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Features & Articles : May is National Bike Month


By Andy Clarke



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Americans have been commemorating National Bike Month in May for more than 46 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. For National Bike Month, the League has put together a highly useful kit for event organizers which includes a step-by-step instructions for organizing successful events as well as sample proclamations that have been used by Governor's, Mayor's, County Executive's 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 17 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 18-24) 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:
• Madison, Wis., http://www.btww.org
• 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.


More Great Bike Month Resources
Articles about Bike Month activities include:

Bicycle Commuters Get Into Gear: Joining the Chain Gang
An unusual craft suggestion combined with a helmet campaign


International bike week celebrations can be found at:

United Kingdom
Canada
Western Australia
Australian Capital Territory