commute – 511 Contra Costa

Nominate Your Bike Inspiration for Bike Commuter of the Year


Right now, you’ve got the opportunity to recognize your favorite bike commuter. If you know someone whose commitment to their bike commute is inspiring, nominate them for the 2020 Bike Commuter of the Year Award.

As part of the annual Bike to Work Day celebration, each county crowns one dedicated cyclist Bike Commuter of the Year. You have until March 27 to let us know who you think should receive the title.

The nomination process is incredibly simple: submit the nominee’s name and a quick explanation of why they should win and you’re done!

Already have someone in mind? Nominate them now.

511CC & the Miles App: Get Rewarded for Your Commute

511 Contra Costa and the Miles app have teamed up to help you get the most out of your commute!

Download the Miles app, and you’ll start earning points called ‘miles’ anytime you walk, bike, ride transit or take the ferry, or drive in Contra Costa and beyond. The greener your mode of travel, the more points you’ll earn!

Your miles can be converted into rewards which you choose, selecting from a wide range of products and services. A sample of companies offering Miles rewards appears at the bottom of the page.

Click either download button to get started. For more information about how the Miles app rewards points for travel, visit the Miles website.

Green Commute Contest: Win a $20 BART Ticket

Enter for a chance to WIN a $20 BART ticket!

If you skip driving alone and walk, bike, carpool, take transit, or vanpool to work from Contra Costa, posting a photo of your green trip gives you the chance to win a $20 BART ticket.

Just post with the hashtag #511CCgreencommute and you’re entered to win. Full contest rules and details available at 511contracosta.org/greencommute.

https://twitter.com/mohnemus/status/1155904637955760131

BIKE TO WORK DAY 2019

Pledge to Ride on Bike To Work Day

Add to Calendar

Photos from Bike To Work Day 2019

If you stopped by a Contra Costa Energizer Station on Bike To Work Day, or perhaps the Bike Happy Hour at Todos Santos Plaza, check out our photo gallery – you might see yourself or someone you know!

Contra Costa’s 2019 Bike Commuter of the Year

Contra Costa County’s 2019 Bike Commuter of the Year is John Cunningham!

A longtime cyclist, John is a Principal Planner for Contra Costa County’s Transportation Planning Division who quite literally walks the talk. Aware of the increasing need for infrastructure improvements, John works tirelessly to make commute routes throughout the county safe and expeditious for cyclists and pedestrians.

John cycles daily from his home in Lamorinda to his workplace in Martinez. “In the dry months my commute gets me out in nature; my preferred route takes me through Briones Regional Park.” But he is far from being a fair-weather rider; John cycles to work in the wind and rain, in the cold and dark days of winter, and even during the East Bay’s brutal summer heat. His coworkers find that pretty impressive.

“He has increased our department’s awareness of the need for new infrastructure for cycling, as well as expressing a commitment to combating climate change and reducing air pollution. Why, just the pictures on his office wall of cycling efforts have increased interest for taking up the hobby,” explains his colleague Anna Battagello.

Keep up the good work, John, and happy Bike to Work Day on May 9th!

Tips: Getting Ready to Bike Commute

Don’t feel like you’ll be ‘road ready’ in time for Bike To Work Day? Preparing to bike commute isn’t as difficult as you might think. Taking a little time to get familiar with your bike, figure out how to carry your stuff & find a good route (or even a bike buddy) can make things much easier.

Take the guesswork out of preparing for May 9 with our Six Tips & Tricks to Get You Ready for Bike To Work Day!

Bike + BART: Taking Your Bike On Board

If commuting all the way from home to work seems daunting, it’s not cheating to make the distance more manageable by adding BART into your commute. Although bikes are now allowed on BART at all times, there are some rules to be aware of, which include:

  • Bikes are never allowed on crowded cars
  • Bikes are not allowed in the first car
  • Bikes are not allowed in the first three cars during commute hours
  • Folded bikes are allowed in all cars at all times
  • Bicyclists must use elevators or stairs, not escalators

To read the full list of rules, visit the Bikes on BART webpage.

Bike Mapper: Choose the Route Best for You

511 Contra Costa’s Bike Mapper is an innovative bicycle mapping system designed to find the flattest, most direct, or fastest route anywhere in Contra Costa. Read more about the 511CC Interactive Bike Mapper here, or check out our selection of free paper and online bike maps.

Warm Up with Classes or Group Rides

You’ll find everything from social rides to classes geared towards improving your confidence on the bike on our Bike Events page.

Video Highlights from Bike To Work Day 2018

Wondering what Bike To Work Day is like? Check out the video below.

Video credit: Ford Tivakul

Employers: Tips on Encouraging Bike Commuting

If you’re an employer and want to inspire more of your employees to commute by bike, we can help! You’ll find some great strategies on promoting bike commuting year-round at in the official Bike To Work Day Employer Toolkit.

Energizer Station Map: Contra Costa

Find a station along your route and plan to stop for refreshments, good cheer, and free swag.

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Contra Costa County Energizer Station List

PM hours in bold

Antioch

Brentwood

Concord

Danville

El Cerrito

  • Ohlone Greenway Natural Area half way up the block from at the El Cerrito Plaza BART, 7:00-9:00 am, City of El Cerrito
  • El Cerrito del Norte BART Station, 7:00-9:00 am, 511 Contra Costa

El Sobrante

Lafayette

Martinez

  • Central San (4797 Imhoff Pl.), 6:30-8:30 am, Central San
  • Martinez Amtrak Station, 5:30-9:30 am, Citizen Volunteer Dick A.
  • Veteran’s Memorial Building (930 Ward St.), 7:00-9:00 am, Martinez American Legion Post 29
  • Contra Costa Canal Trail x Center Ave., 7:00-9:00 am, Contra Costa Green Business Program

Moraga

  • Commons Park (Corner of Moraga & St Marys Rd.), 6:30-9:00 am, Town of Moraga

Orinda

Pittsburg

Pleasant Hill

Richmond

San Pablo

San Ramon

Walnut Creek

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About Bike To Work Day

On Thursday, May 9, there will be over 400 Energizer Stations throughout the Bay Area where cyclists can stop for refreshments, free Bike To Work Day bags, and promotional items.

Sponsors

511 Contra Costa has supported cyclists and Energizer Station hosts throughout Contra Costa County since 2001 using Bay Area Air Quality Management District funds and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s half-cent sales tax for transportation funds.

Bike to Work Day 2019 is presented by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 511 and Alaska Airlines.

Quick Start Guide: Bike To Work Day 2019

Bike To Work Day (BTWD) is coming! Be sure to mark your calendars for May 9 to join us and thousands of other Bay Area commuters in biking to work.
Our BTWD information page has all the resources you’ll need to get started, including:

Locating Free Stuff: Check our map to find an Energizer Station on your route to work, so you can stop to enjoy snacks, encouragement, a free BTWD bag, and cool swag.

Easy Routes: Use the 511CC Bike Mapper to build your ideal bike commute based on your preferences, including avoiding hills.

Tips & Tricks: Preparation for BTWD isn’t that difficult, and we’ll walk you through it so you can have fun on one of the most enjoyable commuting days of the year.

Party Time: There are Bike Happy Hours at the end of the work day on May 9. They’re free, you’re invited, and you’ll find them (marked in yellow) on our map.

Warm Up with Classes or Rides: You’ll find everything from social rides to classes geared towards improving your confidence on the bike on our Bike Events page.

Bike + BART: It’s not cheating to use BART and your bike to get to work on BTWD. Just familiarize yourself with BART’s guidelines before the big day.

Need more information or want to pledge to ride on May 9? Click the button below.

Get More Info on Bike To Work Day

4 Ways to Find a Carpool

Think it’s difficult to find a carpool? Not only is it easy, we’ve got four ways for you to do it:

Scoop: The Scoop app arranges ride-by-ride carpools for morning and afternoon commute periods, Monday through Friday.  Indicate your origin, destination and departure time before the pre-commute deadline, and the app will match you with one or more people headed your way.

511.org’s Ridematch Page: Create an account with 511’s Ridematch Service, and it will use your commute information to match you with a regular carpool.

Waze Carpool: With the Waze Carpool app you can choose the people you want to carpool with based on detailed profiles, star ratings, and filters like same-gender & coworkers only. As with Scoop, there is no long-term commitment – each carpool is booked separately. Unlike Scoop, Waze Carpool allows you to plan more than one commute period ahead. In fact, you can arrange your carpools for the entire week.

Connect Using Nextdoor: Nextdoor is a social networking service which allows you to easily connect with the people in your neighborhood. Once you’ve created an account, it’s easy to post to Nextdoor and ask if anyone sharing a commute similar to yours would be interested in carpooling.
For more information on carpooling, including how it can qualify you for the $25 Drive Less incentive, visit the 511CC Carpool Page.

Bike To Work Day 2018 – Nearly 20,000 Riders in the East Bay

Great Weather Creates High Bike to Work Day Turnout

An EBRPD staff member installs a bike bell

Thousands of East Bay residents pedaled to work on Thursday, May 10 to celebrate the 24th annual Bay Area Bike to Work Day. Morning counts taken at East Bay Energizer Stations tallied 19,800 people either stopping in or rolling by. In Contra Costa alone, over 4,000 riders were counted.

The event’s 48 Energizer Stations were located next to popular bike commute routes, along regional trails, at BART and other transit stations, and in downtown areas around Contra Costa. Volunteers cheered cyclists on by giving away coffee, snacks, and free Bike to Work Day bags.

Free Bike Bells: At the 511 Contra Costa Energizer station in Walnut Creek, the East Bay Regional Park District affixed over 200 free bike bells as part of their “Share Our Trails: Ring or Call Out” trail safety and etiquette program.

K. Myers bike-blending a smoothie

A BTWD Success Story: Sometimes all it takes is one bike commute for people to realize they’d like to bike to work regularly. That’s what happened with K. Myers – she literally started cycling on Bike to Work Day and is now committed to making her commute between Concord and Walnut Creek by bicycle every Thursday to work at AAA. When asked how she would get home in the case of emergency, she said, “Uber, Lyft or GIG if it was available in Walnut Creek.”
Clayton to Concord for a Decade: Steve Biggs has been bike commuting between Clayton and Concord most days for the past 10 years. Although he biked for fitness throughout much of his life, it was only 10 years ago that Bike to Work Day inspired him to try biking to work. This year’s BTWD was his 10th year anniversary as a bike commuter, so he whipped up a bike-blended smoothie on the trail.

Steve Biggs: Bike commuting for a decade

Steve recently bought an e-bike which allowed him to commute in the driving rain this past winter. He discovered that with his e-bike he was able to travel more in step with cars on the road, making him feel safer.
During the summer Steve rides his road bike. He loves cycling to work and to the grocery store. An added bonus from cycling to work is that it has increased his fitness level for his double centuries (200 mi. rides).

Bike to School Events: Bike to Work Day wasn’t just for commuters – local students and teachers joined in the fun with 117 schools hosting Bike to School Day festivities on Thursday and throughout National Bike Month this May.

Participation Up Substantially: Participation in Bike to Work Day has increased 30% over the past five years.

Elected Officials Join on Two Wheels

Brentwood Mayor Robert Taylor & friends

In Brentwood, Mayor Robert Taylor and Brentwood Traffic Engineer, Steve Kersevan, joined the Delta Pedalers Bicycle Club at their City Park Energizer Station.

Moment of the Day

Longtime Bike to Work Day volunteer Dick Anderson (age 82), who hosted the Martinez Amtrak Energizer Station, had a story to share which seems sums up the ‘people helping people’ spirit behind Energizer Stations:
A young couple got off the last train of the morning commute. They were about to transfer their boxed bikes to an AMTRAK bus to continue their journey. After I presented them with bike bags, Gatorade and bagels they offered to pay me for them. I told her that I do this strictly as a volunteer and I’d never accept any payment anyway.
Since I was ready to pack up for the day, the fellow offered to take the table I borrowed from AMTRAK back for me, saving me the effort.

Photo Gallery

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Carpool with Scoop to Reserve Parking at Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre & Concord BART Stations

Commuting to Concord and Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre BART just got easier! Carpools using the Scoop app will receive a guaranteed parking space and free parking at Concord or Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre BART stations if they arrive before 10 a.m. So, if you’re willing to fill an empty seat, you’ll have a parking spot waiting for you when you arrive!
To get free, reserved parking at Concord and Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre BART stations, download the app at takescoop.com, use promo code BARTLOVE05 to receive a $5 credit, type in the BART station name, and schedule a trip either before 9:00 p.m. the night before the morning commute or by 3:30 p.m. for that evening’s commute. Shortly after the scheduling deadline, Scoop will notify commuters who have been matched. Drivers who match with passengers will receive a parking placard from Scoop which will serve as their parking permit.
For more information, visit the BART website.

How to ‘Casual Carpool’

Did you know you can catch a ride across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge without an app for an average cost of $1? You can! And it’s not a new service, it’s Casual Carpool – helping commuters reduce their travel time between San Francisco & the East Bay for almost 40 years.
Offering a dollar to the driver (to contribute to the $2.50 toll and gas) is just one of the ‘unspoken’ rules of Casual Carpool. Watch this short video featuring interviews with regular riders!
If you’re interested in giving it a try, click through to find a Casual Carpool pickup location convenient for you. There are locations as close to the Bridge as Oakland, Berkeley & El Cerrito, and as far out as Lafayette and Hercules.

Tips and Tricks: Get Ready for Bike To Work Day 2017

If you’re not a regular bike commuter, here are some tips to help you get ready to ride:

1. Make sure your bike fits you properly. Bike size, saddle height and forward/backward position and handlebar height all play key parts in making you comfortable on your bike. If you know someone who can help you with all those measurements, great. If not, your local bike shop can easily help you get a great fit.

2. Get comfortable riding your bike. For many new cyclists, the biggest challenge is just getting comfortable riding – not to mention riding in traffic. Start by riding on quiet streets or empty parking lots, and then test out your skills riding with car traffic. Take it slow and steady and you’ll get the hang of it easily.

3. Remember the rules of the road. Bikes are subject to the same traffic rules as cars. That means stopping at traffic lights and stop signs, yielding to pedestrians, using “turn” signals to indicate where you’re going, etc. And be very aware of what drivers, other cyclists and pedestrians are doing. That’ll keep you safe and make your ride lots of fun.

Riders pose in front of an Energize Station on Bike to Work Day 2013 in Contra Costa County, CA4. Ride with friends or colleagues. One of the best ways to get into the groove of riding is to ride with others. Have friends who already ride regularly? Ask them to help you train. Have colleagues who ride to work? See if you can ride with them. They can all teach you some of the tricks to safe, fun riding and help you build your confidence in the meantime.

5. Be safe. Riding at night? Be sure to “light up” – flashers on the back, lights on the front – so you can be seen coming and going. How about a little extra protection just in case? Gloves for your hands, helmet for your head. If you happen to fall – even at a very slow speed – you’ll be glad to have coverage to absorb the impact.

6. Carrying your stuff. There are lots of ways to carry your stuff to work. Give it some thought so you can pick the one that you like best. From knapsacks to rear racks to front baskets and much more, how you carry your stuff is as individual as you are.

Now it’s time to get out there and ride. We’ll see you on Bike To Work Day!


This post originally appeared on the blog at YouCanBikeThere.com. Click here for more information on Bike To Work Day.

BIKE TO WORK DAY 2017 – THURSDAY, MAY 11

Bike to Work Day is a promotional event to encourage the use of a bicycle instead of a car

About Bike To Work Day

On Thursday, May 11, almost 10,000 Bay Area cyclists celebrated National Bike Month by commuting to work by bicycle! 400+ Energizer Stations were set up dwhere cyclists could stop for refreshments and promotional items.
511 Contra Costa has supported cyclists and Energizer Station hosts throughout Contra Costa County since 2001 using Bay Area Air Quality Management District funds and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s half-cent sales tax for transportation funds.
Bike to Work Day 2017 was presented by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 511 and Kaiser Permanente.  Regional sponsors included the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Clear Channel Outdoor and Clif Bar.

Wondering what Bike To Work Day looked like across Contra Costa? Click any thumbnail below to access our gallery of photos from energizer stations across the county, or view them on Facebook. We also suggest visiting the photo gallery at YouCanBikeThere.com. (Note: As energizer stations hosts send in photos, we’ll be adding them. If you have photos to share, email them to tips@511contracosta.org!)

Morning Energizer Stations

Brentwood: City Park at 2nd & Oak St – Host: Delta Pedalers Bicycle Club

Concord BART Station – Host: Bank of America & TRC Solutions

Concord: Monument Corridor Trail at Monument Blvd – Host: City of Concord

Martinez: Imhoff Pl & Imhoff Dr (Central San HQ) – Host: Central San

Martinez: John Muir National Historic Site – Host: John Muir National Historic Site

Walnut Creek: Contra Costa Canal Trail off of N Wiget Ln – Host: Renaissance ClubSport

Walnut Creek: Iron Horse & Contra Costa Canal Trail – Hosts: 511CCCCTAEBRPD

Walnut Creek: Olympic Blvd & Newell Ave – Host: Walnut Creek: Walnut Creek BART – Host: Bike Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek: Walnut Creek City Hall – Host: City of Walnut Creek

Afternoon Energizer Stations

Concord: Todos Santos Plaza – Host: Bike Concord

Walnut Creek: Iron Horse & Contra Costa Canal Trail – Hosts: 511CCCCTAEBRPD

Walnut Creek: Walnut Creek BART – Host: Bike Walnut Creek

Any Day Can Be Bike to Work Day

1st time biking to work PHill to San RamonBike To Work Day is a great time to try commuting by bike, but it doesn’t have to be the only day you give it a shot! Just remember: Biking to work is all about what works for you. Maybe the weather, or having a bike buddy, or the copious amounts of stuff you have to haul on a bike factors into your decision to cycle to work, and that’s okay!
Biking to work should be enjoyable, so pick days when riding seems fun and reasonable, then go for it. Do that and you might find yourself planning more rides to work. Just like these first-time Bike To Work Day participants.

Tips: Preparing to Bike Commute

Need help getting ready to ride to work? Preparing for a bike commute isn’t as difficult as you might think. Taking a little time to get familiar with your bike, figure out how to carry your stuff & find a good route (or even a bike buddy) can make things much easier.
Take the guesswork out of preparing with our Tips & Tricks for Bike Commuting!

Isabella Zizi: 2017 Contra Costa Bike Commuter of the Year

Bike Party is what made Isabella Zizi start riding as an adult. That’s where “I broke in my orange ’70s Peugeot and introduced it to the fun.” Those rides opened the door to her commuting by bike, and she now regularly uses her bike to commute the six miles to Gathering Tribes in Albany, a Native American arts, crafts & jewelry store.
For Isabella, biking is more than just transportation, it provides a link to her community and its history. These days she rides the Richmond Greenway, but she used to live by it before it was green. “It was just dirt and rocks, and now it has been transformed. I love the connections it provides. The edible garden, the murals, it is so cool to see everything come to life and be open to the whole community.” During rides around Richmond, she also builds connections with her neighbors and strengthens friendships with other riders.
To get further inspired, read the rest of Isabella’s story and the stories of other 2017 Bike Commuter of the Year winners at YouCanBikeThere.com!

Bike Mapper: Choose the Route Best for You

511 Contra Costa’s Bike Mapper is an innovative bicycle mapping system designed to find the flattest, most direct, or fastest route anywhere in Contra Costa. Read more about the 511CC Interactive Bike Mapper here, or check out our selection of free paper and online bike maps.

Employers: Tips on Encouraging Bike Commuting

If you’re an employer and want to inspire more of your employees to commute by bike, we can help! You’ll find some great strategies on promoting bike commuting year-round when you download the Bike To Work Day Employer Toolkit!

Thanks to Our 2017 Energizer Station Hosts!

Bike To Work Day 2016: Wrap-Up & Photos

btwd 2016On Thursday, May 12, over 100,000 people across the Bay Area commuted by bike in celebration of Bike to Work Day, with more than 5,600 participants in Contra Costa alone! Morning counts across the Bay Area showed an increase in participation of more than 9 percent over last year. That’s amazing!
511 Contra Costa wants to thank all participants for making this another successful Bike to Work Day and for helping reduce CO2 emissions! Kaiser Antioch4_smWe’d especially like to thank the hosts and volunteers who helped coordinate and staff the energizer stations throughout Contra Costa. By providing encouragement, snacks and mechanical assistance, you helped make bike commuting a reality for so many!
Whether you rode to work, volunteered or just want to see what things looked like at Energizer Stations on Bike To Work Day, you should check out our photo gallery below. Iron Horse Canal Biker5Who knows – if you visited an Energizer station we just might have a photo of you!
If you participated in Bike to Work Day and want to keep commuting by bike (or want to try bike commuting for the first time), we’ve got resources to help make it fun and easy. Visit our Biking page for tips on how to become a bike commuter, to sign up for a BikeLink (bike locker) card, to learn about taking bikes on transit, and to find out how you can get a cash reward for making the switch to commuting by bike!
Bike to Work Day 2016 was a huge success and we’re thrilled about how many people got involved. Whether you participated this year or not, we hope to see you on your bike next year… if not sooner!

Photo Gallery: Bike To Work Day 2016

(Click any photo to see a larger version)

Morning Energizer Stations

Antioch: Mokelumne Trail at Prewett Park (hosted by the City of Antioch)

Brentwood: City Park (hosted by Delta Pedalers Bicycle Club)

El Cerrito: Ohlone Greenway (hosted by the City of El Cerrito)

Martinez: Central Contra Costa Sanitary (hosted by Central Contra Costa Sanitary District)

Pleasant Hill: Contra Costa Canal Trail & Gregory Ln (hosted by Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District)

San Pablo: City Hall (hosted by the City of San Pablo)

Walnut Creek: Contra Costa Canal Trail & Geary Rd

Walnut Creek: Contra Costa Canal Trail & N. Wiget Ln (hosted by Renaissance ClubSport)

Walnut Creek: Iron Horse Trail & Broadway/Newell Ave (hosted by Beeline Bikes & Whole Foods Market)

Walnut Creek: Iron Horse Trail & Contra Costa Canal Trail (hosted by CCTA, 511CC & EBRPD)

Walnut Creek: S. Main St & Newell Ave (hosted by Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek Medical Center)

Walnut Creek: Olympic Blvd & Newell Ave (hosted by Bike Walnut Creek)

Walnut Creek: Ygnacio Canal Trail & Contra Costa Trail (hosted by Encina Bicycle Center)

Afternoon Energizer Stations

Walnut Creek: Iron Horse Trail & Contra Costa Canal Trail (hosted by CCTA, 511CC & EBRPD)

Keep It Simple: Easy Prep for Bike To Work Day 2016

BTWD2016_web_horizontal
If you’re still on the fence about biking to work, or are biking but worried about forgetting some vital piece of gear, we’ve got 4 tips to help make it a low-stress Bike To Work Day! These suggestions originally appeared in a Time.com article promoting Bike To Work Day 2015 and they’re worthy of a re-post:
Don’t get overwhelmed with tons of gear. It’s a good idea for anyone who rides a bike to know how to patch a tire. But if you get a flat and you aren’t sure how to fix it you are most like going to call somebody to pick you up. The point is that it’s not necessary to get bogged down loading up with gear in anticipation of every potential pitfall during a cycling commute.
Bike to Work Day 2015Forget cycling apparel. Wear a helmet. Other than that, no other bikewear is necessary, assuming your commute isn’t 30 miles of windy hills. “You don’t have to wear special cycling gear in order to ride a bike, everyday clothes work just fine,” advises the League of American Bicyclists. “If your bike doesn’t have a chain guard, you can keep your pants away from the chain by rolling up your pant leg or using a leg band.”
Plot the most sensible route. If your bicycling commute route isn’t obvious, do a little research. The shortest ride by distance is not necessarily the easiest or smartest way to go. It’s often worth it to go a bit out of your way to hook up with trails and other paths reserved for non-automobile traffic, or at least to ride on roads with dedicated bike lines or extra-wide shoulders. [Editor’s Note: We suggest trying 511CC’s Bike Mapper to plan your route to work.]
Bike to Work Day 2015Scope out the basics ahead of time. Get a good lock and know where you’re going to park your bike during the work day. Figure out the options for grabbing a shower, or at least washing up after the commute. Perhaps there is a gym nearby to negotiate a shower fee with, or maybe there are showers at the office office.
Bike To Work Day is about having fun getting to work, so if you’ve got a bicycle, a helmet and the desire to bike to work, you can do this!
For additional information and resources, visit our Bike To Work Day page.

Steve Biggs: A Bike To Work Day Success Story (BTWD 2016)

Can Bike To Work Day change your life? Ask Steve Biggs of Clayton. He tried bike commuting in 2009 and hasn’t stopped since!
Before Bike To Work Day 2009, Steve wasn’t sure that bike commuting was for him. He’d never tried biking to work, having concerns about finding a good route, being able to get cleaned up after the ride, and not arriving late. But on May 14, 2009, he rode from Clayton to Lafayette on Bike To Work Day and was hooked!
Steve continued commuting by bike, and when he hit the six-month mark we wrote about him on our blog.
We checked in with Steve and it turns out that almost 7 years after his first bike commute he’s still going strong!
We asked Steve if he would share his bike commuting experience with us. Here’s what he had to say:
His Commute
Currently Steve bikes to work 4 days a week. His 16-mile commute from Clayton to Lafayette takes about 70 minutes — only 15 minutes more than if he had driven. He learned it’s worth taking a longer route if it helps him avoid congestion and dangerous intersections, finds most motorists to be considerate, and prefers mixed-use paths over roads because they’re not crowded during the week.
What He Enjoys About It
Beyond the bump cycling to work gives his fitness, Steve enjoys the calm he finds on the morning rides. It lets him brainstorm for the coming work day, organize his thoughts, and arrive at work feeling energized and focused. The daily rides even act as training miles for when he’s on the mountain bike — which helped him complete the Leadville 100 in Colorado, a 100-mile mountain bike race which starts at an altitude of 10,152 feet!
Strategies
According to Steve, a little planning goes a long way: Keep an extra set of clothes at work. Find a secure place to store your bike, preferably inside the office. Think about where you can freshen up after your ride (some health clubs offer ‘shower memberships’). Spend some time thinking about how you’ll transport your belongings on the bike. And most importantly, “Get used to the route before commuting to work.” Try riding it on the weekend when you’re less pressed for time.
Find a Bike Mentor
If you’re on the fence about bike commuting, Steve suggests finding a mentor or someone to help you get prepared and plan your route. Not only can experienced bike commuters share pitfalls to avoid and strategies which work for them, they often know cut-throughs (which aren’t on the map) that help you bypass congested or dangerous roads. If there isn’t someone in your office who bikes to work, you can find a Bike Buddy via the 511.org website.
btwd 2016There’s no better time than Bike To Work Day to see what it’s like to commute by bike! Look what it did for Steve. Who knows what it might do for you?
For information on Bike To Work Day, including resources to help you plan your route and find an Energizer station, visit the 511cc Bike To Work Day page.

BIKE TO WORK DAY: THURSDAY MAY 12, 2016

Bike to Work Day is a promotional event to encourage the use of a bicycle instead of a car.

cal-red-02Add Bike To Work Day to your calendar:
iCalendar  •  Google Calendar  •  Outlook
 

About Bike To Work Day

On Thursday, May 12, there will be over 400 Energizer Stations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area where cyclists can stop by for refreshments and promotional items.
511 Contra Costa has supported cyclists and Energizer Station hosts throughout Contra Costa County since 2001 using Bay Area Air Quality Management District funds and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s half-cent sales tax for transportation funds.

Bike Commuter of the Year (BCOY)

BCOY Eric Odell 2015Bike Commuter of the Year (BCOY) award recipients are recognized for their dedication to riding their bike for everyday transportation. They are a testament to the many benefits of bicycle commuting: from improving their health to bringing families together. Nominations are accepted, evaluated and awarded by each county’s Bike to Work Day representative. Learn about 2015 BCOY award winners and their inspiring stories and see past winners from 2008-2014.
Nominate someone you know for Bike Commuter of the Year! The deadline for nominations is April 4.

tbc-logo team bike challenge btwdTeam Bike Challenge & Company Bike Challenge

Ask your friends, colleagues and neighbors to form a team with you and pedal your way to a greener, healthier and happier commute while earning points and medals! There are big prizes to be had in both Challenges, plus it’s a fun and easy way to see just how much biking does for your health, budget and the environment. 

Need help planning your route?

511 Contra Costa’s Bike Mapper is the innovative and open bicycle mapping system specially designed to find flat, most direct, or fastest routes anywhere in Contra Costa County.  Read more about the 511CC Interactive Bike Mapper here, or check out our selection of free paper and online bike maps.

Contra Costa County Energizer Station Map

Coming Soon

Contra Costa County Energizer Station List

PM hours in bold
Alamo

  • Iron Horse Trail at the Alamo Trail Head, 7:00-10:00 am, RPM Mortgage

Antioch

Brentwood

Concord

  • Monument Corridor Trail across from Mohr Ln at Monument Blvd, 7:00-10:00 am & 4:00-7:00 pmCity of Concord/AssetMark
  • Front of 1371 Detroit Ave (Meadow Homes Elementary School), 7:30-8:30 am, Monument Impact
  • Front of 1135 Lacey Ln (Cambridge Elementary School), 7:30-8:30 am, Monument Impact
  • Outside Academic Services Lobby (Cal State East Bay Concord), 7:30-9:00 am & 4:30-6:00 pmCal State East Bay Concord
  • Meadow Homes Park at the corner of Detroit Ave & Sunshine Dr, 3:30-5:30 pmMonument Impact

El Cerrito

El Sobrante

Lafayette

Martinez

  • Martinez AMTRAK, 5:15-9:30 am, Richard A.
  • Bottom of Benicia Bridge, 3:30-6:30 pm, Richard A.

Moraga

Orinda

Pittsburg

Pleasant Hill

Richmond

San Pablo

San Ramon

Walnut Creek

Contra Costa County has 33 Energizer Stations this yearWant to Host an Energizer Station?

If you are interested in volunteering for Bike to Work Day or hosting an Energizer Station in Contra Costa County, please contact us!  Find other Bay Area Energizer Station coordinator contacts here.

A big THANK YOU to our local Energizer Station hosts!

Coming Soon

Bike to Work Day 2015: Celebrate After Work in Concord – 5:30-8:30pm

Bike to Work Day 2015 LogoOn Bike to Work Day, reward yourself for commuting by bicycle with an after-work street party in Concord!
The Bike to Work Day Celebration will be on Salvio Street between Grant and Mount Diablo Streets from 5:30 to 8:30pm. There will be live music, games and face painting for kids, as well as educational booths about biking and safety.
At the Celebration, County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff will deliver a countywide Bike to Work Day Resolution on behalf of the Board of Supervisors. In addition, Bike Concord will provide free bike repair  and EJ Phair will generously donate 10% of food and drink proceeds when patrons mention Bike Concord or Bike East Bay.
For help mapping your bike ride to work, try using the 511CC Bike Mapper. To locate morning and afternoon Bike to Work Day Energizer Stations, click here.

Bike to Work Day 2015: Exciting Energizer Stations – Coffee, Giveaways & More

Bike to Work Day is almost here! Whether you’re already committed to riding or need a tiny bit more motivation, we’ve got the lowdown on Energizer Stations that should not be missed!
Bike to Work Day logoAntioch
• Deer Valley Rd & Wellness Way (Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center) – 6:30-9:30 am: Giving away free bike bells!
Pleasant Hill
• Contra Costa Canal Trail at Gregory Lane – 7:30-8:45 am & 4-6 pm: Raffle to win a $25 gift certificate towards a fitness or dance class with Pleasant Hill Parks & Recreation.
• Pleasant Hill BART Station (near bike racks) – 6:30-9 am: Free bike tune-ups, Peet’s Coffee, bagels & schmear and other snacks.
San Ramon
• Iron Horse Trail at Bollinger Canyon Rd – 6-10 am: East Bay Regional Park District will be giving away free bike bells!
Walnut Creek
• Walnut Creek BART Station (near fare gates) – 6-9 am: Free bike-tune ups!
• Iron Horse Trail/Canal Trail Intersection Energizer Station – 6:30-9:30 am: Free Starbucks Coffee and bike bells!
• Iron Horse Trail/Canal Trail Intersection Energizer Station – 4-7 pm: Make your own slushy on a bike-blender! (weather permitting)

BIKE TO WORK DAY: THURSDAY MAY 14, 2015

BTWD15_Logo
Bike to Work Day is a promotional event to encourage the use of a bicycle instead of a car.
Contra Costa County Energizer Stations
Bike Commuter of the Year (BCOY)
Team Bike Challenge & Company Bike Challenge
Need help planning your route?
Host an Energizer Station Next Year
Our 2015 Local Hosts

Bike to Work Day 2015 is presented by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 511 and Kaiser Permanente.  Regional sponsors include the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Clear Channel Outdoor, The Canary Foundation and Challenge, Clif Bar, Bay Area Bike Share, REI and KPIX TV.
There will be over 300 Energizer Stations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area where cyclists can stop by for refreshments and promotional items.  511 Contra Costa has supported cyclists and Energizer Station hosts throughout Contra Costa County since 2001 using Bay Area Air Quality Management District funds and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s half-cent sales tax for transportation funds.

Bike Commuter of the Year (BCOY)

Nominate your favorite bicycle commuter as a Bike Commuter of the Year.  One winner from each of the nine Bay Area counties will be selected.  All nominations must be submitted by April 20, 2015.
Congratulations to Eric Odell.  Read how Eric Odell is Contra Costa County’s 2015 Bike Commuter of the Year Winner.

Team Bike Challenge & Company Bike Challenge

The competition begins May 1, 2015 between friends and colleagues.  

511CC Bike MapperNeed help planning your route?

511 Contra Costa’s Bike Mapper is the innovative and open bicycle mapping system specially designed to find flat, most direct, or fastest routes anywhere in Contra Costa County.  Read more about the 511CC Interactive Bike Mapper here, or check out our selection of free paper and online bike maps.

Contra Costa Energizer Station Map


See Contra Costa County Energizer Stations in a larger map
See all Bay Area Energizer Stations

Contra Costa Energizer Station List

PM hours in bold
Alamo

  • Andrew H. Young Park at Danville Blvd & Jackson Way, 7:00-9:30 am, RPM Mortgage
  • Iron Horse Trail at Stone Valley Rd West, 7:00-9:30 am, RPM Mortgage

Antioch

Brentwood

Concord

  • Front of 1371 Detroit Ave (Meadow Homes Elementary School), 7:00-8:30 am, Monument Impact
  • Front of 1135 Lacey Ln (Cambridge Elementary School), 7:00-8:30 am, Monument Impact
  • Near fare gates at Concord BART, 7:00-9:00 am & 4:00-6:00 pm, Bank of America/County Connection
  • Monument Corridor Trail across from Mohr Ln at Monument Blvd, 7:00-10:00 am & 4:00-7:00 pmCity of Concord/AssetMark
  • Outside Academic Services Lobby (Cal State East Bay Concord), 7:30-9:00 am & 4:30-6:00 pmCal State East Bay Concord
  • Front of 1900 Grant St (Todos Santos Plaza), 2:00-5:00 pm, Umpqua Bank
  • Monument Corridor Trail at Meadow Ln, 3:00-5:30 pmMonument Impact

Danville

El Cerrito

  • Just half way up the block from El Cerrito Plaza Bart at the New Ohlone Greenway Natural Area, 7:00-9:00 am, City of El Cerrito
  • Front of 540 Ashbury Ave (El Cerrito High School), 7:30-9:30 am, El Cerrito High School

El Sobrante

Hercules

Lafayette

Martinez

Moraga

Orinda

Pinole

Pittsburg

Pleasant Hill

Richmond

San Pablo

San Ramon

Walnut Creek

Want to Host an Energizer Station?

If you are interested in volunteering for Bike to Work Day or hosting an Energizer Station next year, please contact us!

A big thank you to our local hosts!

WestCAT Testing Double-Decker Bus on LYNX Route (2015)

If you ride WestCAT’s LYNX route, get ready to start seeing double!

Photo Courtesy WestCAT
Photo Courtesy WestCAT

AC Transit handed off a shiny, new 80-seat double-decker bus (on loan from manufacturer Alexander Dennis) to WestCAT earlier this week, and it went into active use today!

The double-decker bus will be part of the LYNX fleet for a demonstration period through March 26-April 13. In order to give everyone an opportunity to experience the new vehicle, the bus will be scheduled for use on various LYNX runs. WestCAT will use Twitter (
@wccta), Facebook (facebook.com/wccta), and their website to advise customers on which runs the bus will be traveling on a particular day.
WestCAT is testing the bus to see if double-deckers would be a useful addition to the LYNX fleet. Those who ride the double-decker bus will be asked for feedback, which will be used to help the agency determine whether to consider acquiring similar buses. If the WestCAT Board of Directors decides to purchase double-decker buses, customers could see them in service as early as 2017.
For more information about the double-decker bus demonstration, visit westcat.org or call (510) 724-3331.

Commuter Ferry Returning to Richmond (2015)

On March 5, 2015 the Water Emergency Transportation Association (WETA) Board approved the Richmond Ferry Project Agreement, signalling the return of ferry service between San Francisco and Richmond.
Richmond Ferry Terminal
The Water Authority will now order two catamaran ferry vessels — which will become part of the San Francisco Bay Ferry fleet — and build the new ferry terminal at Ford Peninsula in Richmond. According to the Agreement, ferry riders can expect:

  • In the morning (6am-9am), three trips to San Francisco, with two reverse commute trips back to Richmond
  • In the evening (3pm-7pm), four trips from San Francisco to Richmond, with three reverse commute trips back to San Francisco
  • The possibillity of mid-day service being established if demand and funding are sufficient

The Agreement does not provide for service on weekends, holidays or for San Francisco Giants games. Service is expected to begin sometime in 2018. For 2018, adult fares will be $9.10 one-way, or $6.80 with a Clipper Card. The youth and senior fares will be $4.50 and children under 5 will ride free.
For more information about the Richmond Ferry Project Agreement, click here.

Visualizing Bay Area Commute Patterns

ActiveMaps
(A still of commute patterns in the East Bay. Screen grab via: Activemaps)

Data is an empowering and effective tool for better understanding our everyday lives, and when that information can be easily digested through visuals we are all the more grateful. With this in mind, a thank you is due to UC Berkeley planning Ph.D. student Fletcher Foti, who recently  compiled commute patterns in greater New York, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area, and created an interactive visualization called “Active Maps.” Active Maps shows a day of travel from recent travel surveys and can be sorted by income and zoomed to specific areas. Each circle represents a person, and the size of the circle represents the age of the person. When looking at the East Bay, it’s interesting to note regardless of income, transit and walking appear to be most prevalent  around Berkeley and Oakland whereas the surrounding parts of Alameda and Contra Costa County appear more car-dependent.
For additional coverage, visit The Atlantic City and San Francisco Streetsblog.
*(Note: the default map is for New York, though you can click on the drop-down bar to select the San Francisco Bay Area)
 

New Commuting Trend: Bike Trains

IMG_0431

Bike commuting– much safer and pleasant when there’s company. Photo credit: Walk Eagle Rock

Los Angeles has been making headlines in recent years because of the region’s willingness to invest in alternatives to the automobile, particularly in bringing back an efficient and convenient train system. However, it now appears that another form of commuter train has been built… bike trains!

What are bike trains? The founders of LA Bike Trains, the organization spearheading the concept, put together this concise explanation:

We provide a rolling party along select routes run by Conductors – experienced urban cyclists – to harness the safety of riding in a group while kicking it up a notch by making the ride a fun social experience.  And it’s totally free!
All you need to do is submit your email, cell phone number and the route that you’re interested in. If you don’t see a route that works for you – suggest one and if you’re interested in leading a Bike Train as a Conductor – let us know.

In essence, the bike train concept brings you together with those people you see bicycling during your bike commute, the ones you see and think to yourself , “Wouldn’t it be cool if we ride together as a group? It would be safer and more fun to ride with other people!”
At the moment, Los Angeles has ten different bike train routes scattered across the region, all of which have their own “conductor” leading particular routes with specific departure times. LA Bike Trains even offers commuter surveys to gather input to figure out what routes throughout the county are in high demand.
The hopes of the LA Bike Trains founders are that by offering a more comfortable experience, bicycling can be made more accessible by those intimidated by the thought of cycling to work, and so far, the concept has received positive feedback.
For more information on LA Bike Trains, visit their websitecheck them out on twitter (and the hashtag #LABikeTrain) or see their facebook page.

Have You Been Enjoying A Better Ride? (2013)

Gillig Suburban Inaugural 11.7.13
New AC Transit bus, the “Gillig Suburban,” offers riders free wifi. Photo credit: AC Transit

In March AC Transit began phasing in a new line of buses built by Bay Area based company Gillig to replace some of the fleet’s older models. In August, AC Transit introduced the New Flyer 60’ articulated buses, which feature 52 seats (and additional room for standing) to handle demand along its most heavily traveled routes (click here to check out the specs of the bus).
Now, as of November 8th, AC Transit has unveiled yet another type of bus to improve service quality for riders, one geared to to accommodate long distance commuters, called the “Gillig Suburban.” These buses have the following features:

Gillig Suburban Inaugural 11.7.13
With seats like that, riding the Gillig Suburban bus could make for a very relaxing commute. Photo credit: AC Transit

  • Passenger-controlled overhead reading lamps
  • High-backed cushioned seats
  • Overhead luggage racks
  • Free wifi

All three new models of buses are part of AC Transit’s “A Better Ride” effort to make bus travel more pleasant and efficient. If you have ridden any of the new types of buses, AC Transit encourages you to provide feedback by sending an email to abetterride@actransit.org.
To keep up with the latest news from AC Transit, check out the agency on facebook, twitter, youtube, or sign up to receive their e-newsletters 

How Do You Actually Get Commuter Benefits?

Bike to Work Day at the Mid Market Energizer Station
Bike to Work Day 2010 in San Francisco. Photo credit: Bay Area Fair Trade Coalition
In an earlier post here at 511 Contra Costa we noted that commuter benefits for vanpooling and public transportation had been restored through the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (HR 8) to be on par with the qualified parking benefit

For the 2013 calendar year:

  • up to $245 per employee withholding per month for vanpool and all public transportation
  • up to $245 per employee withholding per month for qualified parking, or
  • up to $490 per employee withholding per month for both public transportation and qualified parking

This is great news but how does one go about setting aside pre-tax income for a commute benefit? Here are some steps you can take to get started.
First, make sure you’re using a qualifying commute alternative. The benefit is available to commuters who commute to work in a vanpool, use public transit, or pay for qualified parking. (Carpooling does not currently qualify for pre-tax benefits.)
Next, ask your employer if commuter tax benefits are offered; typically Human Resources or Benefits department will know.  If your employer isn’t aware of the benefit, share the IRS Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits  with them.
Step three is to set up a payroll withholding for the qualified commute benefit you use. Keep in mind, your employer must have this benefit set up as a pre-tax withholding option in the payroll system.
There is also a benefit for commuting by bicycle though the process is slightly different because unlike other pre-tax commuter benefits the bicycle benefit cannot be withheld from your pay.  See the full tax code here
Note: Withe the passage of California Senate Bill 1339, employers in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Are with 50 ore more employees will be required to offer some sort of commuter benefit – one of the options is to offer employees to withhold pre-tax income for vanpooling, transit or qualified parking.  Look for more information on the roll-out of this bill in summer of  2013.  The Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission are developing the Rule.