Get Involved in National Bike Month

Photo by Tejvan Pettinger

Did you know that May is National Bike Month? The League of American Bicyclists, which has been around since 1880, has encouraged communities across the nation to participate in events and activities celebrating the benefits of biking.

The most popular event of the month is Bike to Work Day, which is May 16. Bike to Work Week is May 12-16. Why encourage people to ride their bikes to work? The League offers the following statistics:

  • More than half of the population of the United States lives within 5 miles of their workplace.
  • Bicycling is rapidly growing as a means of transportation to and from the office. In cities the organization has deemed “Bicycle Friendly Communities,” commuting rates increased 80 percent from 2000 to 2011.
  • In the 70 largest U.S. cities, bicycle commuting is has increased 90.1 percent from 1990 to 2012.

Many cities across the country are participating in unique Bike to Work Day activities. Here are a few of our favorites:

In San Francisco, Bike to Work Day will be held on May 8 (rather than May 16). The 20th annual event is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of bicycling commuters.

In New York City, Transportation Alternatives is challenging work places to see which office can bike to work the most from May 12-16. Companies are competing for the title of NYC’s Happiest Workplace, bragging rights, and undisclosed but “awesome” prizes.

The Sacramento Region is challenging its residents to log 2 million miles on their bikes during the month of May. Employers have the ability to compete as well, with companies divided into small, medium and large categories.

In Ohio, the Dayton Five Rivers MetroParks is offering a delicious incentive for Bike to Work Day – a pancake breakfast for participants, complete with games and a photo booth.

Sound like fun? Interested in getting your office involved? Bicycling Magazine offers the following suggestions in encouraging your colleagues to participate in biking to work:

  • Ask. Send an email encouraging participation.
  • Remember the children. Find a way to encourage parents to ride with their children. Maybe create a “convoy” of parents and children riding together.
  • Show the way. Provide a map of routes to the office that are safe for biking.

Also, do some quick research prior to creating your event. It’s very likely there are additional offices already participating in some sort of community or city-wide effort. See what you can do to join in to those as well.

There are more events in National Bike Month as well.

CycloFemme is a bike event held nationwide on Mother’s Day (May 11), encouraging women to ride. As of mid-April, more than 90 cities in 13 countries had announced rides and events in connection with the day.

For the kids, May 7 has been declared National Bike/Walk to School Day. Similar to Bike to Work Day, it’s an event that encourages kids to seek alternative transportation with their parents and friends. The event’s website has a ton of information on suggested event activities for the kids, how to get the school and community involved and safety tips.

How about you? Are you in?

By working with either your employer to participate in Bike to Work Day or your school or PTA to participate in Bike/Walk to School Day, you’re encouraging others to consider a healthier alternative to commuting. It’s also a great way to build community with your coworkers or other families in your school district.

If your workplace or school is already planning on participating, be sure you get involved! Ride your bike (or your Rhoades Car) and encourage your kids to ride theirs as well. See what you can do to help promote biking in your community and spread the word.

Are you participating? Share a link to your local group in the comments please. We would love to learn more about how and where you’ll be cycling during National Bike Month.