From Harford County government:
(Bel Air, MD) – – Each year on the third Friday in May, Harford County commuters switch gears by leaving their cars at home and biking to work instead. Quickly becoming a Harford County tradition, rain or shine, enthusiasts and supportive newcomers arrive on their bikes for the Annual Bike to Work Day Rally.
This free event, hosted by Harford County Government, promotes riding a bicycle as a viable commute option. The Rally in Bel Air will be held Friday, May 21 and will kick off at 7:00 am with a bike parade starting at 220 South Main Street and traveling through Bel Air. Local radio station WXCY 103.7 will emcee all events. The Bel Air Rally goes until 9:00 am and Sandra Shaw from WBAL TV-Channel 11 will be there for live coverage. Each person who registers (www.harfordcountymd.gov – click on the Bike to WorkDay icon), receives a free t-shirt, refreshments, and the chance to win a variety of great prizes. Along with prizes from the Laurapin Grille, The Green Turtle, MaGerk’s, Looney’s, Bel Air Athletic Club, and the Ironbirds, to name just a few, is the opportunity to win two adult bicycles, courtesy of Conte’s Bikes and Chesapeake Cycle and Sport, gift certificates for bike rentals from Biller’s Bikes, and bicycle commuter gear from the Bicycle Connection.
Bicycling is one solution that more and more people are turning to in Harford County– so much so, that the number of registered participants for this event has nearly tripled over the past three years and there are now five bicycle businesses serving the pro-active Harford County cycling community as it continues to grow. Not only have the number of participants increased, the number of rally sites has increased as well. For the very first time Harford County will be supporting three bike to work rallies. This year the Bike to Work Day celebration has grown to embrace two satellite rally sites sponsored by Aberdeen Proving Ground’s (APG) Family Moral, Welfare and RecreationDivision (FMWR) – the first time that Aberdeen Proving Ground has ever held Bike to Work Day rallies on base. These rallies will be held Thursday, May 20 from 6:30 – 8:00 am simultaneously at both the Edgewood and Aberdeen areas of APG. If you can’t make a satellite rally, join us in Bel Air or come to both to show your support.
As part of Clean Commute Month, Harford County Public Schools are taking action in different ways. The elementary students can participate in the 2nd Annual Green Pedal Essay contest; the winner will receive a Mountain Trek Bike, donated by Chesapeake Cycle and Sport.
TwoThis year, we are involving middle- and high-school students as well. Middle-school students canparticipate in an “Art in Motion” poster contest. Winners will receive VIP passes to the BMX-GT Air show in July, courtesy of Conte’s. The high-school students will be competing to create a moveable work of art in the “Bling My Bike” contest. Winners will receive a $500 grand prize, courtesy of Bikefit Solutions, Inc. Winners of each of these contests will share the spotlight as Grand Marshals of the Bel Air Bike to Work Day Rally parade.
It’s not just the schools getting involved; each year a number of businesses and agencies in Harford County participate in the Cycle Smackdown (formerly the Briefcase Challenge). This lively competition occurs when companies or agencies try to register as many employees as possible to bike to work on May 20 at APG and May 21 in Bel Air. This year, trophies will be given at each of the rallies to three separate companies or agencies representing a small, medium and large company category. Over the years, these trophies have become a much sought after prize with close competition among participating organizations.
The companies who win demonstrate they support the clean commute concepts that biking represents.
For those of who want to bike to work, but don’t want to ride by yourself, you can find bicycle convoys that depart from various Harford County locations that day. You will find all convoy information by going to the Harford County website at www.harfordcountymd.gov. Click on the Bike to Work Day icon. Finally, when you register for Bike to Work Day, be sure to take a few moments to complete the Bicycle Survey for Harford County residents. Click on the icon and complete the survey on-line. When you submit your views, it becomes a way to inform decision-makers about cyclists’ needs and issues as they bike to work and school.
Each year the Department of Community Services brings attention to Clean Commute by encouraging folks of all ages to bike to work at least for part of their travel time. The department hosts a Bike to Work Day Rally because that’s how Harford County rolls on Bike to Work Day, May 21. Register today atwww.harfordcountymd.gov. Click on the Bike to Work Day icon.