Bike To Work DayIf you’ve thought about participating in Bike to Work Day but have never done it, this might be the year to give it a try.

The weather forecast for Friday is sunny and dry, perfect weather to get out your bike and helmet.

“People will need their sunglasses,” said meteorologist Brian Frugis of the National Weather Service.

“Even in the morning, it shouldn’t be too cold as people are bicycling into work,” he said.

The morning rush-hour will be around 50 degrees, he said, and temperatures will rise to around 75 degrees with the evening commute in the 60s.

The Capital District Transportation Committee and Bikeatoga, the Saratoga County bicycling organization, are sponsoring a workplace challenge for employers in the Capital Region.

It’s the third time for the sponsors, and the number of registered participants is on track to beat the 2015 event’s total of more than 400.

“We are a little bit over what we had last year, and people are still registering,” said Michael Franchini, executive director of the Capital District Transportation Committee.

The longest round-trip commute so far is 80 miles, he said, and the total number of miles riders will be traveling will be 4,343. That would save 174 gallons of gas and reduce carbon emissions by about 3,484 pounds.

Riders will burn 186,749 calories, the equivalent of eating almost 600 chocolate ice cream cones.

Union College has the highest number of registered participants at 48.

Registration is available at

In each county, winners will be recognized in four categories: most riders, organization with 20 or fewer employees with the highest percentage participation, large organizations with the highest percentage participation, and the person who rode the farthest.

As part of a tradition associated with the day, some Capital Region mayors and town supervisors participate to win a competition for the highest percentage participation for any municipality whose leader participates.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan is offering a bouquet of tulips and a couple of boxes of Cider Belly Donuts to the winning municipality. Learning nothing from her defeat by Schenectady last year, Sheehan is again boasting that her staff will be eating the doughnuts themselves.

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden, new to office, said he knows Troy has an active bicycling community but he didn’t know he was expected to produce a team of City Hall riders.

“We’ve got to get our game on,” he said Tuesday evening.

Still, he was quick to say he’d take up Sheehan on her challenge and offer doughnuts from a Troy company called Nibble.

“We’ll field a team,” he said. “We’ll be eating Albany’s doughnuts.”

This article appeared in the Times Union

Published 6:12 pm, Tuesday, May 17, 2016