Applicable Countermeasures


Special bicycle events and activities lie at the heart of bicycle promotion. They reinforce the efforts of current bicyclists and seek to attract new bicyclists to the fold. Sample events include bike to work days, fun rides, bicycling competitions or races, trail openings, commuting help lines, and "short courses" on how to ride in traffic. Bicycling can also be promoted at health fairs as part of a more active and healthy lifestyle and at environmental events like Earth Day as a form of transportation that is good for the environment.

Many of these events are planned by local, state, or national advocacy groups and are just one part of a larger plan to promote increased bicycling for transportation as well as recreation, fun and fitness. For example, the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation hosts an annual car-free "Bike the Drive" Sunday. In 2002, over 16,000 bicyclists participated, taking over the city’s famous Lake Shore Drive (see During the months of May and June, the Chicago Mayor’s Office of Special Events helps sponsor over 100 separate events promoting the health, economic and environmental benefits of bicycling as part of its annual Bike Chicago.

"Bike to Work" days are well-established events in many communities. They typically draw a mix of established and first-time commuters and can be combined with other activities such as competitions, "how to ride in traffic" workshops, and breakfast gatherings. The events raise community awareness of bicycling as a legitimate mode of transportation, bring cyclists together, and, ideally, convert some participants to regular bike commuters.

Also included under the general topic of supporting activities and programs are efforts to raise community awareness of and support for bicycling and investment in bicycling facilities and activities or safety. Two example case studies are included: (1) a program that used financial incentives to encourage developers to build higher-density neighborhoods near transit stations, thus increasing the opportunity for bicycling, and (2) a special vehicle license plate program that serves as a source of sustained financial support for improving bicycle safety (see case studies #57 and 58).


  • Promote bicycling through support programs and activities.
  • Help to establish bicycling as a legitimate form of transportation.
  • Help attract people to bicycling.

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  • The primary consideration for this countermeasure is deciding what type of promotional event or activity to conduct. Factors impacting this decision include the target audience to be reached by the event, level of community support, the membership and goals of the sponsoring organization(s), available funding, and even weather conditions.

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Estimated Cost

Estimated cost will vary depending on the particular event or program selected, the scope and time frame for the event, level of volunteer involvement, etc. As an example, the total cost of a Bike to Work promotion held in Hartford, CT, in 2002 was just under $12,500, which covered the costs of food, two advertising banners, a brochure, a payroll insert, signs on buses, T-shirts, and a bicycle to raffle (see case study #53).

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Case Studies

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