This April, the Living Streets Alliance partnered with the City of Tucson to host their annual bike-centric event, The Bike Fest. This year marked the largest Fest yet, with 75 events taking place all April and 20 plus businesses showing support in the form of discounts and special deals for cyclists.
A new challenge debuted this year which urged local businesses to scale down from 4-wheeled cars to two-wheeled bicycles. Participants in the 2-Mile Commuter Challenge were asked to commute to work by bike and log their travel hours on the Bike Fest’s website for the month of April.
A total of 57 local businesses, nonprofits and organizations participated, including Raytheon, Himmel Park Library and Pima Community College. Close to 200 cyclists competed in the friendly cycling challenge for prizes and the glory of holding the title of the most bike friendly organization in Tucson.
This year, the honor goes to the Watershed Management Group, a local nonprofit working to think up creative, viable solutions for water sustainability in the Southwest. Twelve employees out of a staff of 16 collectively logged 448 bike trips to work.
WMG’s Program Manager Kieran Sikdar contributed 96 of those hours, earning him first place in the individual category.
As winners of the challenge they received a bike bell, a 1-year membership with the Living Streets Alliance and social media publicity.
Though WMG only recently received this accolade, they have been cultivating a strong bike culture for employees, volunteers and guests for some time. Because of their ample bike parking, compensation for employee bike commutes and availability of showers for employees, they have earned a gold level ranking from the League of American Bicyclists in April. They are currently the only business in Tucson to receive this level.
The Watershed Management Group, 1137 N. Dodge Blvd., offers a variety of classes and workshops to the public, including rain water harvesting. Any interested in seeing their summer schedule can view it at watershedmg.org.
The Bike Fest returns to the city in April 2016.
For more information on the Bike Fest, visit bikefesttucson.com or the Living Streets Alliance at livingstreetsalliance.org.