Freebies and Safety Tips for Bike to Work Day Friday | NBC4 Washington

Freebies and Safety Tips for Bike to Work Day Friday

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    WASHINGTON - MAY 15: U.S. Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu (R) rides his bicycle to work after he attended a "Bike to Work Day" event at the Freedom Plaza May 15, 2009 in Washington, DC. Thousands of people from the DC area rode their bicycles to work on today to promote an alternative mean to save energy and to help to create a greener environment. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    Biking to work is getting more popular in D.C. -- and more people might be getting interested in pedaling as Metro goes through big changes. If you're wondering if biking to work will work for you, try out the D.C. area's annual Bike to Work Day this Friday.

    More than 15,000 people may participate in the annual celebration of green commuting. Even if you have never biked to work before, you can register for Bike to Work Day for a free T-shirt and get in gear with help from avid riders.

    Below are more tips for beginning riders:

    You must register in advance to pick up your shirt at one of 83 pit stops throughout D.C. -- but you can pull over at any of the locations for drinks, food, games and raffles.

    Pit stop sponsors include &pizza, buredo, Yes! Organic Market, bakeries and coffee shops. Many pit stops are sponsored by neighborhood businesses, and you can see a map of every stop on the event's website.

    You can even get a tune-up for your bike at the Farragut Square pit stop.

    Beginner’s Guide

    If you are a novice or have never biked, don't worry! Our guide to classes, special programs and safety rules will help you on your way to a safe and fast Friday commute.

    • Special convoys of bike riders will depart from many locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. You can find a group online and follow an experienced cyclist to a location near your office.
    • The Washington Area Bicyclist Association can help you learn to ride or teach you skills for navigating busy city roads. Learn-to-ride classes start at $85 for non-members and a three-hour rundown on city cycling is $10 for non-members.
    • If you don't have a bike, Capital Bikeshare is an affordable way to try out cycling without buying your own bike. Plus, the design of Capital Bikeshare bikes (they're heavy and sturdy) may make them safer than traditional bikes, WTOP reported.