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Bike To Work Week Begins

Celebration culminates with pit stops for "Bike to Work Day" on May 18

It's about a 15 mile ride to bike from the middle of Potomac to Washington, D.C. Will you make the commute this week during national Bike to Work Week?

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.

There are over 10 pit stops planned across Montgomery County.

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. 

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.

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 the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA).

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