There’s been plenty of talk lately about proclamations and come Saturday morning, there’ll be even more to discuss when Mayor Jordan reads a “Bike to Work Week” proclamation at 10:00 am on the steps of the Fayetteville Town Center.
The proclamation is the result of an effort by a local group, the Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks.
According to BCO Chair Laura Kelly, the group first approached the Mayor’s Office to request a proclamation of May as “Bike Month” back in 2001. “Mayor Coody obliged and joined us for a community bicycle ride on his recumbant,” said Kelly.
This year, however, things are getting a little more specific as the BCO has successfully received an official proclamation from Mayor Jordan to name May 11-15 “Bike to Work Week” in Fayetteville.
This latest effort to strengthen the impact of “Bike Month” is part of a much larger campaign to earn the city of Fayetteville a Bicycle-friendly Community Status from the League of American Bicyclists.
The BCO first submitted an official application last year and was awarded an honorable mention status but in order to improve that standing, the group new it would have to take things a step further. That’s when the idea of an official “Bike to Work Week” was conceived. “This is the first year that we are specifically proclaiming the third week of May as “Bike To Work Week”, as opposed to declaring the entire month Bike Month,” said Kelly.
As part of their ongoing campaign to promote bicycle commuting as a sustainable alternative to automobiles, the BCO issued a Bicycle Commuter Challenge for all of Northwest Arkansas during “Bike to Work Week” which offers businesses a chance to earn local recognition and valuable prizes for promoting bicycle commuting. Those interested can print out a poster to display at their place of work to encourage co-workers to take the challenge. Businesses with the highest percentage of bicycle commuters will be eligible to win. Entry forms can be found at bconwa.com.
Immediately following Mayor Jordan’s proclamation will be a bike ride on Scull Creek trail with Fayetteville Trails Coordinator Matt Mihelivich and for those who can’t make it on Saturday, Arsaga’s is hosting “Bike to Work Day” to conclude the week-long event on Friday May 15th at 7am in the parking lot of their Greg St. location.