The San Diego Association of Governments expects thousands of people Thursday to take part in Bike to Work Day, an effort to highlight the benefits of bicycling.
SANDAG's transportation demand management program iCommute is organizing the countywide event, which was moved from a Friday to a Thursday this year to accommodate more people's work schedules. SANDAG spokesman David Hicks said last year more than 9,700 people registered at various "pit stops" throughout the county.
This year more than 100 pit stops will be open between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. offering riders refreshments, snacks and free t-shirts.
Andy Hanshaw, executive director of the San Diego County Bike Coalition, said shifting commute habits from cars to bikes is a crucial part of San Diego's greenhouse gas reduction plans.
"We want to encourage people to try it, to experience it, and then join our movement to make bicycling better," he said. "This is a one-day event, but really we want to promote it year round, and we want to push for safe places for people to ride."
Hanshaw added that people who cannot feasibly bike the entire length of their commute may consider splitting their trip between biking and public transit.
"There's bike locker facilities at some of our transit stations," he said. "There's a lot that people will learn about bike commuting tomorrow."