May Is National Bike Month!

May is National Bike Month. Established in 1956, the League of American Bicyclists(LAB) and other organizations sponsor events across the country to celebrate all the reasons we pedal and promote bicycle safety.

Whether you bike for pleasure, to make your commute easier, for health reasons, or for any other reason, here are some fun ideas on how to celebrate National Bike Month.

National Bike Challenge

This is a friendly, national competition meant to unite cyclists (experienced and new) and to support a more bike-friendly America.

From May 1 to September 30 registered individuals and social teams compete for badges and to accomplish team goals. It’s designed to foster friendly rivalry, camaraderie, and love for cycling. Competing individuals and groups are eligible for prizes along the way. Simply log your rides on your profile or use your Strava, MapMyRide, or other participating accounts.

As you go, read other participants’ stories and share your own on the story board. This challenge is meant to be less about serious competition and more of a way to promote community and friendship, support healthy lifestyles, and foster a love of cycling.

It’s not too late to join the challenge! It’s on-going from May to September for individual participants and there’s another 30-day challenge for companies and organizations in the month of September.

Bike to Work Week

40% of all trips in America are less than two miles. Cycling as a means of transportation is more feasible than most of us think. Hundreds of American communities are investing in infrastructure and education to boost commuting via bicycle.

Bike to Work Week and Bike to Work Day events are meant to encourage people to try commuting via cycling. Many communities fully embrace this cycling celebration with food, festivities, and family-friendly fun. Our community has a “party on wheels” complete with an oversized sound system mounted on a bike trailer.

There are resources on the LAB website for starting a Bike To Work Week celebration in your own community.

Bike to School Day

The National Center for Safe Routes to School hosts the annual National Bike to School Day in the second week of May each year. Schools of all levels, from elementary to universities participate in this annual celebration!

One of the main goals of Bike to School Day is to promote biking and walking safety in every community. The organization’s goal is to get more families and communities invested in safe and healthy lifestyles and help make sure that all children have a safe way to get to and from school throughout the year.

Many communities also take this opportunity to offer educational programs and resources to children and parents on bicycle safety. Some communities offer bicycle skills classes.

Visit the National Bike to School website to find out what your community is doing or find resources to start a program near you.

Ride of Silence

Each May communities all over the world participate in the Ride of Silence to honor bicyclists killed by motorists and promote safe cycling. While each community commemorates this somber event in their own unique way, it typically includes a community bike ride along a designated route. Participants ride in complete silence.

Many communities use this somber event to raise awareness about unsafe areas in their communities. Even small cities often have very active cycling groups that advocate year-round for improving bike paths, trails, bike lanes, and other infrastructures that promote safe, healthy, and active communities.

Educate Yourself

All cyclists should learn their rights and responsibilities, whether you are an avid road cyclist or love the single-track life. Bike Law is a national network of lawyers who take education, advocacy, and legal matters seriously should you ever be in a bicycle crash.

Bike Law has a host of resources for individual and community use to promote bicycle safety and healthy communities. National Bike Month is a perfect time to brush up on the rules of the road for cycling and driving safety so you can be a safe cyclist and a respectful driver.

About the League of American Bicyclists

The League of American Bicyclists was founded in Newport, Rhode Island on May 30, 1880. Originally named The League of American Wheelmen, it served as the governing body for amateur bicycle racing in America and became a leading advocacy group for improving roads and highways across the United States.

In the 1890s, the invention of chain-driven safety bicycles and mass-production made bicycles accessible to the masses. The cycling industry boomed as everyone sought to own a bicycle of their own.

Some of the earliest members of the League of American Bicyclists included John D. Rockefeller and Diamond Jim Brady, two famous, wealthy, philanthropists and businessmen.

Today the LAC serves as the voice for cyclists. They work in partnership with other organizations to encourage safe cycling and to “create a more bicycle-friendly America” through education, infrastructure, funding, and other means.

The LAC offers cycling education for adults and children through the “Smart Cycling” programs and they sponsor the “Safe Routes to School” programs as well as National Bicycle Month.

The League of American Bicyclists also fosters bicycle-friendly communities around the country. In 2018 they recognized 450 communities for their efforts to foster and encourage bicycling for transportation and recreation.

Now that you have a few ideas to celebrate National Bicycle Month, how will you participate? Does your community have any National Bicycle Month festivities? Share in the comments to inspire others to join the annual fun.

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