RTP Cruises Through Bike To Work Month

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With gas prices at an all time high and interstate traffic getting seemingly worse by the day, alternative transportation is becoming a more attractive option. This May there was a regional and national focus on one specific alternative method: biking. For some bikingis thought of as a mostly recreational activity, done in one’s spare time to release stress or help work up a sweat.  For others, biking is a way of life, and a way to work.

Bike to Work Month this year brought together all types of cyclists in the Triangle for multiple events and workshops. All of these were “geared” to educate, excite, and motivate the local community towards alternative commuting through biking. Here in RTP we held a series of events to help promote biking to work and to promote biking in general.

Our first event was a safety lunch and learn held at the RTP HQ. Ken Kaye, a registered LCI (league cycling instructor) and RTP employee, educated participants about safe biking practices and safety gear necessary for the avid biker/bike commuter. Next we hosted an informal afterhour’s social at local restaurant Serena. We provided participants with free biking prizes and drink tickets.  The annual “Ride of Silence” was the next day; this event is held simultaneously across the nation at the same time to commemorate fallen bikers and those who have been in cycling accidents. Typically the ride is 5-8 miles, done in silence and at low speeds. Riders were escorted by the Durham Police Department and local news agencies came out to support.

Later in the week, there was a special biking breakfast held at RTP HQ for riders. Bikers stopped by and picked up a complimentary breakfast. This was our way of saying “thank you” for biking to work that day. To finish off our RTP events we held our monthly RTP Food Truck Rodeo with a special emphasis on bike commuting. Everyone who biked to the event received special bike oriented prizes and were also eligible to get a discount on food trucks. The only catch to all these great, free events was that you had to bike to the event to receive the rewards.

Overall the events were a great success, with about 40-50 participants minimum per activity. These weren’t the only events being held for bike to work month.  Each local municipality held their own events and rides, all to promote cycling and bike commuting in the Triangle.

It seems a lot of us get very attached to our cars and our daily schedules and rotations, often times not thinking about practical alternatives for our current lifestyles. This month showed us how with a little determination and dedication you can make a serious difference in your carbon foot print and your wallet. Biking is a great exercise and way to stay in shape. It is becoming more widely accessible to bike in the Triangle due to extended demand for bike lanes and green-ways and hopefully this trend will continue. Whether you biked or not to work during May, hopefully you can take others lead and realize that it isn’t as far-fetched of a option as it once was in the area, and more and more people everyday are realizing the positive effects from doing so.

RTP Food Truck Rodeo

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Join us for the RTP Food Truck Rodeo
on September 20

Bring your friends, bring your colleagues, and come on out for RTP’s September Food Truck Rodeo!

Date: Thursday, September 20
Time: 11:30 AM -1:30 PM
Location: RTP Headquarters, 12 Davis Drive (Directions)

Participating Food Trucks

Pie Pushers
http://piepushers.com/
@piepushers

Only Burger
http://onlyburger.com/the-truck
@onlyburger

Chirba Chirba Dumpling
http://www.chirbachirba.com/
@chirbachirba

American Meltdown
http://americanmeltdown.org/
@AmericanMLTDWN

The Parlour
http://theparlourdurham.com/
@parlourdurham

Sweet Stacey Cakes
http://www.sweetstaceycakes.com/
@SweetStaceyCake

Parking is limited, so we encourage you to carpool, bike, or walk over to the rodeo! And be sure to stop by the SmartCommute Booth and take the SmartCommute Challenge.  There’ll be free gifts to anyone that pledges!

We look forward to seeing everyone.

And save the date for next Food Truck Rodeo on Thursday, October 25.

Dump the Pump on June 21st

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With the return of high gas prices, SmartCommute@rtp and GoTriangle, along with public transportation systems nationwide, are encouraging Triangle residents to participate in the seventh annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday, June 21. The slogan of this year’s National Dump the Pump Day is “Dump the Pump. Save Money. Ride Transit.”

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the 2012 National Dump the Pump Day is a day that encourages people to ride public transportation and save money, instead of driving a car. Started in June 2006 when gas prices were $3 per gallon, this national day emphasizes that public transportation is a great travel option that also helps people save money.

With high gas prices, saving money is on everyone’s minds and public transportation is the quickest way to beat high gas prices. According to the latest APTA Transit Savings Report, individuals in a two-person household can save an average of more than $10,000 annually by downsizing to one car.

And this year, GoTriangle is asking Triangle residents to create a video that demonstrates why they’re choosing to break up with their car! Finalists will be announced on Dump the Pump Day, June 21st at 12pm. For more information on the contest, visit http://www.gotriangle.org/go-info/stop-and-go and check out the video below for inspiration!

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Make Your Silence Heard: 2012 Ride of Silence

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By Blanche Dean, Guest Blogger from Team MSFITS.

On May 16, 2012 at 7:00 PM, the Ride of Silence will begin in North America and roll across the globe. Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists (and the obligation to follow the same rules of the road as motorists), the motoring public often isn’t aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.

Please join Team MSFITS as they host the 7th Annual RTP Ride of Silence starting and finishing at RTP Headquarters, 12 Davis Drive, RTP.  The Research Triangle Foundation has once again granted us permission to stage the ride at their facility and they are endorsing this ride.  The Durham Police Reserves will once again lead our procession, adding dignity and safety to our journey.

The Ride of Silence is a free ride, approximately 5 miles in length, that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph, wear helmets, follow the rules of the road and remain silent during the ride. There are no sponsors and no registration fees. The ride, which is held during National Bike Month, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for and honor the lives of those who have been killed or injured.

I know you’ve been out there riding and had things thrown at you, been “buzzed” by a motor vehicle trying to see how close they could get, been screamed at to get off the road, and worse.  You may have been injured and probably know someone or of someone who has died as a result of a motor vehicle/bicycle crash.  THIS is the ride to show your solidarity as a cycling community – to raise awareness and say “shame on you” to those who carelessly travel our roads without regard to life or limb.

We will supply black armbands to all cyclists to wear in memory of those who have been killed and red armbands to those cyclists who join us and are survivors of motor vehicle/bicycle accidents.  Please arrive early enough to prepare yourself and your bike to ride, to sign waivers, and participate in a tribute to cyclists before we head out at 7:00 sharp.  Continue reading

May Food Truck Rodeo

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Join us for the RTP Food Truck Rodeo
on
Thursday, May 17th

Calling all Food Truck fans! Bring your friends, bring your colleagues, and come on out for RTP’s May Food Truck Rodeo.

Date: Thursday, May 17
Time: 11:30 AM -1:30 PM
Location: RTP Headquarters, 12 Davis Drive (Directions)

In honor of National Bike Month and Bike to Work Week, SmartCommute@rtp will be providing free gifts to anyone that rides their bike to the event and providing useful information on bicycle commuting.

Participating Food Trucks:

Pie Pushers
@piepushers

Only Burger
@onlyburger

The Parlour
@parlourdurham

Chirba Chirba Dumpling
@chirbachirba

Will and Pops
@willandpops

Olde North State BBQ
@ONSBBQ

As always, parking is limited so we strongly encourage carpooling, and of course, riding your bike to the event!

We look forward to seeing everyone!

AND save the date for next Food Truck Rodeo on Thursday, June 14th!

Gear up for Bike Month: May 2012

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Let’s face it: we live in an automobile-centric nation, and I don’t think I’d be surprising anyone in saying that the Triangle isn’t necessarily the ideal place to commute to and from work by bike.  However, that certainly doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to ride your bike to work; nor does it mean that the Triangle isn’t a bicycle friendly community. In fact, the town of Carrboro has received a silver designation for being a bicycle friendly community from the League of American Bicyclists; and Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh have all received bronze designations. Clearly, bicycle commuting in the Triangle is growing in popularity and amenities to support it are also growing.

For the month of May, the Triangle is celebrating Bike To Work Month, an entire month dedicated to encouraging and supporting one of the most economical and healthy ways of commuting. This month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons people ride. Whether you bike to work or school; to save money or time; to preserve your health or the environment; to explore your community or get to your destination, biking can be one of the most rewarding modes of transportation. And if you’ve been thinking about starting to ride to work, but haven’t put your foot to the pedal yet, I hope you’ll use this month to give it a go.

There are lots of events going on in the Triangle to celebrate Bike to Work Month, including several events in RTP, sponsored by SmartCommute@rtp:

  • Bicycle Community Basics – Lunch and Learn
    Thursday, May 10, 11:30AM-1PM
    RTP Headquarters, 12 Davis Dr.
    This seminar will cover the basics of commuting by bicycle, safe cycling, riding in traffic, crash avoidance, and cyclists’ rights and responsibilities. The course is open to anyone and both novice and experienced riders are welcome and encouraged to attend. Registration Required.

  • Bike to Work Month After-Hours Social
    Tuesday, May 15, 5-7PM
    Serena, 5311 South Miami Blvd. Suite A
    Cyclists enjoy free appetizers, drinks, and giveaways.

  • Ride of Silence
    Wednesday, May 16, 7PM
    RTP Headquarters, 12 Davis Dr.
    A silent procession to honor cyclists who’ve been killed or injured on public roadways. Organized by MS Fits and hosted by SmartCommute@rtp, this free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph, wear helmets, follow the rules of the road and remain silent during the ride. Visit www.msfits.org/ride-of-silence.html for more information.

  • Bike to Work Month Breakfast Social
    Friday, May 18, 7-9AM
    RTP Headquarters, 12 Davis Dr.
    Cyclists enjoy a free continental breakfast and giveaways.

For a complete list of the Bike to Work Month events occuring Triangle-wide, visit GoTriangle. And for more information and resources on biking in the RTP area, visit SmartCommute.org.

 

The Earth Day Celebration Roundup

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April has easily become a month dedicated to increased awareness and activity in the arena of sustainability, and Earth Day is right around the corner (April 22nd).  Over the next few weeks, many companies are putting together events for their employees to help engage and educate them on ways they can improve the planet.  Companies like IBM, Cisco, and BASF are inviting organizations to share some of the great information they have on ways employees can help the planet.  For example, SmartCommute@rtp will be providing information on ways employees can green up their commutes.

Of course, even if your company isn’t offering an event, there are still lots of ways to celebrate Earth Day, right here in RTP.

RTP Earth Day GetConnected Event
If you haven’t already heard, RTP will be hosting its very own Earth Day Celebration in conjunction with the Triangle Green Business Challenge Kickoff on April 23, from 4pm to 6:30pm at the RTP Headquarters.  This event will include food, beverages, raffles, and guest speakers.  (You can register here.)  You’ll likely be hearing more about this event in the coming days.

RTP Electronics Recycling Day
Environment@rtp will be hosting its annual Spring Electronics Recycling Drive on Wednesday, April 25th for RTP for employees to drop off unneeded household electronics for donation and/or recycling. Visit www.environmentrtp.org/news-events/electronics-recycling-events for more information on this free event.

Book DriveBooks on Break Book Drive
Community Outreach@rtp will be hosting its inaugural “Books on Break” book drive for elementary students.  Instead of disposing of those gently used books you have lying around, donate and allow them to be reused, the best form of recycling.  Visit www.rtp.org/community for more information.

And if that’s not enough, here’s my roundup of upcoming celebratory Earth Day Events around the Triangle for the whole family: Continue reading

Dump the Pump on June 16th

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This just in from GoTriangle! On June 16th all Triangle Transit regional, express, and shuttle routes and all DATA local routes will be free in recognition of National Dump the Pump day! In these tough economic times with high gas prices, everyone is looking for a way to save money. Dump the Pump Day encourages people to ride public transportation (instead of driving) and save money.

Riding public transit is the quickest way to beat high gas prices. The latest American Public Transit Association Transit Savings Report shows that a two person household that downsizes to one car can save – on the average – more than $10,000 a year! What’s not to love about that?

Take Triangle Transit and DATA to commute to and from work, to travel to school and the doctor’s office, to go shopping, and to visit with family and friends. Dump the pump on June 16th. Free your mind (and your wallet) and leave the driving to someone else!

Not sure the bus will work for you?  Use the Trip Planner to find your closest stops, routes and travel times.

Still not sure?  Consider doing it for a prize! Ride the bus, bike, walk, or run during Dump The Pump 2011 for a chance to win!

Check in at your bus stop or on the bike greenways on Foursquare during your commute. There are 20 stops that have this promotion. Check-in and unlock to see if you are the winner!

Contest starts at 6am on June 16. The first 20 people to check-in win a $25 Restaurant.com gift cards. There will be 20 winners per stop. And for more information on commuting options and subsidies in RTP, visit www.SmartCommute.org.