May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.
Yay May! Sure, we in Florida have our own bike month (March), but that doesn’t stop us from celebrating again during the month of May on the national level. For a state that boasts year-round cycling, two months of celebrating hardly seems enough, but I digress.
The League of American Bicyclists has all manner of materials on their website for National Bike Month, Bike to Work Week (May 16-20) and Bike to Work Day (May 20). Numerous cities throughout Florida will acknowledge this week and day with rides and events.
One event during Bike to Work Week separate from League activities is the Ride of Silence, held on the third Wednesday of May.
The Ride of Silence will traverse and unite the globe. Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn’t aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.
Ride of Silence Florida locations can be found here.
One other event that starts in May and goes until September is the People for Bikes National Bike Challenge.
The National Bike Challenge is a nationwide event uniting thousands of current bicyclists—and encouraging countless new riders. It is a free and easy way to challenge yourself, your colleagues and your community to ride more while competing on a local, state and national level. We aim to unite 100,000 riders to pedal 75 million miles from May 1, 2016 until September 30, 2016.
This will be the third year that I have participated in the National Bike Challenge. My goal is to ride 100 miles a week. For some that may sound simple, for others, not so much. But in the spirit of a challenge, I like to throw in my own twist – to log quality miles, not just quantity.
What does this mean? For me, it means being mindful while riding, something I learned more about after taking the CyclingSavvy course years ago.
Sure, I RIDE BIG, but I also smile, I say HI to folks, I make eye-contact or otherwise communicate with others when riding the roads or trails or sidewalks (yes, I’ve been know to ride on the occasional sidewalk). I humanize the transportation experience by acknowledging other humans – the ride is not just about me. I practice CPR – courtesy, patience, respect – even when encountering bad behavior of other road/trail/sidewalk users. It’s amazing how courtesy, patience and respect will enhance any ride (or drive for that matter) and add to the quality of the journey.
Is anyone else up for this challenge?
Think you know everything about Florida bicycling? Take the Florida Bicycle Safety quiz!
Do you have a bicycle story to tell? Photos to share? Be our guest and be our next guest blogger! Send your story and photos to Becky@floridabicycle.org. Speaking of stories, our quarterly Messenger newsletter is available online for your internet reading pleasure. Visit the FBA website Home page or click here. Want a hard copy of our Messenger? Join Florida Bicycle Association or visit one of our bicycle shop members!
Rejjee, Inc., the smart way to manage all of your valuables, has been selected by the Florida Bicycle Association to be their official bicycle registry to help reduce bike theft and increase recovery of stolen bikes. Register your ride for FREE at SAFE Bikes – use code FLBikes and Rejjee will donate $3 to Florida Bicycle Association!
Complete Streets Savvy, or CSS, is a general, non-confrontational bicycle educational presentation. The purpose is to provide basic information with regards to the Florida Department of Transportation’s adoption of Complete Streets policy and how cyclists and motorists can share the road safely. This presentation runs 10 – 15 minutes and is designed for legislators, civic organizations and other entities that meet regularly and need informative content. There is no fee. Make your request for CSS today!