Palo Alto residents are encouraged to give up their cars for a day and explore eco-friendly alternatives as part of the Bay Area's 25th annual Bike to Work Day this Thursday.
Last year, more than 44,000 people participated in Bike to Work Day in the Silicon Valley, but this year Silicon Valley Bike Coalition Executive Director Shiloh Ballard said she hopes the number increases.
"In order to create a better community, a better environment, improve human health; riding a bicycle is one of the best solutions to all those things," said Ballard.
Bicyclists can visit one or all four city-sponsored energizer stations operated by volunteers from 6:30-9 a.m.:
• Alma Bike Bridge at Alma Street and Palo Alto Avenue.
• Downtown on Bryant Street near City Hall.
• Wilkie Way Bike Bridge near Monroe Drive at Miller Avenue.
• California Avenue Caltrain station at California Avenue and Park Boulevard (largest energizer station in Palo Alto).
Each station will offer different perks — from free bike tune-ups at the Alma Street/El Palo Alto bike bridge to free pancakes at the Wilkie Way Bike Bridge. City staff will hand out information on planning and transportation projects at City Hall. This year will mark Palo Alto's 20th year of participating in the regional event.
Each station will also offer free tote bags containing T-shirts, snacks and more.
Castilleja School is also hosting a student energizer station from 7:30-8:30 a.m. at the "Branches of Bryant" at Bryant Street and Lowell Avenue, where the trees will be filled with bicycle-themed decorations. Student volunteers, including ones from neighboring schools. The first 100 visitors will be rewarded with a free laptop sticker that promotes bicycling in Palo Alto.
The four stations are among a total of more than 150 energizer stations across the Bay Area with some operating as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 9:30 a.m. A map of all the stops in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, compiled by the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, can be found here.
This will also be the first year that Palo Alto hosts a free Bike Away from Work Bash from 5-7 p.m. at Summit Bikes located at 392 California Ave.
During the event, sponsored by Summit Bikes, bicyclists will be able to socialize and learn about upcoming mobility-based transportation projects and programs as well as the bicyclist friendly history of Palo Alto.
Advanced registration to the evening party is requested online at eventbrite.com.
More information on Bike to Work Day can be found by visiting bikesiliconvalley.org.
Bike to Work Day is sponsored by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 511.org and Alaska Airlines.