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5/14/2014 12:01:00 AM
Annual Smart Commute Week set for June 2-6

Smart Commute Emmet encourages you to get fit, be green and save money during Emmet County's 5th Annual Smart Commute Week on June 2-June 6, 2014. Living in an area rich with natural beauty-- and connected with trail systems-- makes creative transportation options appealing to folks of all ages. Each year, the Top of Michigan Trails Council celebrates the opportunities to utilize pedal and foot power to get from 'point a to point b' during Smart Commute Week.

Smart Commute Week has been embraced by many communities in the "tip of the mitt", and has even lent itself to a little friendly competition with Charlevoix and Grand Traverse Counties to see which county can get the most commuters to use alternative ways to get to work. The winner will be able to display the coveted Regional Commuter Cup for the next year.

Registered participants get free breakfasts Monday June 2nd through Thursday June 5th at various locations around the bay, a happy hour event at Petoskey Brewing Company, and entry into a great prize drawing for a bike, walking poles, bike helmet and various gift certificates from our sponsors.

If you're hesitating and wondering how you could possibly use an alternative method to get to work each day, keep reading. There are multiple ways to make it work, and your kids can be involved, too.

Live too far from your destination? Use a Smart Lot! There are multiple Smart Lots available throughout Harbor Springs and Petoskey, and they're designed to allow Smart Commuters a place to park their vehicle in a safe location. Use the Smart Lot to jumpstart your alternative commuting method of carpooling, walking, or biking the rest of the way to your destination.

Don't have a safe route between point "a" and point "b"? It's true-some of our roads either don't have sidewalks nor offer the availability of a safe route to bike, but don't let that stop you. Many Smart Commuters choose a Smart Lot located on or near the connected trail systems that link Harbor Springs to Charlevoix, and most recently, Alanson to Petoskey.

Confused about all of those biker etiquette rules? Don't fret. There are multiple resources available that can teach you all of those hand signals and rules about sharing the road. The League of American Bicyclists has an entire library of helpful videos to help you prepare: http://bikeleague.org/ridesmartvideos

Ready to bike commute but need to get your bike ready? Go to the Free Bike Maintenance Class on Wednesday, May 21.

Get your kids involved too! Smart Commute week is a perfect opportunity to talk to your children about actively commuting to school.

For information about Smart Commute Week, go to www.trailscouncil.org or call 231-348-8280.

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