Local and national bike organizations are encouraging cyclists to ditch their cars this week for "Bike to Work Week," a national celebration aiming to encourage citizens across the country to bike to work, or for pleasure, on a regular basis.
The week culminates in Bike to Work Day on Friday, held rain or shine, when cyclists can make a "pit stop" at one of 58 locations across the D.C. region for T-shirts, refreshments, giveaways and bicycling advice.
One of the pit stops is in White Oak, at the FDA's Historic Building #1, off New Hampshire Avenue and Mahan Road. Other pit stops are located in downtown Silver Spring, Bethesda, Rockville and Takoma Park.
A map of all planned stops in the region is attached to this story.
The national celebration dates back to 1956, when the League of American Bicyclists started the public outreach campaign and event to encourage more biking. Since then, it's grown tenfold in the Washington D.C. region, according to the organization: Participation has risen from a few hundred in 2001 to 11,000 last year, it said.
The celebration week falls in the middle of Bike Month and shortly after the inaugural National Bike to School Day.
Data from the American Community Survey shows Washington, D.C., as one of the country's 70 largest bicycling cities, with 3.1 percent of the total worker population reporting they bike to work — a statistic six times greater than the national average of .5 percent.
The League attributes the "bicycle friendly" cities' successes, in part, to the degree in which it promotes bicycling through education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation and engineering.
The Montgomery County locations are listed below:
- Downtown Silver Spring, Discovery Communications, One Discovery Place, Georgia and Wayne avenues, 6:30 to 9 a.m.
- White Oak, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) campus, FDA Historic Building #1 (in the circle), entrance off New Hampshire Avenue and Mahan Road, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, 7 to 9 a.m.
- Downtown Bethesda, Reed Street (corner of Woodmont and Bethesda avenues near the Capital Crescent Trail), 6:30 to 8:30 a.m.
- North Bethesda, White Flint Mall, 11301 Rockville Pike, entrance in front of Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant, 6:30 to 8:30 a.m.
- Bethesda, National Institutes of Health in front of Building One, 1 Center Drive, main campus, 7 to 9:30 a.m.
- Bethesda, National Institutes of Health, 6116 Executive Boulevard, at the picnic tables to the left upon entering Executive Plaza, 8 to 9:30 a.m.
- Naval Support Activity Bethesda, South Gate near the Helipad, 8901 Rockville Pike, 6 to9 a.m.
- Downtown Rockville, Rockville Town Center in front of Regal Theatre, 199 East Montgomery Avenue, 7 to 9 a.m.
- Rockville, Fallsgrove Transit Center, 521 Fallsgrove Drive, 7 to 9 a.m.
- Rock Springs Business Park, Marriott International Headquarters 10400 Fernwood Road, 6:30 to 9 a.m.
- Downtown Takoma Park /Old Takoma, Takoma Urban Park (Gazebo), 7035 Carroll Avenue, 6 to 9 a.m.
- Takoma Park, New Avenue at Sligo Creek Trail, Sligo Creek Trail and New Hampshire Avenue crossing (east side), 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
- Takoma / Langley Crossroads, Starbucks, 7690 New Hampshire Avenue, 7 to 9:30 a.m.
Cyclists are encouraged to stop at as many pit stops as they'd like on Friday, but will need to register at one in order to pick up their free T-shirt.
For safety and commuting tips, check out advice from and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA).