Mark your calendars for the Sitka Winter Cycling Celebration on Saturday, Jan. 28

During a Sitka winter you never know what type of weather you’ll get — freezing rain, snow, hail, wind, even the occasional sunny day. But Sitka cyclists are a hardy bunch and many of us ride all winter long.

With that in mind, the Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition will host the inaugural Sitka Winter Cycling Celebration from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Crescent Harbor shelter and Harrigan Centennial Hall. This is several events in one, so come join the fun and bring the entire family. And make sure you bring your bike, recumbent, cargo bike, tandem, adult trike, or even one of the dog-pulled bikes we see around town. We encourage safe cycling, so please bring your helmet and wear bright, reflective gear.

We will meet at 10:30 a.m. at the Crescent Harbor shelter for free bike safety checks, free reflective tape and other winter safety items. At 10:45 a.m., we will have a few contests, such as the slowest rider, most visible cyclist, most winterized, best sound, etc. At 11 a.m., Sitka clergy will offer a blessing of the bikes.

At 11:15 a.m., we will depart the Crescent Harbor shelter for a short community bike ride/parade through downtown Sitka. Our course will be down Lincoln Street to Harbor Road (turning left after city hall), then Harbor Drive and back to the start. We have an approved parade permit from the Sitka Police Department, which is supposed to provide traffic control for the event (which should help make it safer for kids). We will ride regardless of the weather.

We will gather again at Harrigan Centennial Hall at 11:35 a.m. to warm up with hot cocoa and popcorn. We will distribute door prizes and announce the winners from the bike contests.

Then at 11:45 a.m. we will show the award-winning film “Fat Bike,” a 27-minute movie by Anchorage filmmaker/photographer Carl Battreall. The movie is about winter mountain biking in Alaska using specially built snow bikes. This movie follows a couple of racers as they prepare for and compete in the 2009 Susitna 100 wilderness mountain bike race over part of the historic Iditarod Trail.

After the movie ends, about 12:15 p.m., we will have a brief discussion about how we can make Sitka more bicycle friendly. We also will provide some safe winter cycling tips. We expect to be finished by 12:30 p.m.

To learn more about this event or the Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition, contact Charles Bingham at 738-8875 or, or contact Doug Osborne at 966-8734 or doug.osborne@searhc.or, or you can check out our website at We also are accepting donations of items for door prizes (we encourage donations of winter outerwear, bike items, safety items, punch cards for hot coffee, etc.).

• Sitka Winter Cycling Celebration flier as a PDF file (please feel free to print and post around town)

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