Celebrate Durham Bike Month With A New Commute

Employees can join workers around the city and country by riding a bike to work

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These alternative transportation numbers were current as of Jan. 1.

While about 400 Duke community members commute by bike to campus for classes and work, the number may increase this month as faculty and staff take part in Durham Bike Month and Bike-to-Work Week.As part of National Bike Month, both the City of Durham and Duke are hosting events in May to encourage an alternative commute by bicycle. Alan Dippy, who rides his bike to each day to work at the Nasher Museum of Art, where he assists with exhibiting and transporting art, said May is a perfect chance to try biking to work."Weather can often be one of the real struggles to get people interested to try bike commuting, so with the great weather we usually have in May, it's a pretty inviting proposition," said Dippy, who is a member of Durham's volunteer Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission. "You typically start seeing more folks on their bikes now because its' a great way to get to work."In addition to temperatures that are expected to average about 75 degrees in May, being a biker is also helped by riding in one of the most "bicycle friendly" cities in the country, as recognized by the League for American Bicyclists."I love that I always have a portion of my day when I can get out, ride home and really clear my head," Dippy said. "It's always something to look forward to."As part of National Bike Month, Bike-to-Work Week is May 16 to 20. To help planning a bicycle commute, faculty and staff can use BikeDuke.com, a website that offers maps, tips and other biking information for Duke community members. Employees who enjoy their ride can sign up to become a bike commuter online - bicyclers receive up to 24 free daily parking permits and can use showers at the Wilson and Brodie recreation centers from when they open to 9 a.m."Riding a bike is the best parking deal on campus," said Brian Williams, Duke's transportation demand coordinator. "You pay nothing in permit and fuel costs, get some free daily passes when you need to drive and you park right outside the door to your building."In addition to bicycle commuting, there are numerous bike-themed events hosted by the city throughout May. A city-sponsored kick-off event is at 5:30 p.m. May 4 at the Lucky Strike Tower at the American Tobacco Campus. Other activities include social events, organized group rides and bike tours. Duke will also host a maintenance and bike frame engraving event from 4 to 6 p.m. May 25 at the Outpost below the West Union building.