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Evanston to take part in area bike week

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Special events are planned in Evanston for Chicagoland's Bike to Work Week, June 13-20.

Sponsored by the Active Transportation Alliance, local employers participating include the City of Evanston, Northwestern University, and Rotary International.

Bikers can take advantage of several special events throughout the week on their way to or from work.

quick morning snack and  free bike tune-up by Wheel and Sprocket will be a feature of the Bike Pit Stop on Tuesday, June 17, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., at Fountain Square in downtown Evanston.

The first 35 bikers who stop by will receive a free water bottle in celebration of 100 years of clean water in Evanston.

Additionally, Rotary International will be handing out reflective bike stickers to the first 50 bikers in honor of Rotary’s commitment to community service both locally in the City of Evanston and around the world. 

City of Evanston staff will also be on hand to gather input on an Updated City Bike Plan. The Bike Pit Stop is organized by the City of Evanston, Rotary International, and Downtown Evanston.

Then on Thursday, June 19, Evanston pub and eatery, Bat 17, at 1709 Benson Ave., will host a “Bike and Brew” event from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., featuring discounts on drinks and appetizers for bikers, as well as the opportunity to become a member of the Active Transportation Alliance.

“Bike to Work Week is a great opportunity for commuters to shift gears and take advantage of this healthy, economical, environmentally-friendly and fun transportation option,” said City of Evanston Sustainable Programs Coordinator Catherine Hurley.

“Whether it’s a short trip to the Metra station or all the way to the office, biking puts the brakes on air pollution and traffic congestion while giving commuters a break from the driver’s seat,” she said.

The Alliance listed these reasons why people should bike instead of drive:

Biking is one of the most environmentally, economically and physically healthy ways to move around Evanston.

Cycling just 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent.

Cycling to work can increase cardiovascular fitness by 3 to 7 percent.

The health benefits from cycling 30 minutes daily can reduce medical bills by $544 for the average American adult.

The yearly cost of owning and operating a vehicle is more than $9,000, while owning and maintaining a bicycle can cost as little as $120 per year.

Cutting out short car trips in favor of bicycling provides a disproportionately large reduction in CO2, particulate matter and other dangerous pollution, significantly improving air quality.

More information is available on the Bike Commuter Challenge website.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio stations and business-oriented magazines.

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