AUSTIN (KXAN) — Thousands of people are expected to ditch their cars, grab their helmets and jump on their bikes Friday for the annual Bike to Work Day.
The initiative started with a couple dozen riders in Austin nine years ago and has ballooned to a nationwide event with about 3,000 bikers participating last year.
In 2016, Matt Maupin was inspired by the event and decided he would try it. Maupin lives in Cedar Park and works in downtown Austin at Silicon Labs. He has turned his daily bike ride into a 22-mile commute.
“Even a 22-mile commute is better on this bike than sitting in traffic for an hour and 10 minutes,” he said.
A few days a week, Maupin rides through Jollyville Road, onto Anderson Mill Road then down Shoal Creek Boulevard and into downtown. It takes him about an hour to make it to Silicon Labs on his e-bike.
“There’s a motor in here that actually makes me go faster,” he explained.
At work, Maupin has a safe place to store his bike and a place to freshen up and shower. Silicon Labs offers showers for employees and incentives for those who give up their parking spot to ride a bike.
But he’d rather be biking 22 miles than sitting in traffic.
“Days when I don’t have the bike and I look at traffic at 5 o’clock, I’m like, ‘Oh, I wish I was on my bike,'” he said laughing.
When Bike to Work Day kicked off in 2010 there were only five “fueling stations” for bikers. This year, over 40 “fueling stations” will be scattered across the city, offering snacks, coffee and a place to freshen up.
At 7 a.m. riders can stop by City Hall for live music and food.
To get started, Maupin said finding a safe route is key. The city has suggested routes mapped out, click HERE.