As someone who is always wishing “National XYZ Month” is announced in advance, I sure dropped the ball this year. Attention everyone!!! For my local friends…May is Cleveland Bike Month. For everyone else…it’s also National Bike Month!
Although I have not personally been on my bike since the end of March, I love the sport. I need to take my babies in to be tuned and cleaned up for the season. If you do not know, I am the proud bike momma to a Specialized Dolce Elite Comp road bike and a Giant Cypress hybrid. One day I’d like to have additional bikes for cruising, trails, tris and a million other reasons. I really do love the things, even if it’s hard to find one I like because I’m picky.
If you’re new to biking or would like be new to biking, I suggest you read my post from last year
explaining the types of bikes, important terminology and how to go about buying a bike. I’m proud to report it is my 4th most popular post of all time over 3 years!
If you’re thinking you would rather go the indoor route and are curious about spinning. Meredith over at Dare You To…
has a similar style post all about spinning/indoor cycling. There are even excerpts from fellow FitFluentials.
If you’re past that stage though, or once you’ve accomplished it…and you have a bike and are ready to get started, what do you do? Well, the League of American Bicyclists, home page to the national campaign have a very nicely done brochure helping highlight your next steps. One thing I want to encourage everyone to do though, is brush up on your state and local helmet laws
, along with any guidelines for events. In Ohio for example our state law does not require anyone over 16 to wear a helmet, but certain localities do require it and nearly every organized event will require a helmet (and often lights and/or reflectors).
For those local to Northeast Ohio, we are currently in the process of the bike to school challenge! Information from Century Cycles Blog
The three-week challenge strives to incentivize over 4,500 students to ride their bikes to school as much as possible – to help the environment, save gas, improve their health, and inspire their parents and the community to use a bicycle for short trips around town. Bike To School Challenge is organized by teachers and administrators from each school and staff from Century Cycles. Students are given incentives for each day they bike to school, ranging from daily food prizes to big grand prizes that include free Raleigh bicycles.
Parents, are your kids taking part in this idea? It’s interesting, when I was at the Fishcreek Raccoon 5K
the other weekend, I overheard parents saying how disappointed they were in the school for not having a bike rack for the students who live nearby to utilize. I can remember when I was in school and how cool it seemed for certain kids to be able to bike to school (I also didn’t own a bike or know how to ride until I was 10 or older). In a way it makes me happy to know not all parents are disengaged, not all children are lazy and eating chips and playing video games. ( ;
For us older kids…there is a slew of events the whole month. Here is a link to the main posting for Cleveland…http://bikecleveland.org/month/ and others can use this search feature of the LofAB to get ideas local to you. Quick side note…both Cleveland and the National campaigns have similar “goals” for the month in order to motivate people to cycle more. There is Bike to Work Day, Bike to School Day, and various other events. For simplicity’s sake, I am going to focus on the local events, but please if they sound appealing, check the national page. Heck Google Bike Events + Your City and see what you can find. Use Active.com
. Endless sources are at your disposal.
Everyone can attend events such as the Ride of Silence
, honoring those who have been injured or killed on the roads. Please see the link to find your location. Last year we had rides in Cleveland and in Peninsula. I took part in the ride in Peninsula. In my opinion it was a very powerful and moving experience to pedal in silence with so many other people, reflecting on what it means to be able to take part in our sport and mutual respect on the roads. This year the ride is only up in Cleveland, and from what I heard was a much much larger crowd, so perhaps getting the word out will be easier. Because as moving as it was for me, the fact we were honked at and yelled at means those who are causing some of the injuries and not sharing, were not getting the intended message. Perhaps a louder silence in numbers?
On a lighter note…there is the Pajama Night Ride. Who wouldn’t want to ride along the trails in PJs and play games and have snacks at the fun stop? Look how much fun I had last year
Sincerely I hope you will consider getting a bike out this spring/summer/fall. Many places offer bike rentals if you are unsure and unready to take the plunge on ownership. Go out with a group, on your own, with a friend or the family. Go slow, go fast, go up hills, go over rocks, staying in the bike lane, just get out on your two wheels and see what the world has in store for you that day.
What organized or personal events will you be taking part in the help spread the love of cycling?