Why a “Bike to Shop” Day?

To celebrate Bike Month and encourage more people to #BikeEverywhere, we’re doing a Bike to Shop Day tomorrow in Silicon Valley, California. Here’s why.

bike to shop day flyer 2016

Consider these facts:

  • The National Household Travel Survey shows only 15% of trips are work trips, while 45% of trips are for shopping and other errands.
  • The average commute distance in California is around ten miles, with significant percentages traveling 20 to 30 miles and more to work every day.

Even 10 miles on a bike can seem like a daunting distance for Joe and Jane Average, and 30 miles each way is downright ridiculous on a daily basis. Bike advocates who think strategically talk about land use issues to bring down these commute distances, but we also need to work with the reality we have: most trips are shopping and errands, and finding a three or four mile route to your shopping destination in your neighborhood might be easier than the multiple expressways and highways many people need to cross to access the office park on the other side of town.

Locally, Janet Lafleur began Bike to Shop Day in 2014. The shorter distances makes shopping by bike more accessible to more people. As a bonus, bike to shop helps improve the visibility to business owners of people who bike to their shops. Highly visible Bike to Shop events can influence decisions about road diets, parking and bike access in commercial districts.

Janet talks more about the benefits of Bike to Shop Day in this interview at the League of American Bicyclists website.

I invite you to join one of the group rides headed to Westfield Valley Fair Mall tomorrow in San Jose / Santa Clara, CA, where free valet bike parking will be available on Saturday, May 21, 2016. Casual group rides have been organized from downtown San Jose (at the MLK Library), Campbell (corner of Bascom & E. Hamilton), West San Jose (corner of Bollinger & Miller), and North Santa Clara (corner of Benton & Pomeroy). All rides depart 10:30 A.M. More details about these rides can be found here.

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