Several local businesses and the Moscow Farmers Market are participating in a program to encourage people to bike safely to their favorite Moscow destinations.
For $5, people can purchase a sticker to place on their helmet. That sticker can earn them discounts on food, drinks and farmers market items.
It is part of the Bicycle Benefits program, a national nonprofit that aims to reward people for cycling to local businesses and remembering to wear their helmet.
Amanda Argona, community events manager for the city of Moscow, said a sticker can get a farmers market patron a $2 wooden token they can use to purchase items from market vendors. The city then reimburses the vendors.
“This is another way for folks to stretch their dollar, be environmentally friendly and bike safely,” she said.
Argona said Bicycle Benefits seemed like an appropriate fit for the farmers market because many people already ride bikes there every Saturday.
She said there are a handful of regular customers who use the sticker, but she hopes word about the program will spread. She hopes more people will be encouraged to bike downtown and save themselves the hassle of parking their vehicle.
Argona said she has heard some pushback from people who say they do not have, or want to wear, a helmet.
In addition to the farmers market, 11 Moscow businesses and one Pullman business are participating in the Bicycle Benefits program.
Moscow Brewing Company signed up at the beginning of the year and offers $2 off growler fills and $1 off crowler and grunt fills. Owner Aaron Hart said it made sense to join given that Moscow is a bicycle-friendly town, and he wanted to help encourage people to get exercise and wear helmets.
“We’re just kind of joining that community that offers a little bit of benefit to get exercise and drink cool beer,” he said.
The Moscow Food Co-op joined the program in the summer of 2016, and a sticker will earn customers 5 percent off co-op purchases.
“We’re always looking for ways to try and encourage people to bike or walk instead of take their car,” said Alycia Rock, marketing manager at the co-op.
She said it is a nice incentive to help alleviate parking congestion at the co-op, which is the No. 1 complaint among its customers. If customers only want to buy a handful of items, she said, the store encourages them to travel by bike instead of car.
According to the Bicycle Benefits website, the other local businesses involved are Palouse Bicycle Collective, BookPeople of Moscow, One World Cafe, Hyperspud, White Pine Exchange, Moscow Public Library, Kula Yoga and Tea, Slice & Biscuit, Paradise Creek Bicycles, Palouse Juice, all in Moscow, and Roost Coffee in Pullman.
Anthony Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4640, or by email to email@example.com.