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South Dakotans Gear Up for Friday's Bike-to-Work Day

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Between 2000 and 2013, the number of bicycle commuters grew by 62 percent across the United States, according to the League of American Bicyclists. (Richard Masoner/Flickr)
Between 2000 and 2013, the number of bicycle commuters grew by 62 percent across the United States, according to the League of American Bicyclists. (Richard Masoner/Flickr)
May 18, 2017

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakotans are putting the finishing touches on their bicycles in preparation for Bike-to-Work Day on Friday.

Every year in May, communities across the country celebrate biking to the workplace to promote safety for cyclists.

Kerrie Vilhauer , a member of the Falls Area Bicyclists, works for a tech company, Blend Interactive, in Sioux Falls. She says the city is bike-friendly and cites a lot of benefits to riding.

"It's environmentally sustainable, it's a great way to build community and, all in all, it gives you exercise, so I don't really see any situation where it's a bad thing to do," she states.

According to the League of American Bicyclists, 40 percent of all trips in the U.S. are less than 2 miles, and between 2000 and 2013, the number of bicycle commuters grew by 62 percent.

Bike-to-Work Day is part of National Bike Month.

Vilhauer also hopes to promote safety for South Dakota's cyclists. The League of American Bicyclists ranks the state 38th in the country in terms of bike friendliness.

However, in recent years Sioux Falls has become much safer for cyclists. There are nearly 30 miles of bike trails in Sioux Falls, and the League has recognized the city as a bike-friendly community.

Vilhauer wants her city to continue on the path it's currently on.

"We are looking to get more bike trails, visibility on the roads when you have share roads and places for people to ride,” she says. “You know, anything that gets the word out there that the rights of cyclists on the road and car drivers on the road so we can have a safe, productive environment."

The League also has recognized Brookings and five South Dakota businesses, including Vilhauer's workplace, Blend Interactive, as bike-friendly.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - SD