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Bike to Work Day (copy) (copy)

Bicycle commuter Eric Muensterman stopped by a Bike to Work Day Energizer Station in 2016..

Some Napa County residents will be hanging up their car keys and picking up their helmets on Thursday morning in honor of “Bay Area Bike to Work Day.”

More than two dozen “Energizer Stations” are going to be set up at schools and other locations throughout the county on Thursday, providing cyclists with things like bananas, muffins and, of course, water.

More than 1,200 children and 500 adults stopped by “Energizer Stations” placed throughout the county last year, Patrick Band, executive director of the Napa County Bicycle Coalition, said in an email.

“Anyone who rides by on a bike will also get a tote bag with a mini bike light and some other little goodies,” Band said Tuesday.

The stations will be open at varying times between 7 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

The annual event, part of “Bike Month,” is meant to showcase the benefits of riding a bike, including reduced air pollution and improved health.

Band said that he hopes people will think of “Bike to Work Day” as a kickoff point, prompting them to bike to school or work more often.

Not even Band bikes to work every day.

“I ride my bike as often as I can, but definitely not every day, Band said. “Being a bicycle commuter isn’t an ‘all or nothing’ kind of thing. There are lots of people who ride to work once a week, or once every few weeks.”

Band suggests that new bike commuters plan their route in advance and allow enough time for their commutes, so they aren’t stressed about getting to work on time.

“Many new riders are concerned about getting to work and being sweaty,” he said, “but by taking your time, you can arrive feeling awake and refreshed, instead of tired and sweaty.”

Beginners should try to avoid routes with higher-speed traffic or busy intersections, Band said. Neighborhood streets will be more comfortable to ride on, he said.

For more information about “Bike to Work Day,” including a map of all the planned Energizer Stations, and suggestions about where in Napa Valley to ride bikes, visit napabike.org.

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Maria Sestito is the former Napa Valley Register public safety reporter. She now writes for the Register as a freelancer.