Two rounds down.
Two rounds remain.
Only one will emerge with the title: Non-Motorized Mayor.
Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin and Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson are facing off in a Bike Month Challenge, and they invite others to join in.
It’s a friendly showdown.
The mayors check in each Friday on social media to share their bike-miles progress. A series of challenges must be completed along the way, such as riding to the local library and taking a selfie with a book about bicycles. Other destinations include the cities’ waterfronts, local parks, fire stations and historic landmarks. Both mayors hit their local libraries first.
At the end of the month, the winner will receive the inaugural Non-Motorized Mayor Award.
The idea came from Everett bike champion Tyler Rourke, who has organized community rides including a tour of city fire stations. The two mayors texted back and forth, and it was on.
“It was perfect timing,” Franklin said. “My plan was to start cycling more. I had just purchased a new bike and started to map out paths I wanted to try.”
Commuting daily to work has proven to be more of a learning curve.
Gregerson has a pedal up, having biked to work many days since becoming mayor in 2014.
“I borrowed my sister’s bike for about a year and tried it out,” Gregerson said. “Eventually she wanted her bike back.”
So she bought her own and has been biking as much as she can ever since. She is safety conscious, with a headlight, taillight, spoke lights and, now, on the front of her helmet, even.
The Challenge has been fun so far, and both mayors say they hope others are encouraged to try it out.
“I feel like it’s a great way to start my day,” Gregerson said. “It gives me some time to think on the ride in and get some exercise. I like having less of an impact on our roads.”
“One of the benefits of bicycling is you see your city, up close and personal,” Franklin said. “We can get busy in our offices and we can forget to enjoy public art or swing by a local landmark or park.”
This year’s challenge is only between Everett and Mukilteo.
“Maybe we’ll do this again next year,” Franklin said. “It would be fun to get more mayors involved.”
It’s not the only challenge going on for National Bike Month.
In Washington, there’s the Bike Everywhere Challenge. All month, riders are invited to register to compete on their own or with a team to rack up miles and score prizes. (Learn more in Monday’s Street Smarts.)
The point of all the Bike Month events is to encourage more people to give bicycling a try.
Melissa Slager: email@example.com; 425-339-3432.
Bike Month Events
Bike Everywhere Challenge, all month, on your own or with a team. Learn more at www.lovetoride.net/washington.
Bike Day Celebration, May 18. Find souveniers, repair advice, snacks and coffee at Celebration Stations across the area. Locations include L ynnwood Transit Center (6-8 a.m.), Mountlake Terrace Transit Center (6-8 a.m.), Everett Station (6-9 a.m.), near the Edmonds ferry landing (6-9:30 a.m.), Boeing Everett (1-3 p.m.) and Edmonds Station (2-4 p.m.). Learn more at www.cascade.org/celebration-stations.
Sharing Wheels Benefit Concert, 5-9 p.m. May 18 at Cafe Zippy, 1502 Rucker Ave., Everett. Live music by various bands, raffle and pass-the-cone. Tickets are $10 at the door. Benefits the nonprofit bike shop.
Volunteer work parties, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays at Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop, 2531 Broadway, Everett. Help prepare donated bikes for the annual Kids Bike Swap.
Tips for occasional riders
Positioning: Don’t hug the curb. Instead, ride about two feet away from the edge of the road. Take a lane when approaching a junction or roundabout. The goal? Make yourself visible.
Be aware: Check your surroundings, including what’s behind, to make safe and courteous decisions.
Signal safe: Signal early and decisively, especially when riding in traffic.
Map smart: Plan your route with your bike in mind. Use the cycling function on Google Maps, or reference local trail maps.
Carry smart: If a backpack is uncomfortable or restricts your vision or movement, invest in a rack and panniers (a fancy word for bag made specifically for a bike).
Lock smart: Go for a U-lock that locks on both ends with a cord that allows you to secure your front wheel, panniers and helmet. Get as much within the “U” itself as possible (such as the rear wheel, frame and bike stand).
Source: Washington Bikes
Resources to help you get back in the saddle for Bike Everywhere Month, or anytime.
BIKES Club of Snohomish County, www.bikesclub.org
Edmonds Bicycle Advocacy Group, edmondsbicyclegroup.org
Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop, sharingwheels.org
Cascade Bicycle Club, www.cascade.org
Washington Bikes, wabikes.org
Snohomish County Area Bicycling and Trail Map, tinyurl.com/SnohCoBikeMap
Snohomish County, snohomishcountywa.gov/1182/Trails
Community Transit, www.communitytransit.org/busservice/bikes
Everett Transit, wa-everetttransit.civicplus.com/273/Bike
Sound Transit, www.soundtransit.org/Rider-Guide/bringing-your-bike
Washington State Ferries, tinyurl.com/FerryBikeGuide