Cyclists riding in the bike lane along New Hampshire Avenue in Washington. (Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

Thousands of cyclists are expected to hit the Washington region’s roads Friday for Bike to Work Day, an annual event aimed at encouraging people to commute on two wheels rather than by car, bus or train.

Bike commuting is quickly becoming a popular option in the D.C. area, with the number of daily bike commuters nearly doubling since 2007. More than 12,000 people participated last year, and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association reported that more than 14,000 people registered for this year’s event. (On a related note: The Capital Weather Gang forecast calls for “delightful” weather Friday.)

Still, many of the people biking on Friday will not be used to commuting this way. Drivers as well as cyclists should use extra caution. Drivers and pedestrians, be prepared to see more cyclists than you would on a normal day. Drivers should be particularly careful when turning or switching lanes. Cyclists, veterans and newbies alike, need to be aware of vehicles and mindful when turning or approaching crosswalks. Make sure you check out WABA’s pocket guide to local bike laws before heading out.

See this Dr. Gridlock post for additional tips and guidance for driving or biking Friday.

If you’re participating in Bike to Work Day, we want to hear about your experiences! Tweet any photos and anything you see with the hashtag #btwd13. We’ll round up some nifty photos and tweets here a little later on Friday.

There will be dozens of pit stops scattered throughout the District, Maryland and Virginia with refreshments, T-shirts and raffles. Check out this map to find the pit stop that works for you:

View Bike to Work Day 2013 in a larger map