Free Campus Events for National Bike Month

Duke community can learn more about biking to campus

Almost 850 Duke community members are registered bike commuters. This week, Duke will host two events for those who bike to campus and students and employees who want to learn more about bicycle commuting. Photo by Bryan Roth.
Almost 850 Duke community members are registered bike commuters. This week, Duke will host two events for those who bike to campus and students and employees who want to learn more about bicycle commuting. Photo by Bryan Roth.

With 842 registered bike commuters, Duke is offering special events this week to celebrate National Bike Month and bring bike commuters together.

Nationwide, the number of people who traveled to work by bike increased roughly 60 percent over the past decade, from about 488,000 in 2000 to about 786,000 during 2008 to 2012.

With "Bike to Work Week" May 12 to 16, Duke transportation officials hope these events teach faculty and staff how easy it is to bike to work:

Bike Appreciation Gathering, 8 to 10 a.m., Friday, May 16

Duke will host a bike appreciation gathering on the Bryan Center Plaza, where student, faculty and staff bicyclists and interested Duke community members can come together for free coffee, bagels and pastries and talk about sustainable commuting. Free GoTriangle items will also be available as handouts, including bell attachments for bikes and bicycle lights.

Bike Commuter Course, 1 to 4 p.m. this Saturday, May 17

Alison Carpenter, manager for Duke's transportation demand management program, will help lead a basic bike commuter course open to all Duke community members. The class will  be held outside the Old Chemistry Building and offers tips and tricks for students and employees who want to begin biking to campus. Carpenter, a certified bike instructor by the League of American Bicyclists, will be joined by another certified instructor.

Topics will include what biking gear to buy, how to dress appropriate for riding and basic bike repair. Participants will also go on a riding tour of campus and the surrounding streets to learn how to best plan a bike commute, so Duke community members will need to have a bike and helmet with them to join.

"We want to make sure bike commuters know we appreciate their commitment to health, wellness and the environment, so it's a little way we can give back," Carpenter said.

In addition to benefits like two daily parking passes per month and shower access at Wilson and Brodie recreation centers, Duke bike commuters are also signed up for the "Bicycle Benefits" program, a nationwide initiative that provides bicyclists with discounts at local businesses.

In Durham, discounts include 10 to 20 percent off food at the James Joyce Irish Pub, a free, daily 12-ounce coffee with any purchase at Ninth Street Bakery and 10 percent off lights, helmets and safety equipment at Durham Cycles.

For more information about bike commuting at Duke, visit the Parking and Transportation Services website.