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Active Commute Week kicks off in Grand Rapids

As Active Commute Week kicks off in Grand Rapids, various events and workshops will be held in the community to encourage health and sustainability through active commuting options.
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Making Active Commute Week Happen

The GGRBC would like to thank both the Active Commute Week partners and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation for making this week possible. Along with its Active Commute Week partners, the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition is funding the week’s activities under a new cycling advocacy grant from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

Monday, May 14 kicks off Active Commute Week here in metro Grand Rapids. Held to encourage active transportation use, the week will feature various events, workshops and the Active Commute Week Challenge. From May 14 through Friday, May 18, individuals in Greater Grand Rapids are encouraged to participate in the weeklong competition by tracking their commutes to and from work. Commuters are able to track online how often they commute using active transportation, which includes cycling, walking (including running, wheelchairs, skating, boarding), riding the bus and carpooling. Individual participants are eligible for daily prizes and awards will be given to participants with the highest amounts of active commuting. While about 20 businesses and colleges have registered for the corporate competition, no registration is required for individual contestants. All participants can log their commute trips here.

“Active Commute Week has been organized by several of our area’s largest business and college employers,” said Tom Tilma, Interim Director of the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition (GGRBC). “They see the benefits of active commuting for achieving their wellness and sustainability goals, and they also want Grand Rapids to be a cool city that’s attractive to potential employees and students.”

In addition to the Active Commute Week Challenge, various events and workshops will be taking place throughout the week. On Wednesday, May 16, Grand Valley State University is holding its GVSU Connecting Campuses Ride. Riders meet at either the GVSU Alumni House on the Allendale campus (1 Campus Dr.) or the Bicycle Factory (201 Front Ave. SW) at the downtown Grand Rapids campus. The route follows Lake Michigan Dr. between Allendale and Grand Rapids. Riders have the choice of riding out and back or riding one-way and hopping on The Rapid Route 50 bus back to their starting point.

National Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 18. GGRBC volunteers at Rally Stops will hand out snacks, coffee, and giveaways from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. to show support for cyclists who commute. Rally Stops will be set up along bicycle commuting corridors for cyclists to stop by for a snack on-the-go and giveaways from local bike shops and corporations. Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell will stop by some of the Rally Stops during his bicycle commute to City Hall.

Completing the week’s events is Active Commute Today LIVE!, which is taking place Friday, May 18 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The public is encouraged to ride their bikes, walk or bus to the event at Rapid Central Station. Live bands will perform on the station platform, and at 5:30 p.m. Mayor George Heartwell will address the crowd before the awards are presented to the winning individual and business in the Active Commute Week Challenge. Alger Bikes will be on site discussing safe commuting and performing minor bike tune ups and The Spoke Folks community bike shop will have benches and tools available.  Other vendors supporting active commuting will be present with interactive booths and information. Attendees are welcome to continue the celebration across the street at Founders Brewing Company.

Throughout the week cycling workshops will be taking place at various locations. Workshop topics include Bike Maintenance 101, Smart Cycling and Road Rules, Bike Safety and Community 101 and Flat Tire Changes.

“We want to see a record-setting week in the region for active commuting,” said Tilma. “There’ll be a lot of energy at the Rally Stops during the Friday morning commute, and the party Friday afternoon at Rapid Central Station will be a great way to cap off a fun week.”

For more information regarding Active Commute Week, please visit the GGRBC’s Web site.

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