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Bike Fest for clean air expands events, outreach

Citizen Staff Writer



A bigger, better Clean Air Days & Bike Fest is set to roll into the area in April.

The event began 20 years ago as a one-day bike to work day.

“Now we’ve got more than two dozen activities spread out over the entire month of April,” said Beth Gorman, program manager at the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality.

“We’ve got a lot of new events this year,” Gorman said. “We’re trying to bring in new activities to reach out to a new audience.”

Participation has grown over the years, and 5,000 to 6,000 people are expected to join in this year, she said.

Bike 2 Work events have been added in Sahuarita and Oro Valley to go along with four Tucson-area Bike 2 Work events, Gorman said.

Event highlights include the April 4 Bike 2 the Zoo Day, which features free ice cream and valet bike parking for pedaling visitors, the April 10 Birding and Biking event, the April 11 El Tour de Campus Kids Bike Fair for riders 3 to 6 and the Greater Arizona Bicycling Association’s Bike Swap Meet on April 19.

Clean Air Days & Bike Fest aims to introduce area residents to sustainable, cleaner modes of transport, she said.

“By driving less and riding their bikes or riding a bus or carpooling, they are going to reduce pollution and improve the health of the community,” Gorman said.

“Every 30 miles driven creates one pound of air pollution,” she said, and the average area commute is 11 miles each way.

The effort will also conserve fuel, reduce traffic congestion and our dependence on imported oil, she said.

“We’re trying to encourage people why may not even have ridden a bike before or carpooled or taken the bus to try it and find out if it is something they could incorporate into their lives,” Gorman said. “It’s all about improving the environment and educating the public.”

The city of Tucson and Pima Association of Governments stepped up to support the expanded event this year, Gorman said.

Clean Air Days & Bike Fest 2009

April 4 – Tucson Earth Day Festival and Parade This year’s Earth Day theme is “All Species Deserve a Green Habitat.” Join the fun at Reid Park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participate in hands-on activities at booths and view an alternative fuel vehicle show and a solar competition. Participate in the parade that starts at 10 a.m. or cheer from the sidelines. Valet Bike parking provided.

April 4 – Bike 2 the Zoo Day Ride your bicycle to Reid Park Zoo and get FREE admission and ice cream if you show your helmet and use the free valet parking inside. Available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: valet bike parking. www.dot.tucsonaz.gov/bikefest

April 4 – Bike Rodeo at Reid Park Test your biking skills on our obstacle course. Bring yourself and your kids (age 7 -14) to the bicycle safety obstacle course between 10 a.m. and noon. Visit elgrupocycling.org to learn more!

April 4 – UA Criterium Bicycle Race Watch Arizona’s top racers and first-timers race around the University of Arizona campus. Racing begins at 7 a.m. and the day ends with a cruiser/commuter parade in the afternoon. No car parking. Ride your bike and get a free raffle entry. Event located at the intersection of East First Street and Warren Avenue. www.uacycling.com

April 10 – Birding and Biking Want the opportunity to see more than 200 species of birds while riding a bicycle? The Tucson Audubon Society invites you to bird watch on a bicycle. The ride begins at 7 a.m. Check website for the route. www.dot.tucsonaz.gov/bikefest

April 11 – 2nd Annual El Tour de Campus Kids Bike Fair Who likes obstacle courses? Children ages 3 to 6 are invited to the U of A Mall for bike fun and safety. Sign up on the website www.Active.com, or at the event, 9 a.m. to noon. Admission is $5, and includes a T-shirt.

April 11 – Green Living Fair Learn how easy it is to go green and save money at Habitat for Humanity’s HabiStore. Experts in home energy, car maintenance, recycling, conservation, biking and more will showcase methods and products to save greenbacks while going green. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3840 S. Palo Verde; located at Palo Verde and Ajo Way.

April 11 – Bike and Book at Bookmans, Speedway and Wilmot Bring the kids to Bookmans on Speedway for a fun-filled story time about the environment, bike riding and other modes of transportation. We’ll have some great giveaways, plus a chance to win a new kid’s bike. Check the website for times: www.dot.tucsonaz.gov/bikefest

April 11 – Bike Storytime at Barnes and Noble at Foothill Mall Kids, come to Barnes and Noble to listen to a story about Gracie the Goat’s big race, and learn about bike safety from a bike ambassador. Check website for time: www.dot.tucsonaz.gov/bikefest

April 13 – 17 All week is Bike 2 Work Week!

April 18 – Sahuarita Bike Fair Join us at Anamax Park as we celebrate cycling, starting with a morning bike ride for cyclists of all ages at 8:30 a.m. and a healthy breakfast to follow. The bike fair will also include a bike rodeo and other fun activities for the kids.

April 18 – Bike and Book at Bookmans at Campbell and Grant See April 11 listing for information on this event.

April 19 – GABA Bike Swap Meet on 4th Avenue Come to the largest bike swap meet in the west to get great deals on bicycles, parts, and gear. Swapping begins around 7 a.m. www.bikegaba.org Valet bike parking available.

April 22 – Green Ways to Work Day Going green makes “cents,” especially on Earth Day! Learn how to use less energy and help clear the air by greening your commute and going green while at work. At the Main Library Downtown-Jacome Plaza, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. www.884RIDE.org.

April 22 – Earth Day at the Northwest Campus Pima Community College, Promenade Level. Celebrate Earth Day by learning about our planet and environment. Come and see our telescopes, small creatures, PCC’s solar oven, mineral collection, and campus sundial from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 25 – American Lung Association Walk for Life and Breath Join more than 500 walkers at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park at 3600 E. River Rd. so we can all breathe easier. Enjoy a fun morning full of activities for the whole family, including live music, clean air exhibits, demonstrations, chair massages, a rock climbing wall, a jumping castle, a water park, games, prizes, and surprises. Get your team photo taken and enjoy a brunch following the walk, 8 a.m. to noon. Register online at www.TucsonAsthmaWalk.org

April 25 – Bike and Book at Bookmans at Ina and Thornydale See April 11 listing for information on the event.

April 26 – BICAS Bike-in Movie Want to watch a bike themed movie with other bike lovers? Well, here is your chance! Celebrate the bike with BICAS. Check website for times: www.dot.tucsonaz.gov/bikefest

Bike 2 Work commuter events

April 13- 17 – BIKE 2 Work Week Calling all first-time and experienced bike commuters! Leave your car behind and join thousands of others to celebrate biking to work. This year Bike 2 Work stations will be scattered around Tucson and the metro area. Bike 2 Work locations will feature free breakfast stations, bike adjustments, raffles and more. Check the website for the full list of events: www.dot.tucsonaz.gov/bikefest

April 13 – Bike 2 Work – Bristol Double Decker Coffee Bus Join the G.O.H.S. at the Coffee Bus from 7-9:30 a.m. for free coffee, breakfast and bike adjustments courtesy of Roadrunner Bikes. The Coffee Bus is located at 5601 E. Broadway, just east of Craycroft.

April 15 – Bike 2 Work – Third and Country Club Cruise by and grab a bite at the breakfast station, hosted by Ward 6 and Xoom Juice from 7-9 a.m.

April 17 – Bike 2 Work Day Downtown Events Begin your morning by celebrating Bike 2 Work at the Main Library Downtown Jacome Plaza from 7-9 a.m. Enjoy live music, free food, fun and activities.

April 17 – Bike Tour of Downtown with Downtown Tucsonan Magazine staff After work, cruise around downtown from 4:30-5:45 p.m. Discover architecturally and culturally significant sites in downtown Tucson and its surrounding neighborhoods. This free tour begins at La Placita. At the end of the tour, bikers can stick around and mingle over cocktails at a Downtown happy hour location (TBA).

April 17 – Bike Movie at La Placita The night is still young. It is movie time. Come enjoy a free outdoor bike-themed movie event with popcorn at La Placita Cinema. The movie begins at 7:30 p.m.

Other great events in the region

April 17 – Bike 2 Work Sahuarita For those in the Sahuarita area, visit the Bike 2 Work Fair in front of Town Hall from 7-9 a.m., featuring a continental breakfast, bike safety information and giveaways. www.ci.sahuarita.az.us

April 17 – Bike 2 Work Oro Valley For those passing through the Oro Valley area, please join the Bike 2 Work Celebration. The celebration will feature a continental breakfast, giveaways and safety information.

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