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Bike your way to work Friday

By Shannon Ballard 5:18 AM February 13, 2014

Recent surveys indicate less than two percent of Anchorage residents use bikes for commuting.

ANCHORAGE –  The way Tim Woody dresses to go to work would make you think he’s heading somewhere arctic, not to an office building in Downtown Anchorage.

Woody commutes to work every day by bike and said winter forces him to get creative with his route.

“I take Chester Creek…go all the way to the lagoon and take the coastal trail to Downtown,” Woody said. “It comes out right behind my office. It’s pretty much perfect.”

The trip is seven miles each way. It counts as his exercise and saves him gas money and — perhaps most importantly — Woody loves to bike.

“You come to a point when you realize it’s just a more enjoyable way to get to work,” he said.

That’s why Woody hopes to see others try it out on Friday, Anchorage’s inaugural Winter Bike to Work Day.

It’s an initiative of northern cities in several countries to promote fun and healthy winter transportation.

The event — locally organized by the Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage — aims to promote bike transit and winter biking in a community with hundreds of miles of trail systems. Club members said the event is also a way to compare Anchorage’s bike transit numbers to those in other parts of the country. The indicators are promising, they said.

“I think we’re definitely seeing, in Anchorage, a rise in winter biking,” said BCA member Brian Litmans. “Sales of winter bikes — the fat bikes — has been doubling over the past few years.”

Recent surveys indicate less than two percent of Anchorage residents use bikes for commuting.

There’s not a lot that will keep Woody away from the trails.

“I’ll ride to work at minus 20,” Woody said.

He said he wouldn’t mind riding alongside more commuters. He’s been biking to work for 20-plus years. Friday may be someone’s first time doing the same. Woody said he hopes they’ll realize for themselves what he already knows: Biking to work is fun.

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