Like many businesses, Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop is currently closed. But the Everett nonprofit is taking this time to promote biking through the “Social Distance Challenge.”
Many families have taken the “stay home and stay healthy” orders as a chance to get outside with their kids and rediscover the joy of riding bicycles. Roads are less busy and many people are looking for new activities. Regular bicyclists have struggled with the cancellation of group rides and major bike events.
Enter the Sharing Wheels bike-riding challenge. “Keep your ‘social distance’ while going the distance” is the event’s motto. Participants are encouraged to bike 10 times or 250 miles during the month of April and to log the rides online. Prizes will be drawn randomly from everyone who completes the challenge by the end of the month. Special certificates will be awarded for most miles and most days ridden.
“It’s easy to get depressed and inactive when being told to stay away from people,” says Sharing Wheels Board President Kristin Kinnamon. “Riding a bike boosts your immune system, your heart rate and your mood.” The goal is healthy fun on your bike, not competition.
The Sharing Wheels shop is closed to the public, but basic bike tools are available in the shop garage for do-it-yourself fixes. Bikes are being sold online, and the shop manager is answering the phone.
“We’re looking forward to restarting maintenance classes, volunteer work parties, and in-person bike sales,” Kinnamon said. “Until then, we hope people pull their own bikes out of the garage and go for a ride.”
The Sharing Wheels Social Distance Challenge is setup as a group within the Bike Everywhere Challenge hosted by Washington Bikes. That statewide challenge starts in May.