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Ozark Greenways extends Bike to Work Week through May 27

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Riding to work may mean spending time on a City Utilities bus, but the point is to think differently about how you get around.

Riding to work may mean spending time on a City Utilities bus, but the point is to think differently about how you get around.

Ozark Greenways has extended its annual Bike to Work Week through May 27, citing rainy conditions during the original dates May 16-20. Their best-laid plans may get wet again this week as well.

Bike to Work Week challenges residents to leave their car behind at least one day that week to get to work or school, by commuting by bike, taking the bus, carpooling, walking, telecommuting, or any combination. Registration, route maps, tips and more at www.ozarkgreenways.org.

More than 1,000 people participate each year, benefiting their health, saving money, reducing water and air pollution and alleviating traffic congestion.

Springfield now has 68 miles of greenway trails, 72 miles of on-street bike routes, 172 miles of bus routes and The Link, an 8-mile north-south bike/walk corridor developed by Public Works, connecting Doling Park to CoxSouth. Residents and visitors are encouraged to use these routes any time of year, but especially during Bike to Work Week.

“The goal of Bike to Work Week is to show off all of Springfield’s active transportation options and support continued expansion of our community greenway trail and bike route network,” said Lori Tack, Program Coordinator with Ozark Greenways. “Participation shows public support for Springfield’s greenways and bike routes, and that’s crucial to planning and fundraising. And since we’re seeing more people on bikes around town, we need to educate each other about traffic laws – as both cyclists and motorists.”

Register by as an individual or as a team with your workplace or school name, at ozarkgreenways.org.

Participants who report their dates and modes of active transportation will receive a voucher for a free bagel or cookie and coffee from Panera Bread in Springfield, after Bike to Work Week is over.

City Utilities of Springfield offers free bus fare to participants traveling with their bike that week as well – a great opportunity to check out the new bus routes.

Events related to Bike to Work Week include FREE Bike Commuting 101 Workshops, held at the City of Springfield Environmental Resource Center, 290 E. Central Ave., RSVP with David Hutchison, 417-864-1971 or email David Hutchison. Workshop dates are:

Tues.-Thurs., June 21-23, 6-9 p.m.
Sat., July 16, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tues.-Thurs., Aug. 9-11, 6-9 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 17, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Bike to Work Week is sponsored by Ozark Greenways, Panera Bread Co., City Utilities of Springfield, Ozark Adventures, Missouri Sun Solar, New Belgium Brewing Co., Associated Electric Cooperative Inc., Anderson Engineering, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, Springbike Club, Hy-Vee and Great Southern Bank.

For more information, contact Lori Tack, Program Coordinator 417-864-2015, or email Lori Tack. Bike to Work Week info is at ozarkgreenways.org.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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