IKEA Workers, County Celebrate Bike to Work Day
About 14 workers biked from CCBC Essex to the IKEA in White Marsh.
The distance between the Community College of Baltimore County Essex and the IKEA in White Marsh is about 3.5 miles.
In celebration of National Bike to Work Day Friday morning, about 14 IKEA employees used pedal-power, rather than horsepower, to make the trip.
"Some of the local workers rode from their homes. But for the rest of us, it was really a symbolic ride to work, to help raise awareness," said Bill Meiswinkel, IKEA public relations manager.
The event was a collaborative effort of IKEA, the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, Baltimore County government and CCBC Essex, which helped map a practical bike route, Meiswinkel said.
County Councilman David Marks met with cyclists at the store following the ride. His first sponsored bill in office created the Baltimore County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.
"Bicycling is important. Not only is it good for physical fitness, but it provides an alternative form of transportation. Trails can help promote tourism, as well," Marks said.
Ralph Wheeler, a county transportation engineer, also spoke to cyclists about government efforts at promoting bike-friendly road design and park trails.
In December 2010, the IKEA corporation issued 12,000 bicycles to American employees as a holiday gift. About 180 of those were given to workers in the Baltimore area, Meiswinkel said.
He said he expects even more employees to participate in the biking event next year.
"It really was a fun time," Meiswinkel said."It was great to have such a co-worker friendly event."