Bike to Work Day rides on, despite rainstorms

(WJLA) - From restaurant owners, to doctors, lawyers on K Street and even employees at the Library of Congress, thousands were determined to ride their bikes to work Friday, rain or shine.

"Even in the rain - anything but ice or snow," said cyclist Joe Flores. "I don't have to pay for parking. I don't have to deal with any of this traffic."

Friday was Bike to Work Day, but for locals like Joe Flores, this is a commute he's had for 13 years - South Arlington to Union Station.

"I have a great route, [going by] the National Mall," he told ABC7.

And he's not alone - the amount of people biking to work has more than doubled in the D.C. area over the past 10 years.

Roughly 3.1 percent of commuters in the district bike to work, according to the American Community Survey. That puts D.C. seventh among big cities - and that doesn't even take in to account people who pedal to and from the Metro.

"You don't have to go to the gym," cyclist Eric Ross pointed out.

As part of National Bike to Work Day, there are 79 "pit stops" throughout the D.C area, offering cyclists a chance to grab a reflector and water bottle, and even to get some maintenance done.

Around 14,000 registered to make a pit stop along their commute Friday. Among them was Liz MacGregor, who bikes from Vienna to D.C. daily.

MacGregor said the rain definitely posed a challenge Friday.

"There are some creeks along the trails," she said.

D.C. has invested heavily in its bike infrastructure for two-wheeled commuters, including more than 50 miles of paved trails.

"A lot of areas like Arlington and D.C. are really trying hard, [like in] urban areas where things are close together," said Chris Eatough.