HANCOCK - Several Copper Country schools and communities will have activities during Keweenaw Bike 2 Work Week, which coincides with the national event next week.
The biggest part of the activities is Keweenaw Bike 2 Work Day on Thursday. There will be six stations in Houghton, Hancock, Calumet and Lake Linden in the morning and afternoon where riders can grab some food and drinks, and get information on safe bicycling. New this year are stations at Michigan Technological University and Portage Health.
The stations will be open from 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. People can also get flashing red safety lights for backpacks and bicycles, as well as reflective stickers and bike safety handouts from the League of Michigan Bicyclists.
Daily Mining Gazette/Garrett Neese
The national Bike 2 Work Week encourages people to give up their cars for a brief period of time and use a bike. There will be stations available where riders can grab food and drinks, as well as information on safe bicycling.
Everyone who stops and registers will also be entered into a drawing for some larger prizes donated by local bike shops.
The stop in downtown Houghton will have a representative from a local bike shop there in the morning and afternoon, while Hancock will have one in the afternoon.
"There will be some opportunities in case somebody's having some major tech issues, they can at least get some air in their tire or lube on their chain," said Sara Salo, health education coordinator with the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department.
Both Houghton City Manager Scott MacInnes and Hancock City Manager Glenn Anderson have committed to ride to work Thursday, Salo said.
Some local schools will also take part in the week. The Public Schools of Calumet, Laurium & Keweenaw will participate Thursday, as will Hancock Middle School and Hancock Central High School. Houghton had planned a Bike to School Day on May 13, but postponed for a week due to conditions at the Michigan Technological University Trails.
In addition to bicycle safety classes and a visit from local police, there will also be fun events such as a "bike blender," a stationary bike that powers a blender, Salo said.
"It's a really cool way to get kids interested in biking and looking at it in a different way," she said.
While the events are concentrated on Thursday, Salo said they're trying to encourage people to ride their bikes from Monday to Friday. Riders can register ahead of time at kb2wd.wordpress.com. When they register, they can indicate if they'd like to connect with another rider heading in the same direction.
"They'll be able to learn, and hopefully become an independent rider once they become familiar with their route and all the stop signs they have to go through," Salo said.
Riders should also perform a check of their bikes before they ride, including making sure bolts are tightened and the tires are fully inflated.
"We're encouraging people to bring their bike down to the local shops to have a safety check and make sure everything's good to go," Salo said.
Salo said the community is showing a growing interest in cycling.
"We just hope to see everybody out on the road," she said.