May may be “Bike Month” for the rest of the country, but in often-snowy (but always inspiring) Jackson Hole, we celebrate Bike Week during this first week of June. According to the League of American Bicyclists, Jackson Hole is a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly community thanks to ongoing cooperative efforts by governments, Friends of Pathways, the National Parks, bicycle-friendly businesses and the members of our active and inspiring community. However, this week promises to to be extra-friendly thanks to a week-long series of events designed to enable everyone to to get-out and integrate cycling into their summers.
Bike to Work Day
Jackson Hole’s Bike Week begins with our very own Bike to Work Day. While for many Jackson residents, every work day begins with a bicycle ride, Bike to Work Day offers special incentives and support for those looking to get to the office or the job site on two wheels. To help out, bike-friendly businesses are offering complementary commuter coffee and stations with qualified mechanics to get first-time riders fueled up and on the road.
Bicycle Commuter Challenge
Wilderness Ventures Leadership Team Member Carl Pellitier spearheaded Jackson Hole’s Commuter Challenge in 2008. Now in its fifth year, the Commuter Challenge provides incentives for individuals and companies to burn calories, put-on miles and offset their carbon impact. Community members from around the valley participate in the Commuter Challenge every year. For their part, Carl and other members of the WV Office Staff commute by bicycle from the town of Jackson to our office at the foot of the Tetons.
On Wednesday and Thursday, community members pitch-in to set up “commuter trains” that enable students to bike and walk school. This empowers young people to get a bit of exercise and fresh air before class, and inspires them to get on their bikes at the beginning of the short but beautiful riding season here in Jackson Hole.
Aside from living in one of the most inspirational natural environments on the planet, we’re fortunate-enough in Jackson Hole to enjoy the amenities of a very bicycle-friendly community and infrastructure. Thanks to many efforts, we have pathways that connect the town of Jackson with Grand Teton National Park to the north and the Snake River valley to the south. This very-special Bike Week is sure to bring more people outside, and introduce them to the great sport of bicycling. Likewise, Wilderness Ventures has been inspiring a connection to the natural world though bicycling since our first self-supported teen bicycle touring programs in the early 1980s. Since these first memorable adventures in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve expanded our bike touring programs to involve the Pacific Coast Bicycle Adventure and the Cape Cod Bicycle Adventure. Each of these great bicycle touring trips connect young people with the out of doors, teach leadership and team skills, and promote a lifelong love of cycling.