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Bike week promotes healthy, environmentally friendly alternatives

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Members of the community here are invited to participate in the 24th annual MassCommute Bicycle Challenge, a friendly competition among Massachusetts businesses, educational institutions and municipalities scheduled May 12 through 20.

The weeklong challenge coincides with Bay State Bike Week, a program that encourages people to use a bicycle instead of a car to get where they need to go throughout the week.

“Whether you ride a bicycle as a form of commuting or for recreation, I encourage all members of Team Hanscom to log their miles through the Mass Commuter Challenge website,” said Robert Spelfogel, 66th Civil Engineering Division environmental engineer. “Biking promotes good health and offers an environmentally friendly alternative to getting to where you need to go.”

To log miles, participants must register and complete an online form. To register for the challenge, visit http://masscommutebicyclechallenge.org. When registering, be sure the Hanscom AFB team receives proper credit on the leaderboard by entering "Hanscom AFB" under the "Business" tab.

According to the website, last year Massachusetts riders logged more than 147,000 miles. Officials estimate that riders collectively saved more than $16,000 in gasoline and reduced more than 137,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, a gas produced from burning fossil fuel.

Hanscom finished eighth in the state among businesses with 5,000 or more employees on-site in 2017. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory finished first among all businesses, logging more than 10,000 miles.

National Bike to Work Day on May 18, a day that promotes the bicycle as a healthy and safe alternative for commuting to work, falls within the Commonwealth’s weeklong bike week event.

Hanscom AFB bicycle riders can participate in on- and off-base activities through the week.

The Hanscom Environmental Office will host a five-mile bike tour of Hanscom AFB that will begin at Building 1825 on Monday, May 21 at 10 a.m.

MIT Lincoln Laboratory has also scheduled bike commuting caravans to work from Bedford and Cambridge, Mass.

According to the Bay State Bike Week website, Massachusetts is the only state in the nation with a bike week.

As a reminder, according to Hanscom’s Safety Office, bicyclists must wear a properly fitted helmet with a secure head strap fastened when cycling on base.

For more information on bike week events offered at Hanscom or throughout the state, visit http://masscommutebicyclechallenge.org/events/ or www.BayStateBikeWeek.org.  

Hanscom AFB personnel may also contact Spelfogel at 781-225-6913 for further information.