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The Sitka Cycling Club is hosting a group ride at noon on Saturday, March 23, starting and ending at BEAK Restaurant.

The event includes live music and 20 percent off food purchases as part of the new Bicycle Benefits program (cyclists must show Bicycle Benefits helmet sticker to receive discount). The group ride will last about 45 minutes and will consist of riding on the Cross Trail.

For more information and to sign up for the Sitka Cycling Club, go to https://sitkacycling.wordpress.com or call Doug Osborne at 747-0373 or Emma Klein at 966-8785.

• Sitka Cycling Club 2019 monthly bike rides, tentative schedule

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The Sitka Cycling Club will meet from noon until 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, at the Fisheye Organic Café (formerly North Sister Juice and Crepe Company, located on Seward Street next to Subway). Fisheye Organic Café is one of the Bicycle Benefits businesses in our new program, so cyclists who show their helmet stickers will receive 20 percent off their purchases.

The monthly meeting is open to everyone interested in making Sitka an even better town for cyclists of all ages. Topics include brainstorming ideas on how to grow our Sitka Cycling Club, planning for National Bike Month in May, planning the Alaska Walking and Bicycling Conference in Sitka in early June, discussion of a series of summer bike club rides, the creation of a statewide biking/walking advocacy group (tentatively called Walk/Bike Alaska), a discussion about what we can do to make Sitka more bicycle friendly, and other topics.

For more information, call Doug Osborne at 747-0373 or Holly Marban at 966-8938.


Residents of Sitka can now participate in Bicycle Benefits, a commuter discount program that has rolled into Sitka to offer deals to those who choose bicycle transportation.

This year-round program promotes cycling and boosts local business by offering discounts and rewards to cyclists who bike to and display their sporty Bicycle Benefit helmet sticker at participating establishments. The program sticker can be purchased at local participating businesses for $5.

Bicycle Benefits is a nationwide program that supports local communities interested in growing bicycle use. On March 1, Sitka became the first community in Alaska to bring the program to life.

About the Bicycle Benefits program

Bicycle Benefits is a progressive bicycling program, which began in Saratoga Springs, New York, and is designed to reward individuals and businesses for their commitment to cleaner air, personal health, and the use of pedaling energy in order to create more sustainable communities where healthy transportation thrives.

The program’s continual growth decreases parking demand, increases helmet use, and improves cyclists’ safety and health by putting more people on bikes. For more information about Sitka’s participation in the Bicycle Benefits program, visit sitkacycling.wordpress.com or www.bicyclebenefits.com.

Bicycle Benefits participating businesses in Sitka

A handful of local businesses have stepped up to support and encourage cycling in Sitka. The current participating businesses and their offers include:

  • Beak Restaurant — 20% off*
  • Backdoor Cafe — 20% off
  • LFS Marine Supplies — 20% off all high-visibility gear
  • Russell’s Sporting Goods — 10% off
  • Mean Queen — 10% off*
  • Mean Queen @ Totem Square (opening in March) — 10% off*
  • Harry Race Pharmacy — 20% off all GNP products
  • Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop — 10% off lights and reflective gear
  • Old Harbor Books — 15% off book purchases
  • Fisheye Organic Cafe — 20% off
  • Fisheye Coffee — 20% off
  • Spinning Moon Apothecary — 10% off

*alcohol is excluded from all Bicycle Benefits discounts

Other local businesses interested in participating in the Bicycle Benefits program can contact Doug Osborne at (907) 747-0373 or Holly Marban at (907) 966-8938.

Kick-Off ride on March 23

The program will do a soft launch on March 1, and the Sitka Cycling Club will hold a kick-off ride on Saturday, March 23, to celebrate as a group. To join the ride, meet at the Beak Restaurant at noon. We will ride on the Cross Trail and end again at the Beak, where participants can grab a bite to eat together and continue to build community.

The Sitka Cycling Club will host monthly group rides throughout the summer, and each one will start or end at a different Bicycle Benefits participating business to show our support.

The Sitka Cycling Club is recruiting new members, and all you have to do to join is take a free, short survey.

After several years as the Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition, we recently rebranded as the Sitka Cycling Club. Now we’re having a membership drive, so we can show we have the numbers supporting us when we request bicycle infrastructure upgrades and safety updates.

In addition, members receive a monthly newsletter that informs them when we have monthly bike rides, introduce new bicycle benefits for local commuters, and more.

For more information about the Sitka Cycling Club, contact Doug Osborne at 747-0373, Holly Marban at 966-8938 or Charles Bingham at 623-7660.

The Sitka Cycling Club (formerly known as the Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition) will meet from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22, at the Sitka Public Library.

The monthly meeting is open to everyone interested in making Sitka an even better town for cyclists of all ages. Topics include brainstorming ideas on how to grow our Sitka cycling club, planning the Alaska Walk and Bike Conference in Sitka in early June, discussion of a People For Bikes grant to provide new bike-parking facilities in town, the creation of a statewide biking/walking advocacy group (tentatively called Walk/Bike Alaska), a discussion about what we can do to make Sitka more bicycle friendly, and other topics.

For more information, call Doug Osborne at 747-0373 or Holly Marban at 966-8938.

Sitka’s weather on International Winter Bike To Work/School Day, Friday, Feb. 8, wasn’t very wintery, which may have helped Sitka finish in the top 100 in the overall standings, beating several cities with more than a million people.

Sitka finished in a six-way tie for 98th place overall with 20 points, matching New York City; Durham, N.C.; Osijek, Hrvatska (Croatia); Frankfurt am Main, Deutschland (Germany); and Getxo, España (Spain). Communities earned points for the number of cyclists who rode and registered their rides with the international website, inviting friends to ride, sharing photos, hosting an event, etc. The only other Alaska community ranked in the top 200 cities was Anchorage in 41st place with 67 points.

For the first time in the event’s history, a city from the United States earned top honors. Denver, Colo., won the title with 1,405 points (including 1,207 cyclists). Boulder, Colo., took second place with 1,174 points; followed in third place by Zagreb, Hrvatska, with 520 points; Gdańsk, Polska (Poland), in fourth place with 287 points; and Varaždin, Hrvatska, in fifth place with 264 points.

Нови Сад, Србија (Novi Sad, Serbia), which won the overall title last year and finished in second place the previous two years, dropped to 50th place and only 52 points this year (it had a record 1,393 participants in 2018). Besides Novi Sad in 2018, previous winners include Zagreb three times (2015-17), Oulu, Suomi (Finland, 2014, tied for 29th place in 2019 with 87 points), and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (2013, when the event was almost exclusively in Canada, sixth place in 2019 with 241 points).

In Sitka, cyclists could enter a drawing at Yellow Jersey Cycle Shop on Feb. 8. Becky Meiers won a headlight/taillight set from Yellow Jersey, and Katie Reilly won a set of used studded mountain bike tires from Andrew Thoms in the contest. Thank you, Bill Hughes of Yellow Jersey and Andrew Thoms for donating the prizes.

The Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition is changing its name to the Sitka Cycling Club and inviting new members to join the club.

One reason for the name change is to make the name simpler and easier to say. But we also want to get more Sitka cyclists to help us make Sitka a better and safer place to ride bikes.

Joining the Sitka Cycling Club is as simple as clicking this link and filling out this short form. Easy peasy, less than a minute and you’re done. By signing up, you will receive a monthly newsletter. It also allows us to say we have so many members when we lobby for better cycling infrastructure.

Some of our goals include:

  • New places to ride, single track
  • Better bike racks and parking options
  • Grants to pay for the better bike racks
  • A safe-passing policy
  • Incentives for commuters
  • Regular club bike rides
  • And lots more

Once you sign up, you’ll get a monthly newsletter and be the first to know about club rides and new programs, such as the Bicycle Benefits program that kicks off in March.

For more information about the Sitka Cycling Club, contact Doug Osborne at 747-0373, Holly Marban at 966-8938 or Charles Bingham at 623-7660.