Since 1956, May has been recognized as National Bike Month. The third week in May is designated Bike to Work Week; and the third Friday of May is Bike to Work Day.
This annual celebration of bicycling is a great opportunity to not only ride to work yourself, but to introduce the joy of bikes to those who haven’t yet considered this form of transportation for themselves.
Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists, said, “Biking to work is an efficient and fun way to get the exercise you need, without having to find extra time to work out.”
Communities around the nation offer special events during this month to promote bicycling. The following is a rundown of some of the festivities from around our region:
- Classes on fixing your bike and riding it safely
- Rest stops on your way to work
- Press conference with KCMO Mayor Funkhouser
- Car Free Weekends on Cliff Drive
- KC Women on Wheels Bike Festival and Expo
- Group rides for all skill levels
You can also sign up for the Car-Free Challenge and see how many car trips can you replace with bicycling, walking, or riding the bus Form a team with your friends or co-workers, or go solo.
Note: These events encompass the entire KC metro area, including both the Kansas and Missouri sides of the city.
Overland Park, Kansas
Overland Park events include three breakfast breaks — which include fruit, bagels and coffee to refresh morning commuters — bike safety checks and opportunities for residents to connect with a “bike buddy” and join the Car-Free Challenge. Read more
Reno County, Kansas
Reno County, Kansas (Hutchinson) is celebrating Reno County Bike to Work Day on May 15th. Events include a Bike to Work Breakfast at Promise Regional Medical Center from 6:30 – 8 a.m., and at DCI Park from 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. A “Smart Cycling” class is offered May 12th at 6:30 at the Public Library. Learn more at renocountygrowth.com and register for the activities.
Reno County Bike to Work Day also has a Facebook page.
The 2005 census labeled Wichita as one of the 10 worst cities for commuting by bicycle. Encouragement and participation in Bike to Work day on May 15th could help to lift that stigma. It will also help to educate both commuters on bike and in cars, on the benefits and safety required to change the Wichita community.
Bike Wichita is your complete source of information for Bike to Work day in the Wichita community, with info on local rides and events, bicycle safety, and promotional materials.
Bike Wichita also has a Facebook page.
Elsewhere around the region:
- Bentonville, AR: Events include a ceremonial ride with Mayor Bob McCaslin and a bicycle-themed story time and safety demo at the Bentonville Public Library.
- Conway, AR: Events include a Bike To Work Ride With Mayor Townsell, a Children’s Bicycle Rodeo, a Community Ride with the Mayor, and a Bike-in Movie. Read more.
- Fayetteville, AR: Fayetteville Mayor Jordan will read a Bike to Work Week proclamation at 10:00 am on May 9th at Town Center Plaza. A bike ride on Scull Creek trail will follow the proclamation. Also, a group ride on Friday, May 15th, Bike to Work Day will begin at Arsaga’s on Greg and Township at 7 am. Read more.
- Iowa: The 7th Annual Bike to Work Week for Iowa is May 9-15, 2009. The purposes of Bike to Work Week is to encourage people to try bike commuting, increase cycling awareness and promote a healthy alternative form of transportation. Iowa’s Governor Culver has also endorsed this event by declaring May as “Bike Month”.
- Iowa City, IA: Iowa City’s Bike to Work Week is May 10-16, with Ready To Ride Bicycle Commuter Clinics at the Bike Library, plus events including a Commuter Breakfast, a Bicycle Friendly Forum, a Bike/Bus/Car Race, a Bike Rodeo, the Mayor’s Ride, and Friday Nights Lights in downtown Iowa City.
- Columbia, MO: Columbia’s Bike, Walk & Wheel Week 2009 is for everyone! Ride your bike to run a couple of simple errands, walk up the street to visit friends or head out on the trail for some fresh air. The Annual Mayor’s Challenge is designed to encourage everyone to try an active mode of transportation – like walking or biking – to get to work, school and all around town.
- Springfield, MO: Ozark Greenway’s Bike, Bus, Walk Week includes an ArtWalk downtown on the square, plus the annual challenge, where you register your commitment to show your support for making Springfield a more bicycle/pedestrian friendly community.
- St. Louis, MO: In St. Louis, Trailnet is organizing a “Drive Your Bike Challenge”, continental breakfasts, and the during your bike commute to work on Friday, and the HOK Bike To Work Day Challenge with big prizes from Big Shark Bicycle Company and REI.
- Lincoln, NE: Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler will kick off National Bike to Work Week by riding his bike to work — and inviting others to join him. All residents are invited to join the bikers for a rally on the east steps of the County-City Building, which will include a mayoral proclamation, refreshments and bike safety checks. Read more.
- Omaha, NE: Activate Omaha is sponsoring the 2009 Bike Omaha Commuter Challenge to promote healthy lifestyle choices for Omahans, as well as create excitement and awareness around cycling in the Omaha Metro area.
- Oklahoma City, OK: The Central Oklahoma Bike to Work Day is part of the national campaign to promote bicycling as a healthy and efficient transportation alternative. See also: Facebook page
- Tulsa, OK: Green Traveler organizes a Bike to Work Downtown Rally on May 15th. The event is free and open to new and experienced bicycle commuters, and includes snacks, booths, and prizes.
Due to their slightly delayed seasons, Colorado’s Bike Month is June.
Note: Another annual event during bike month is the Ride of Silence to honor those cyclists killed or injured while riding their bicycle. We’ll cover those in a separate post at a later time…