Spring Walking Challenge, Florida Bike Month provide opportunities to get outside and get moving

UF-UF Health Wellness’ Spring Walking Challenge is a fun team-building opportunity to increase your daily activity, get to know your team members and compete against other UF and UF Health employees. This spring’s six-week challenge, which starts Monday, March 19, will incorporate a variety of new and exciting mini-challenges and prizes. The challenge is open to all UF and UF Health employees.

To participate, form a team of four to 15 people, choose a team name and register by Wednesday, March 14.

To learn more, visit gatorcare.org/walkingchallenge.

Throughout March, UF is also celebrating Florida Bike Month by unveiling a new program called “Gator Go: Bikes” that’s designed to make bike commuting an easy choice for staff, faculty and students.

“Gator Go: Bikes” is a comprehensive set of resources and services sponsored by the UF Office of Sustainability aimed at breaking down barriers for anyone who wants to explore biking as a transportation option on campus. Resources include individual counseling on cycle commuting from The Cycle Commuter Counseling Service, as well as customized bike route development, accessory and bike selection advice, and guided rides to establish routes to and from campus.

The team will also offer an “Intro to Commuter Bicycle Maintenance” class, which will give participants the expertise and confidence to handle bike roadside repair needs while commuting, including how to change a flat tire, adjust brakes, properly fit a helmet and more. The classes will be held at the Freewheel Project, Gainesville’s nonprofit bicycle co-op, on Wednesdays, March 14 and 28, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There are 10 spots available for the class, and they are open on a first-come, first-served basis to students, faculty and staff at no cost. Participants are required to attend both classes. You can sign up at http://sustainable.ufl.edu/news-events/events/uf-bike-month/.

The UF Police Department and the Office of Sustainability are also partnering to raise awareness about the importance of using lights during night cycling. During select nights throughout the month of March, UFPD will stop riders on bicycles without lights. Instead of a ticket, riders will get a free light set courtesy of the Florida Department of Transportation.

On Friday, March 30—“Bike to Campus Day”—the Office of Sustainability will be at the Plaza of the Americas from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. to welcome bike commuters with free breakfast and information about the “Gator Go: Bikes” program.

On Saturday, March 31, a community bike ride will be held from UF to Depot Park. The all-ages ride will take participants to bicycle infrastructure and friendly roads that make UF and Gainesville one of the best cities to bike. The ride will start at the Plaza of the Americas at 9 a.m. and conclude in Depot Park at approximately 9:30 a.m.

For more information about UF Bike Month, please visit http://sustainable.ufl.edu/news-events/events/uf-bike-month/ or email info@sustainability.ufl.edu.