ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Despite the rainy weather, 80 people participated in APG's second annual Bike to Work Day event May 14, doubling the participation from last years inaugural event.

The early-morning bike ride kicked off APG Wellness Wednesday, one of several events scheduled for the installation's Armed Forces Week celebration.

The event was Team APG supported and spearheaded by the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command and the Harford County Department of Community Services.

Riders were challenged to either bike to work or to participate in an 11.5 mile bike ride around the installation, starting in front of the APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center. Some riders did both.

Bike to Work Day coincided with National Bike Month. During May 12-16, communities across the nation hosted "Bike to Work" events.

"This event raises awareness for a more bike-friendly culture," said Alan Doran of the Harford County Department of Community Services. "This includes creating better lanes for bicyclists."

Doran said the event also promotes safety. He said that Maryland law states that bicycles are vehicles, and bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles. Maryland law also states that motorists must maintain a distance of three feet when passing, he said.

Mary Arthur, from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, who bikes to work most days said she has concerns about aggressive driving.

"Bike safety is a two-way street," Arthur said. "I expect people to be professional. Motorists and bicyclists need to follow the laws."

May is also Clean Commute Month, an educational campaign that promotes alternatives to commuting in single-occupant vehicles. Clean commuting options include teleworking, riding transit, bicycling, carpooling, or walking.

"This is my first time biking to work from Middle River," said Michelle Moore from the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center. "I will do it again when it isn't raining."

Bel Air resident Casey Uhilg, from ARL, said he usually leaves his car at a local park and ride and bikes to work the rest of the way. He bikes to work at least twice a week.

"I stick to roads with good shoulder lanes," he said. "The community needs to be more aware of bicyclists and support bike lanes."

Before the event, participants were challenged to form teams from their organization to try to win the "Cycle Smack Down" trophy. ATEC won the trophy with 23 participants. The event included refreshments and free raffle prizes from sponsors.

Health and Wellness Coordinator Gale Sauer, a contractor in support of ATEC, said the APG community is invited for a weekly group bike ride each Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., starting at ATEC Headquarters, Bldg. 2202. Occasionally the group also rides on Thursday and Friday depending on the weather.

Anyone interested can e-mail Sauer at gale.m.sauer.ctr@mail.mil to be added to group's distribution list.

Sauer thanked everyone who participated to make APG's second annual Bike to Work Day a safe, successful event.