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Thousands to Bike to Work During Thursday's Commute

Bike to Work Day is today, Thursday, May 10, 2012.

Thousands to Bike to Work During Thursday's Commute

Although many Bay Area commuters pedal their way to the office daily, today, Thursday, May 10 is the official day to promote biking to work.

The 18th Annual Bike to Work Day is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of participants throughout the Bay Area who can stop at energizer stations along major commuting routes to pick up freebies and bicycle resources.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition has organized various events in an effort to support bicycling to work, which has seen a growing following.

According to SVBC, almost 40 percent of Bay Area commuters live within just five miles of their workplace, a bike-able distance for even inexperienced cyclists.

"If every person living this close to their workplace ditched their cars on Bike to Work Day alone, more than 60,000 vehicles would be off the road, reducing tailpipe emissions by more than 150,000 pounds," the website said.

"What’s more, the large turnout each year makes such a visible presence of bicyclists that motorists actually take notice, slow down, and make room. Everyone’s commute is improved when people take to the streets on bikes."

Peninsula and South Bay transit systems Caltrain and Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority are also involved in the mass bicycle commute.

Caltrain vehicles have bike cars, which allow bicyclists to incorporate public transit into their commute.

Caltrain officials noted a 16 percent increase of bicycle ridership on an average weekday over the past year with 4,243 riders up from 3,664 in 2011.

VTA will have an energizer station at the Great Mall in Milpitas adding to the 75 stations throughout Santa Clara County.

In the South Bay, Silicon Valley bicyclists can celebrate their hard-earned miles at the Art Ark Gallery at 1035 S. Sixth St. in San Jose, organized by the SVBC.

Those who bike from work to the celebration will receive a 2012 "Bike to Work Day" T-shirt, the coalition said.

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—By Bay City News Service

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