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Features & Articles : May is National Bike Month



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Americans have been commemorating National Bike Month in May for 47 years, thanks to the League of American Bicyclists. Timed to coincide with the arrival of warmer weather, the event has inspired countless bike rides, safety inspections, commuter challenges, ribbon-cuttings, "share the road" promotions, and other varied celebrations of bicycling in communities across the nation.

A highly useful kit for event organizers which includes step-by-step instructions for organizing successful events as well as sample proclamations that have been used by Governors, Mayors, County Executives and transportation agencies alike.

One of the most popular activities in Bike Month is encouraging people to bicycle to work and forsake their motor vehicles for just one day. Friday, May 16 is designated as National Bike to Work Day (this date is also part of National Transportation Week), although many communities pick other dates in the month for this particular event.

In Madison, Wisconsin, a whole week (May 17-23) is set aside to promote riding to work, and California communities are organized through a statewide campaign that attracts tens of thousands of participants. You can even celebrate without getting on a bike yourself by sending someone an on-line greeting card with a cheerful "bike-to-work" message.

Great Bike to Work sites include:
• California, http://www.bikelink.com/commuting.htm
• San Francisco Bay area, http://www.rides.org/main
• Santa Cruz, Calif., http://www.bike2work.com
• Washington, DC., http://www.waba.org/new/bwd

Cities such as Chicago and Denver have developed the bike to work idea into all kinds of "bike-to�" days. The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation promotes "Shopping By Bike" while prospective riders in Denver have periodically been encouraged to bike to school, church, baseball and soccer games, museums, the zoo, festivals, and even to see the Pope during one of his visits to the United States.

National Bike Month's Flexibility
One of the great things about National Bike Month is its flexibility. The International Bicycle Fund offers a variety of event ideas and more than 40 event names to choose from.

Plan on Getting Back on Your Bicycle for Bike Month?
Follow these 6 tips to help you do so safely and without embarrassment.