakfasts and tune-up specials at bike shops. Hadden says this Bike to Work Week has several goals, including gas conservation, money savings and getting healthy. “Biking to work is a great way to get your exercise in before and after work,” she says. “We have a gentleman who’s only filled up his gas tank twice since January, either by riding the bus or taking his bike to work. There is definitely some incentive with the gas prices the way that they are.”
To find out about various events, Hadden encourages bike riders to visit the website, “www.bikeleague.org,” and to commit to riding to work.