About 525 bicyclists had passed through the stop at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station plaza as of about 9 a.m., said Ashleigh Soloff, Reston Association’s special events coordinator. She said this is the third year the event has been held at the Metro plaza in coordination with Comstock Partners.
“[Riders] have been telling me that this is the best pit stop that they’ve come through today so far,” Soloff said of participants’ feedback on the event. “It’s very active and lively.”
Nineteen organizations participated in the event to share information and goodies with riders. Food was provided by Whole Foods and Einstein Bagels. A DJ was playing music and giveaway drawings were being held every half-hour.
Soloff said the concept of biking to work is important to Reston Association.
“We’re trying to get everybody out of their cars just for one day, but then they learn that ‘Hey, I can actually do this every day,'” she said.
Rod Colen, of Reston, was riding along with his daughter, Steph. He said increasing participation in bicycling to work is important for multiple reasons, including public health and improving commute times.
“There’s just so much pressure on everybody for productivity and hours and commute time,” he said. “As traffic gets worse, biking to work will actually be competitive.”
Colen said improved infrastructure and planning is needed to increase the number of bike commuters in Fairfax County. His daughter, who now lives in Arlington but works in Reston Town Center, said she doesn’t regularly ride to commute but she chose to today.
“I also have friends who live in Arlington and work in the Town Center who decided yesterday when they found out about [Bike to Work Day], they’re not big bikers, but they were just going to do it casually,” Steph said.
Adam Lind, Bike Program manager for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, said the county seeks to expand participation in Bike to Work Day each year. He was providing visitors with information including copies of the county’s new bike map. In addition, he said, the county is running a 50 percent discount through the end of May on yearly memberships to Capital Bikeshare, which is expanding in Reston.
The regional Bike to Work Day event is organized by Commuter Connections, a program of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments that promotes bicycling to work, ridesharing and other alternatives to driving.