Provo celebrated “Bike to Work Day” today with free breakfast stations around the city. Cyclists could stop by on their morning ride for breakfast, safety inspections, bike registration and even a free consultation with a mechanic.
With nearly 200 miles of bike lanes and trails, biking is a common choice for transportation and recreation in Provo. Ethan Smith, a BYU student from Illinois studying microbiology, bikes to school every day.
“I think it’s the most convenient way to get there,” he said. “I only live like three quarters of a mile from south campus and being a microbiology major that’s where most of my classes are.”
Smith said cycling solves one of the biggest problems with commuting to campus: parking.
“Parking’s hard to find for everyone, so it seems like all around it’s the best way to do it,” he said.
As more people take advantage of cycling around the city, safety is a big concern. Chris Blinzinger, a member of the Provo Fire Department that helped with the event this morning, said road safety is an important takeaway from Provo’s celebration of Bike Month. He said he thinks Bike Month will remind drivers to look out for bikes on the road.
“I think that this is a reminder that there are cyclists on the road,” he said. “Cyclists need to be as aware as the motorists need to be aware.”
Blinzinger bikes to work year round, and said he supports improving bicycle facilities in Provo. “I think that biking and that active transportation is such a great thing that we can use in our community,” he said.
In 2014, the Provo City Council passed the Provo Bicycle Master Plan, a three phase program to make the city safer and more accessible for cyclists. The plan included resurfacing roads and adding new bike lanes.
The League of American Bicyclists gave Provo a silver ranking as a bike-friendly community. Provo had more high-speed roads with bike facilities than the average gold ranking city, and “excellent” bike month and bike to work events, compared to “very good” in the average gold city. Areas for improvement included bicycle education in schools and creating a bicycle advisory committee.
Events for bike month are happening nearly every day throughout May. For more information, visit provo.org.