Locals invited to bike for prizes, food, T-shirts

May 7, 2019

POCATELLO — Locals who cycle recreationally or ride bikes while commuting to work or school will be eligible for several perks and prizes from May 13 through June 12.

Participation in Portneuf Valley Bike to Work 2019 is free, and those who register will be eligible for weekly prize drawings.

Cyclists who rank among the top 20 percent for mileage logged in a given week will be included in drawings for larger prizes. For example, Sand Trap Grill, 2720 Bannock Highway, is donating a children’s bike, and Barrie’s Ski & Sports is donating an adult’s bike.

Registration is now open online at https://commutecal.com/poky/auth/. Participants will be asked to record their daily miles on a calendar linked to the site.

Organizers of the event, in its 14th year, have ordered about 600 T-shirts to give to participants. The shirts are purple with the Portneuf Valley Bike to Work logo. Participants will also receive a wristband, gift cards and coupons to local businesses.

The challenge will kick off with a free barbecue dinner at Old Town Pavilion from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. May 13, on national Bike to Work Day. Nineteen local businesses and entities are supporting the event as sponsors.

Mori Byington, planning director with Bannock Transportation Planning Organizations, said the start of the challenge was pushed back a couple of weeks because past participants have indicated Southeast Idaho weather can still be bad in early May.

Molly Swallow, transportation and mobility manager for Region Five of the Southeast Idaho Council of Governments, said the barbecue will replace the bicycle parade from past years. Swallow said the bicycle parade drew a relatively small number of participants and required a lot of planning to close roadways.

Several local entities will attend the barbecue to present information. Bannock County Search and Rescue will be on hand to provide information about safety and security. Gold’s Gym will present about proper biking posture. Pocatello Regional Transit will demonstrate how to use the back racks on public buses.

East Fork Bikes, 346 N. Main St., will offer free basic bike tuneups at the shop during the barbecue.

“I think it’s good for people to ride bikes,” East Fork owner Ty Nelson said. ”(Bike to Work) keeps people active and it helps people who wouldn’t normally ride bikes or exercise stay motivated for a month or so.”