Wondering how to lead a more sustainable life? One of the biggest personal changes you can make is switching up your daily work commute. Transportation accounts for a third of Austin’s greenhouse gas emissions, so if you’re looking to reduce your personal carbon footprint, ditching your car (even once or twice a week) is a meaningful way to start.
Feeling nervous? Don’t know where to begin? Check out our list of tips for commuting by bike!
Earn free stuff by participating in Bike To Work Day
Nervous about making the transition alone? Join with hundreds of other Austinites for Bike To Work Day on Friday, May 18th.
Bike To Work Day is a nationwide event that encourages people to get used to the idea of bike commuting, as well as to reward those who already do it.
Here’s how you can participate.
Ride your bike to work sometime between 6:30am and 9am. Fueling stations will be located a business across the city, handing out freebies and giveaways to anyone participating in Bike To Work Day.
Some of our favorite stops include:
- Hops & Grain – free coffee for all riders and free breakfast tacos for the first 50 riders
- C3 Presents – music and the chance to win free ACL tickets
- Townlake YMCA – Cliff bars, fruit, free passes, shower use
- Quacks Bakery – Coffee, muffins, scones, cookies
But that’s not all! On the way home from work you can stop by the Bike From Work Afterparty at Cheer Up Charlie’s. While you’re biking to work in morning, you’ll receive a bike passport and get a stamp for every fueling station you stop at. That passport will get you a free drink at the afterparty and each stamp you collect enters you into a door prize drawing.
Don’t know which route to take? Check out the Austin Bike Map.
Produced by the City of Austin, the Austin Bike Map is a comprehensive list of bike routes in Austin, rated by other cyclists according to comfort level. The online interactive map is available here and the PDF version is available here.
Want to keep track of your rides. Download the Ride Report app.
This free app can tell when you’re riding your bike and automatically tracks your routes, records your miles, and even rewards you for riding your bike on a consistent basis. Plus, every trip you take contributes to Austin’s bike map and is shared with the City of Austin so that dangerous bike routes can be improved. You can download the app here.
Don’t have a bike? Rent one from Austin B-cycle.
Austin B-cycle’s annual membership is $80, which gives you unlimited trips (up to 60 minutes long) on any of Austin B-cycle’s bikes. With more than 50 stations around town (mostly in Austin’s central core), B-cycle is a great way to commute to work if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of owning your own bike.
Are you a UT student? Austin B-cycle offers FREE memberships for students and a 50 percent discount for faculty. Plus, qualifying Austin residents can take advantage of B-cycle’s low income membership for only $5 a year.
Don’t have a bike and don’t live near a B-cycle station? Get a free bike from the Austin Yellow Bike Project.
The Yellow Bike Project is a nonprofit organization that has been working for more than 20 years to get more bikes on the streets of Austin. Through their Earn-A-Bike program, you can earn a free bike of your very own, simply by volunteering at the shop and learning some bike repair basics.
Already own a bike? Get it registered.
The Austin Police Department has a bike registration program to store the make, model, and serial number of your bike. That way, if your bike ever gets stolen, you can use your registration as proof of ownership. You can register your bike here.
Nervous about bike commuting? Join Mellow Johnny’s and Bike Austin For a Scout-A-Route Ride
This group ride is designed for people new to riding or bike commuting, returning to the bike, or just looking for a more casual ride. It’s held every Saturday at 9am (just be sure to call Mellow Johnny’s in advance to confirm in the case of bad weather, etc).
Can’t make it to a group ride? Take an online course.
The Center For Cycling Education offers an online course with safety tips and bike rules and regulations for about $30.
Never really rode your bike on the street before? Know the rules of the road.
The City of Austin has put together a pretty useful video that goes over the basics of hand signals, sidewalk use, and lights. You can check it out below. A full list of bicycle laws in Austin is available here.
Have fun with it!
Commuting to work by bike is a great way to get some exercise, spend time outside, and help out the environment all at the same time. Plus, it allows you to avoid Austin’s notorious traffic.
So enjoy the ride!