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UD will host Bike to Work Day festivities on May 19.

May 19: Bike to Work Day

University to host Bike to Work Day festivities at Mentors’ Circle

Friday, May 19, is Bike to Work Day in Newark and across the nation. This event is intended to highlight National Bike Week (May 15-19) in Newark — currently designated a bronze-level “Bicycle Friendly Community” by the League of American Bicyclists.

BikeNewark is organizing this year’s Bike to Work Day event in Newark, in partnership with the city of Newark, the University of Delaware (UD), the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and the Newark Bike Project. The event will be held from 7:30-9 a.m. at Mentors’ Circle on the University of Delaware’s central campus, just off the intersection of South College Avenue and Kent Way.

UD Provost Domenico Grasso will officially welcome participants on behalf of the host institution.

Local businesses will provide light breakfast fare for participants to enjoy at the event. DelDOT will be giving away event T-shirts while they last. Partner and sponsor organization representatives will be on hand to help the BikeNewark ensure the success of this event as a means of drawing attention to bicycling as clean transportation, a healthy lifestyle choice and a source of economic development in this community.

“By partnering with BikeNewark, UD is encouraging people to ride their bikes to work while making it safe at the same time,” said Beth Finkle, director of Employee Health and Wellbeing. “Biking is not only an excellent way to decrease a sedentary lifestyle, it also reduces one’s carbon footprint. We hope that this fun-filled event will promote the innumerable benefits of cycling to work and provide a platform for employees to connect to the UD community.”

In addition to Grasso, there will be speakers from the New Castle County government, state legislature, and city of Newark. BikeNewark will then present a special service award to former Gov. Jack Markell, whose family members will accept on his behalf, and will give away random prizes provided by sponsoring businesses for those who ride in and register at the event.

Bicycle commuters are encouraged to ride with others to the event and take advantage of one of six captain-led “bike trains,” which will depart from the following locations promptly at 7:20 a.m.:

• New London Road at the Fairfield Shopping Center.

• Curtis Mill Park on Paper Mill Road.

• Wyoming Road at Delaware Technology Park near the James F. Hall Trail trailhead.

• University of Delaware Field House.

• Chrysler Avenue just off the Elkton Road intersection.

• John R. Downes Elementary School on Casho Mill Road

New this year is a team “challenge” through Motivate the First State, a campaign developed in collaboration with the Governor’s Council on Health Promotion and Disease prevention as part of its ongoing strategic efforts to improve health in Delaware. One can log one’s May bicycle mileage by downloading and using the Plus3 Fitness App for free as a member of one of four 2017 Bike to Work Day challenge teams — city of Newark Employees, Downtown Newark, University of Delaware and Newark Community. The winning team will be announced at Bike to Work Day. See the website for details on how to enter.

Bike to Work Day is the culmination of the local observance of National Bike Month, which follows other events in which UD has played a sizable role.

• The UD Student Government Association partnered with BikeNewark to stage UD Bike Days, a weeklong focus (May 1-5) on transportation culture, safety, and civility both on and off campus, with a special emphasis on bicycling. For UD Bike Days, BikeNewark engaged a team of UD’s visual communications seniors (under the direction of professor Bill Deering) — Laura Cooney, Vaughn Renner, Steven Gonzales, Joanna Sugar, and Allison Lustbader — to design six “civility” posters, which have been displayed on campus and around town.

• UD’s Institute for Public Administration (IPA) and the student chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) at UD —under the leadership of policy scientist Marcia Scott and civil and environmental engineering faculty member Abigail Clark-Sather, respectively — collaborated with BikeNewark and several other organizations to stage Bike to School Week (May 8-12) events at John R. Downes Elementary School in Newark. IPA graduate public administration fellow Savannah Edwards and civil engineering student and EWB member Christopher Kitson were key players in the week’s success.

BikeNewark chair Mark Deshon, a 1978 UD graduate, lauds its partnership with the University. “It’s great to build such good relationships with so many people on campus — faculty, staff, and students — who are interested in working with us to help move bicycling forward in Newark. Together with UD and our other partners, we can more quickly achieve our goals for the betterment of the entire community.”

BikeNewark (BikeNewark.org) is a partnership of interested cyclists and organizations working to improve bicycling in Newark, Delaware.

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