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Thousands celebrate Bike to Work Day in Anchorage

By Shannon Ballard Photojournalist: Nick Swann - 5:29 PM June 4, 2014

Every year Alaskans join together for one day to break free from the gridlock of traffic. This year’s Bike To Work Day was held on June 4.

“It’s one of those things that’s so much fun,” said bike commuter Rick Rogers. “It makes you feel like a kid again.”

Rogers rode 12 miles on two wheels and it wasn’t a lonely trip.

Trails and bike lanes were packed with cycling commuters.

“I don’t bike to work that often so this inspired me to get out,” Rogers said.

Throughout the city, 18 rest stations were set up to support the cyclists.

“Hey, we have blueberry muffins for you,” volunteer Kim Marcucci shouted from her station with Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and Southcentral Foundation.

It’s a small incentive to get Anchorage commuters to consider a healthier alternative.

“That’s what we’re all about,” Marcucci said. “Anything that you can possibly do to get out and move around.”

The number of Bike to Work Day participants has grown nearly 300 percent in the last decade, according to Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage.

Steve Heimel is one of Alaska’s few year-round bike-to-work warriors.

He hopes a day set aside for alternative transportation will encourage others to join him.

“A lot of people think about it, they have good intentions but like any kind of outdoor activity you actually have to do it and that’s what this does and people are doing it,” Heimel said.

No matter which route they chose, on Wednesday Anchorage residents celebrated leaving their car at home.

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