Parkersburg takes part in Bike to Work Day

PARKERSBURG – Hundreds of area professionals parked their cars, donned their helmets and used pedal power to get to work Friday morning.

Locally the city of Parkersburg celebrated the annual Bike to Work Day with a planned bike ride and continental breakfast Friday morning.

Councilwoman Kim Coram, a national advocate for alternative transportation and a member of the Parkersburg Bicycle Advisory Board, said about 30 people gathered Friday morning at City Park to bike to the Farmers’ Marketplace in downtown Parkersburg.

“We had a really nice turnout,” she said. “It was a little overcast, a little misty, but we had a nice turnout and a nice ride.”

Mayor Bob Newell was among those using pedal power to get to work Friday.

“It went well and it was very well attended,” he said. “This is the fourth year we’ve done this, and it was a good turnout.”

Coram said events like Bike to Work Day help show residents how cycling can be more than just exercise or fun.

“It focuses on bicycling as a form of transportation, and that is a whole different animal than biking for recreation,” she said.

The city found out this week it was not selected as a “Bike Friendly City” by the League of American Cyclists, but Coram said it remains an important step in making the city more bicycle-accessible.

“We will receive a report in July, and that will give us more details on what to improve,” she said. “That is really what we wanted. It gives the bike board a blueprint moving forward.”

Coram said cycling remains a great way to bring a community together as well as to spur economic growth in areas such as tourism.

“The cities voted the best places to live are also bike-friendly, so it is a pretty powerful economic tool,” she said.