As you may have heard, SVBC is sponsoring something called Bike to Shop Day. We were approached by our super volunteer (and blogger extraordinaire) Janet Lafleur with this wonderful idea. Bike to Work Day is great, she said, but why limit it to work commutes? People can use their bikes for all types of trips, and we should be working with businesses to show them just how important it is for them to support their pedal-powered clientele. Plus, she said, it will be fun! Like, with candy and stuff! How could we turn her down?

We’ve been mulling over small business outreach for a long time here at SVBC. We know that bike mean business, but sometimes it’s difficult to convince our local business owners. If only everybody knew that bike infrastructure can boost retail sales (even as car travel gets slowed), or we could effectively show our neighbors that people who shop by biking or walking actually tend to spend more than people who drive to shop, we could create new allies in our small business community. Well, Janet’s idea was simpler than anything my colleagues and I came up with: show people how easy it is to shop by bike, let businesses know that people are headed their way by bike, and throw some discounts and goodies into the mix to make it fun. Voilà! Bike to Shop Day was born.

I hope you’ll join me for a little car-free consumerism on May 17. It’s easy! We have tutorials, a map of all the participating businesses, and a drawing you can enter when you show us how you shop by bike. Did I mention there’s candy?