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Commit to the Commute: Smart Commute Week Season Is Here!

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Across the Midwest, communities are challenging individuals and businesses to ditch the car and use alternative, sustainable transportation means.

It’s a fixture in Traverse City. All over town, businesses are organizing and getting motivated to get pedaling next week. A version of the challenge has been in place in TC since 1995, and Traverse Area Recreational Trails promoting and growing Smart Commute Week into something people look forward to in the first week of June each summer. It’s a recipe that offers business and community members a chance to score points and win awards for their efforts to get to work smarter. Participants can ride, walk, use public transportation, and even organize carpools to count toward a daily total. Each morning, local businesses hosts complimentary breakfasts to offer riders a treat for their hard work, as well as providing a place to network, connect, and meet other smart commuters.

Smart Commute Week has grown to include dozens of businesses and hundreds of people each year, and its success has encouraged many people to keep riding their bikes all summer long. It raises awareness to the needs of cycling infrastructure, helps turn drivers into cyclists, and has gone a long ways in promoting urban cycling as a viable means of transportation year-round.

Traverse City isn’t the only place to boast of such a successful commute challenge. Active Commute Week runs from June 17-21. By logging rides, walks, and alternative transportation, businesses and organizations can win prizes and pick up some kudos for their efforts. They can also win by using #acwgr which also offers the challenge a lot of local exposure. By showing the community how fun, easy, and safe smart commuting, it’s a very effective way to influence others to give it a try.

Is there a similar Smart Commute Week challenge in your town? Do you and your co-workers get involved? Let us know if these types of programs have encouraged you to get around by bike.

For tips on how to cycle around town safely, check out our best commuting advice here.