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How to Stay Mentally and Physically Active During the Pandemic – Part II

Posted on August 7, 2020

Downtown Park

 

We have been enduring the pandemic for over four months now, and many people are finding their groove with day-to-day life. We’ve provided help with staying physically and mentally active before; here are more tips for maintaining balance during these times.


Staying Physically Active

1.    Walking – Link to CYWB pedestrian guides/bike map

  • There’s nothing quite like getting a breath of fresh air after being cooped inside during the workday. Go to a local trail, take a stroll and soak up some vitamin D this summer! Need help getting around? Check out the Downtown Pedestrian Guide. Looking to get out on more than just your legs? Take a gander at the 2020 Bellevue Bike Map for biking assistance.

2.    Check out Bellevue businesses on your commute

  • The pandemic hit everyone in different ways, but businesses are back up and running in Bellevue! Why not stop by your favorite coffee shop when commuting through downtown?

3.    Go nature watching

  • With less individuals out and about, nature seems to be more active these days. Bike out to your favorite park and bring your binoculars! Look at the birds, squirrels, bunnies and more to see what nature is up to.

 

Staying Mentally Active

1.    Puzzles

  • Why not sit down with you family and complete a fun activity? Puzzles are a great way to entertain the brain and pass the time.

2.    Catch up on your movie list

  • People are consuming media very differently now; streaming services are at an all-time high. This is the best opportunity to sit down and start making off all the movies you’ve yet to see!

3.    Have a virtual game night with your friends!

  • Platforms like Zoom, Discord, Skype and more have made it easier than ever to play games over the internet with your friends. Get a virtual game of Scrabble, Catan or Quiplash going with your buddies for a great time.

 

These are just a few ways to stay active during the pandemic – until next time, stay safe and stay healthy!

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex


 

Mover of the Month Winners During COVID-19

Posted on July 22, 2020

Each month, Choose Your Way Bellevue staff selects a lucky winner from our Mover of the Month story submissions. For April and May winners, we have Thomas Ricci and Eric Chau!

Thomas Ricci – April

Thomas shared the following story with us:

“I moved in the summer to Bellevue, and one benefit of the location was the good and big variety of commute options. Previously I lived far in the north of Bothell, and commuting during rush hours was terrible. I could only choose between my car or my company’s shuttle service that had few rides at inconvenient times, so I ended up spending at least one hour stuck in traffic every single day. Moving to Bellevue has been incredible. Now I can use the bus, carpool with some coworkers or even use my bicycle during the summer! My commute is much better and sustainable, but most importantly, now I can spend more than thirty minutes a day with my family!”

Thomas

 

Eric Chau – May

Eric shared the following story with us:

“As a construction inspector, I spend most of my days in the company car, sitting in traffic going from job site to job site. I'm too familiar with the stress that comes with the journey. The last thing I want to do is commute home in my own car in stand-still traffic on I-405. Over the past five years, I have discovered that by commuting by bike, bus and walking to my office has helped me ease the stress and anxiety of traffic. I use the time I have on the bus to read emails and organize my schedule for the day. It works for me. Thank you, Choose Your Way Bellevue.”

Eric

 

Both Thomas and Eric shared awesome stories, and you can too!

Each month, Choose Your Way Bellevue staff selects one Bellevue traveler's transportation story. Those whose stories are selected receive $50 toward bus or vanpool fare (in the form of a TranBen voucher) or the equivalent in Choose Your Way Bellevue merchandise. Learn about the program and submit your commute story here. Learn about our other reward offerings at ChooseYourWayBellevue.org/rewards.

 

­-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex

 

Are You Bored, or Working on Your Bingo Board?

Posted on July 13, 2020

What better way to celebrate summer than by challenging yourself to a very active form of bingo? We’ve put together a fun, interactive bingo board to help you get out on your trusty two wheels in the beautiful weather. Whether you’ve started this challenge yet or not, here are some helpful tips to tackle some of the tasks!

 

CYWB Bingo Board


Tasks:

  • Signed up for Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards
    • You can sign up for Rewards at ChooseYourWayBellevue.org/Rewards. Go to this webpage and click on the “Sign Up” button. From there, you’ll enter in your information, create a password and click on “Register.” It’s that easy!
  • Logged a biking trip on Choose Your Way Bellevue
    • Once you’ve registered with Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards, you’ll be able to log trips. Log into your account from the “Log In” button on www.ChooseYourWayBellevue.org/Rewards or at ChooseYourWayBellevue.icarpool.com. You will be on your dashboard. From there, click on the drop-down menu (left side) and click on “Calendar.” 
    • Then, click on “Bike” in the “Select Mode” drop-down menu, enter in the starting and ending address, and select the days on the calendar you traveled using that mode
    • From there, click “Log Trip” underneath the calendar. You’re all set!
    • This can be done for logging all other trip types, including bus, teleworking, carpooling
  • Read Choose Your Way Bellevue’s “Five Reasons Why Biking Now is Better” blog
    • To access our blogs, go to ChooseYourWayBellevue.org/blog. Then, scroll down until you find the one with the title, “Five Reasons Why Biking Now is Better.” Then, click on the title to read and comment!
  • Had a picnic while socially distanced
    • This is a great opportunity to get outside to your local park, place a blanket on the grass and soak up the sun while enjoying a meal. As a reminder, here is a good source of information for using parks while socially distancing.

So get a bingo, tag a friend and send a screenshot of your completed board to info@cywb.org and you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win a Choose Your Way Bellevue branded backpack with branded goodies inside!

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex

 

Sources:
Joint Statement on Using Parks and Open Space While Maintaining Physical Distancing - NRPA


 

Tune in for this Bike Tune-up!

Posted on July 1, 2020

Bike Repair

 

Three practical things you can do at home to improve your bike’s working condition


The weather is getting nicer and biking numbers have already been on the rise in Bellevue…so now is the perfect time to dust off your bicycle, get outside and go for a ride! Before doing so, it might prove useful to give your two-wheeled, human-powered machine a little tune-up to make sure things are good to go. Here are three easy tasks you can do from home to get your bike in great condition:

  • Clean the chain
    • It’s easier to do than you think; aids shifting/accelerating; and extends the life of your chain.
      • Remove chain and soak it in hot water with dish soap for 16-24 hours
      • Disassemble and clean each roller with a cotton swab
      • Spray speed degreaser onto the chain and wipe clean with a dry rag (Finish Line is great and can be purchased at your local bike shop)
      • Apply lube when finished
      • In-depth video here
  • Adjust the brakes
    • When pulled, does your brake lever reach the handlebar without stopping your bike? If so, your brakes are worn or your cables are stretched! Do the following:
      • Turn the barrel adjuster on the brake caliper clockwise one click at a time, testing your brakes after each adjustment
      • If you reach the last click and still haven’t solved the problem, turn it clockwise until it stops, loosen the pinch bolt and pull a small amount of cable through
      • Tighten the pinch bolt and repeat the process until you get the right amount of tension
      • In-depth video here
  • Smooth out shifting
    • You’ll want to make sure there are no jumps or skips in your chain, which most likely come from loose cable tension.
      • Get your bicycle on a repair stand (which can be purchased for as little as $20), and shift to the smallest cog
      • Turn the barrel adjuster on the rear derailleur one-half turn clockwise
      • As you rotate your pedals, shift once
      • If the chain doesn’t jump to the next cog, make another half-turn
      • If the chain starts to jump to cogs for every one shift, you went too far, so back it down a half-turn
      • Don’t turn the barrel adjuster more than halfway at a time – you may end up with too much tension
      • In depth video here

Of course you can always contact your local bike shop for bike tune-ups, maintenance and repair. Need help finding bike shops and knowing where to ride in Bellevue? The newly updated 2020 Bellevue Bike Map can help. Want a hard copy? Call 425-452-6856 or email TRReception@bellevuewa.gov.


-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex

 

Sources:

REI Degreaser

How to Perfectly Clean Chain - Global Cycling Network

How to Adjust Bike Brakes - Howcast

Getting Your Gears Running Smoothly
 

Transit Update: June 2020

Posted on June 23, 2020

Times are constantly changing, so it’s important to keep up to date with all things transit. Luckily, Choose Your Way Bellevue provides free resources making it easier for Bellevue travelers to choose non-drive-alone options and navigate those options as travel habits evolve. One of those resources is transit information, including this blog post. Let’s take a look at what’s changing in the coming weeks.


King County Metro – Restoring Transit Service

When – June 22


KCM June 22 Service Updates

 

From Metro: With stabilized workforce levels and the state’s “Safe Start” plan moving forward, King County Metro will restore service on dozens of bus routes, increase water taxi service, and partially restore Via to Transit, a service available in southeast Seattle and Tukwila, on Monday, June 22.

The move fully restores 23 bus routes that were canceled in March and April and adds trips to other routes. A few recently canceled peak commuter routes will be restored, while other routes will remain suspended due to financial constraints and lower anticipated ridership. Read more about it here.

 

Sound Transit – Flat Fare for Transit Riders

When – July 1

ST Logo

From Sound Transit: Sound Transit is planning a July 1 resumption of fares on ST Express bus routes that have returned to front-door boarding with the installation of health barriers and other protections for operator safety.

In addition, a new system-wide flat fare will align with other regional agencies, irrespective of trip distances. Sound Transit will implement a flat adult fare of $3.25 on all ST Express bus routes when fare collection resumes. 

The new fare structure eliminates the previous two-zone fare system in favor of one simple fare throughout the ST Express service area. For trips in King County, the result will be a 50-cent increase per trip. Read more about it here.

With these upcoming changes in mind, it’s important to prepare for how this will impact your commuting. Need help planning? Fill out this form to request a custom commute plan from Choose Your Way Bellevue!

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex
 

 

Biking (Back) to Work

Posted on June 19, 2020

How to flip the switch and improve your routine by biking to work.

 
The pandemic has certainly hit us hard, but one positive note is that more people in Bellevue are improving their health and well-being by getting around on two wheels, as noted in our previous blog post. We hope this trend will continue as businesses increasingly open their doors and more workers return to the office. Here are some simple steps you can take to make biking to work a reality:


      1.    Dust off your bike

  • If you’re not a regular bike rider, it may have been a while since you went for your last ride. Now is the time change that! Grab your bike out of storage and get it in good working condition. Make sure you have good tire pressure and a solid helmet. If you are in need of extra help before heading out on your first bike adventure in a while, here are a few resources you can check out:

     2.    Go for a trial ride

  • With your bike in proper working condition and your helmet ready, get outside and try out your wheels. Take a ride around your neighborhood, go to a local bike trail, call up your friends or get your family together and do a group ride! There are plenty of ways to get back in the hang of it.

     3.    Get into the routine

  • There are a few ways to do this. One is to test your biking route to work in advance - see what routes you need to take and what the fastest way will be. Get familiar with the streets, turns, intersections, you name it! Another is to embark on challenges. Participate in the Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards program, log multiple days’ worth of bike trips and you could receive Choose Your Way Bellevue merchandise, a $50 reward and more. Creating and implementing a habit can take time, so it’s important to develop a routine and get out on your bike regularly.

     4.    Bike back to work

  • Finally, when the office reopens (or right now if your office is already open), you can use everything you’ve learned and your awesome new biking habits to take your two wheels to work. You can even take that extra step and try to get your coworkers in on the action too. Remember that bike commuting doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing endeavor. Try biking one day per week, or combine biking with transit.

 

We hope these help you to choose your bike on some days. By not driving alone you can help reduce strain on our roadways as offices and businesses open back up. Until next time, stay safe and stay active!

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex

 

Choose Your Way Bellevue Summer Rewards

Posted on June 15, 2020

Bike month is here, and with it, awesome reward opportunities at Choose Your Way Bellevue. Below are the following rewards you can get started on right now! (If you haven’t already):

  • Stay Active for Summer Incentive
    • As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, we want to encourage you to get out on two wheels, walk and keep up the safe, social distancing while working remotely! Walk, bike or telework to or from a Bellevue location on at least eight days through June 30, 2020 and submit your request for a Choose Your Way Bellevue merchandise package. That is all you need to do to receive a guaranteed reward! Reward packages include a branded backpack, tumbler + wist pack or cycling cap + bike bell.
  • Choose Your Way BINGO - Bike Edition
    • What better way to celebrate Bike Month than by challenging yourself to a very active form of bingo? We’ve put together a fun, interactive bingo board to help you get out on your trusty two wheels this June. Download or print out the board, get a bingo, share and send to info@cywb.org and you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win a Choose Your Way Bellevue branded backpack with branded goodies inside!
  • Social Media Campaign
    • Share your bike trip during bike month and be entered to win a sweet reward! From now until June 30, 2020, post a video or photo of yourself from or with your bike (no photos taken while riding please!) with the hashtag #ibikebellevue or tagging @ChooseUrWayBell on Twitter for a chance to win a Choose Your Way Bellevue branded backpack with branded goodies inside! One lucky winner will be chosen at random to receive this reward.

The Merch

Backpacks
Backpack

  • Offered in two stylish colors, blue or tangerine orange, these Choose Your Way Bellevue-branded backpacks will help you conveniently carry what you need throughout the day, all in one place!

Bike Bells

Bike Bell

  • Want to get some attention while on your sweet ride? Attach one of these bad boys to your handlebar, give it a ring and you’ll be more noticeable in no time.

Cycling Caps

Cycling Cap

  • Designed to provide a few simple functions, these exciting cycling caps are perfect for keeping rain and sweat out of your eyes, shielding your eyes from the sun and last but not least, keep you looking like the real deal.

Waist Packs

Waist Pack

  • Great for keeping small things handy, these waist packs come in two colors – black and yellow.

Tumblers

Tumbler

  • Sturdy, robust and slick, fill up this trusty container with your favorite beverage to keep it safe, secure and at your preferred temperature.

Now that you’re informed on the current incentives for Choose Your Way Bellevue, make sure to hop on these opportunities and reap some awesome rewards while having fun commuting safely in the process. Get pedaling!

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex

 

Bellevue Bike Riding Numbers During COVID-19

Posted on June 1, 2020

Times are certainly different, and from my personal perspective looking out of my bedroom window, I feel that more people are out biking, walking and recreating now – during the state Stay Home, Stay Healthy order – than ever before. 

The anecdote holds true for Bellevue – at least for the month of April, according to City of Bellevue Traffic Management Interim Assistant Director Chris Long. When asked how this year’s bike ridership numbers compare to last year’s, he shared that “On our regional connections, we saw a significant increase in April fueled by great weather and a desire to get outside during the first full month of quarantine.”  

The two graphs show bike ridership over the last three years. The green line (2020) out-rides the prior two years on both the north section of Eastrail and the I-90 Trail during the month of April. It should be noted that bike volumes during the month of May traditionally show a surge of bicycle activity, possibly due to the statewide Bike Everywhere Month and weather improvement. This year, bike volumes for May are still higher than normal, but they decreased from April. (Typically, May see a significant jump in volume, but that jump came a month early.)

EASTRAIL TRENDS

Eastrail

I-90 TRAIL TRENDS

I-90

Around the rest of the city, there is not enough historic data to show a reliable pattern. However, in two key corridors, West Lake Sammamish Parkway and 118th Avenue Southeast just south of Southeast 8th Street, bike numbers are in keeping with numbers from August 2019 – one of the warmest weather months of the year. 

More from Chris Long: “Despite very few people commuting, our biking numbers have remained consistent throughout the city, which we believe reflects a desire to get outside and social distance from a bike. Walking also seems to be very popular especially to and from our parks. This discovery has led to us creating “Healthy Streets” in Bellevue to provide more space for residents to social distance while walking, riding or rolling to and from our parks.” You can read more about the Healthy Streets initiative on the city website.

We hope to see the green line grow! While it will look different than any year before it, we hope that Bike Everywhere Month during June 1- 30 will encourage even more folks to get out to enjoy the fresh air on two wheels and move around town responsibly. More information about biking in Bellevue and how Bellevue is celebrating Bike Month can be found on the Choose Your Way Bellevue bike page

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Augusta 
 

Bike Month 2020: How Employers can Build a Better Bike Program

Posted on June 1, 2020

June is Bike Month

The COVID-19 era has likely shifted your employee’s day-to-day routines and work style. Employees across the city and the world have had to adopt brand new behaviors and habits from working remotely to communicating with team members on new platforms. With this disruption, employees and employers have both shown adaptability. With Bike Month in Washington State shifted to June and days away, and businesses considering future commuting back to the office, now is a great time to encourage your employees to get out and go for a ride – and for employers to consider how more employees can make this option work well as a viable, sustainable commute option.

Shape your Bike Program:

Are you looking to make your workplace more bike-friendly but don’t know where to start? Consider implementing the following elements in your workplace.

  • Secure bike parking
    • Employees need to know their bicycles are safe while they work; consider talking with building management about bike access to your building and secure parking.
  • Provide Showers and Changing Facilities
    • Some employees will not consider bicycling to work without the convenience of showering upon arrival. As an added benefit it makes your office smell better too!  
  • Bike subsidy (Parking Cash-Out)
    •  Employees who bike, walk, or take transit often have a parking spot they do not use. In lieu of parking, consider financially incentivizing employees who don’t use an allotted parking spot.
  • Evaluate your bike culture
    • Consider your dress code appropriately; is it inclusive of active transportation modes?
  • Additionally, here is the Choose Your Way Bellevue Toolkit; a great resource for enhancing or starting your commute program.

Share with your Employees:

Lean on bike content already out there to encourage your employees to bike! Some ideas (and examples) to consider are:

Your employees’ well-being and mental health affects your bottom line. A 2015 study conducted by the University of Cambridge, VitalityHealth and RAND Europe found that employees who cycle have lower rates of depression and obesity, higher life satisfaction scores and take significantly fewer sick days than their non-cycling coworkers. The report ultimately concluded that cycle-to-work programs have the potential to significantly impact the productivity of a business's workforce.

In the COVID-19 era, biking is the new going out. With more and more people on two wheels, this is a great time to engage your employees, encourage a healthy, active transportation option and blaze new trails with enhancing your bike commute program.

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Travis

 

 

June 2020: Bike Month in Bellevue

Posted on May 21, 2020

While National Bike Month has traditionally taken place in May, Bellevue will celebrate in June this year, a shift that is concurrent with Cascade’s Bike Everywhere Month. With the days getting longer and with June 1st just around the corner, here is a quick summary of ways to celebrate Bike Month this June and take in the beautiful Spring weather this year:

Bellevue Biking 3

 

1.    Log your bike trips on Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards & earn branded merchandise!

As part of our ongoing program, Choose Your Way Bellevue offers both ongoing and episodic reward programs. Through June 30, Bellevue workers and residents can log bike, walk and telework trips to or from a Bellevue location on at least eight days and submit your request to be eligible for a Choose Your Way Bellevue merchandise package. Reward packages include a branded Backpack, Tumbler + Waist Pack or Cycling Cap + Bike Bell. Ready to go? 

 

2.    Get Prepared: Request your 2020 Bellevue Bike Map 

The 2020 bike map update features updated citywide and detail maps, safety tips, helmet fitting tips, updated tools and resources and a frequent transit service map. Download the map or request a hard copy via mail by calling 425-452-6856 or emailing TRReception@bellevuewa.gov.

3.    Take the F5 Bike Everywhere Challenge

Put on by Washington Bikes, the goal of the challenge is to support, encourage, and celebrate bicycling! Set personal goals, compete with friends or co-workers, or just ride for mental and physical health and earn points and prizes. Remember to ride responsibly and encourage fellow riders to do the same! This year, the challenge host, Washington Bikes has moved to a new platform, RideShark. This new tool will allow you to connect with your apps/devices like Strava, Fitbit, Garmin, and more. RideShark also gives you the ability to track other active transportation trips, including walking and transit! 

You are still eligible to log your trips in both Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards and the Bike Everywhere Challenge. You’ll just need to log trips in both places. More trips logged = More opportunities to earn rewards and prizes. 

 

4.    Get Social 

Want to earn some sweet rewards for celebrating bike month? Now you can! From now until June 30, 2020, post a video or photo of yourself celebrating bike month with the hashtag #ibikebellevue or tagging @ChooseUrWayBell on Twitter for a chance to win a Choose Your Way Bellevue branded backpack with branded goodies inside!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Augusta
 

 

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