Head out on the highway and put the pedal to the metal. But we aren’t talking about your car; we're talking about your bike! National Bike Month is here and we are ready to celebrate. Didn’t know that National Bike Month was a thing? C’mon now, don’t you know by now that there is a month for everything these days? After you get over the initial shock and disbelief, just admit it, it’s nice to have an excuse to hop on a bike and take to the streets.
So here’s what you can do in May to celebrate National Bike Month—from the 15th to the 19th, celebrate National Bike to Work Week, and on May 19th rejoice for National Bike to Work Day!
First things first. In order to join the fun, you need a bike. Maybe yours is right next to your bed because it's like a child to you. Maybe yours is in the garage buried under a lot of junk. Or maybe yours is collecting rust in the local dump. No matter where it is, it’s time to get it out, clean it up, upgrade it, or just buy a new one.
If you have kids of your own or your close friends or family members have kids, find out what the best bikes for kids are and help them get one. Even if you donate a bike to a local school or charity you can help to instill the love of cycling in children who may go on to be healthy adults because of it.
If you like to bike alone, go for it. More power to you. But sometimes it's nice to join a local bike club to meet new people and keep your motivation up.
Your bike is ready and you have some riding partners and now it’s time to put all this planning into action. Start riding as much as you can: do some errands, ride to work, go to the park, do some sightseeing. Anytime you can replace a car trip with your bike, you're improving your health, helping the environment, and improving the health of others.
If you want to do more to help the cause there are many other ways to support local cyclists. Even if you don’t want to or can’t use a bike very often, there are still ways you can help support others.
You can help set up stations for bikers to grab a drink, snack, or safety gear like lights or reflective bands.
Get involved with local schools and help them set up programs for National Bike to School Day.
Talk to your city about setting up bike routes. Or if your city already has them, print maps and place them in local businesses so that people know how easy it is to get around by bike.
In many cities, the morning commute can be the worse. To make it more interesting some cities have arranged races where morning commuters can race in cars, buses, and on bikes to see who gets to a destination the fastest.
Find expert cyclists to be mentors to people who may be a bit nervous about starting out. Mentors can set up groups, find good routes, give expert advice, and guide newbies through the process of learning to bike to work and other destinations.
Set up classes at schools and community centers for children and adults to learn bike safety, health benefits, and other topics of interest.
Nothing can demotivate people more than not having a convenient and safe place to park a bike. You can help your town or city set up bike parking so that cyclists will always have a secure place to keep their bikes.
Organize events where the streets are open and cars are no longer allowed. People will be encouraged to walk or ride bikes.
Head to your local government offices and encourage the mayor to participate in National Bike Month, even riding his/her bike to work and proclaiming May as National Bike Month in the city.
Nothing gets people motivated like parties and prizes. Create bike-themed events and get local business involved to provide prizes to participants.
Just because May is over, don’t let all your hard work go to waste. Continue to keep people motivated by planning other Bike events, classes, and fun activities.
Don’t wait. Grab your bike, throw away the car keys, and start cycling to work and anywhere you can!