HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH/AP) -- Events in Hartford and New Haven on Friday encouraged folks to ditch their cars and bike to work.
"You don't have to go fast, you don't have to go far, but you're going to love it when you get on your bike," said Sandy Fry, from Bike Walk Connecticut.
A crowd gathered to participate in Bike Walk Connecticut's "Bike to Work" breakfast Friday morning in Hartford. Even Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra burned calories instead of fuel to get to work, aware of why even many physically fit people still don't.
"Getting in to work, I'll be a little sweaty," he joked. "I have to change in to my mayor uniform, and that becomes a little bit of a challenge because we don't have great facilities at City Hall."
Some employers and other institutions are taking the cue, such as Gateway Community College's New Haven campus, which is well-stocked with showers and enclosed bike lock-ups.
"It's very important because people know that there are options, but if there's no way to accommodate those options, then you negate the initiative," said Evelyn Gard, the college's Public Affairs Director.
Those who keep statistics say the numbers are encouraging.
"We have been counting cyclist activity in our point-in-time study for the last four years, and have seen double-digit increases every year since then," said Jim Travers, the New Haven Transportation Director. "We've responded to that with bike lanes and shared-lane markings."
Connecticut Transit buses are equipped with bike racks so people with longer commuters can ride their bicycles to local bus stops and then take the bus into the city.
It helps to notice that cycling commuters, just like their rides, come in all shapes, sizes, and even ages.
"I have 85 and 87-year-old parents who still bike," Fry said. "They can bike more easily than they can walk, and I think it's just a great lifetime activity."
A panel discussion called the Hartford Bicycle Symposium is planned for Aug. 23 at the Hartford Public Library. The East Coast Greenway ride into Hartford is planned for Aug. 25. Also, the 2012 Discover Hartford Bicycle Tour is planned for Sept. 29.
For more information about upcoming cycling events visit http://www.bikewalkct.org/
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