Did You Know May Is National Bike Month?

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May Is National Bike Month

May has been recognized as National Bike Month since 1956. The third week in May is also designated Bike to Work Week. The third Friday of May is Bike to Work Day.

Millions of Americans ride their bikes to work on those days in May. With the price of gasoline still high in some areas, and ever increasing concerns over global warming, I’m glad to see National Bike Month becoming more & more popular.

Imagine how much gasoline and money would be saved if more people would ride bikes to work just one day a week!  Pollution would sure be reduced if more of us ride bikes more often.  The news stories about the smog in some of the world’s biggest cities is really frightening.

My office used to be 20 miles from my home.  I would have saved a LOT of gas over time, not to mention how much healthier I’d be.

You never know! I may even get my own bicycle and participate in National Bike Month festivities myself! Hey – I could learn!

  • Bike with the kids to school or organize a bike-pool with other parents to leave the car at home.
  • Help the kids choose appropriate routes and take this opportunity to reinforce the rules of the road for safe cycling.
  • Sponsor bicycle safety classes in the community.

Can you think of more family activities for enjoying National Bike Month?

Image:  Bike Ride by Carsten Schertzer on Flickr, Commons 2.0

10 Ways to Celebrate National Bike Month

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Bikes are great for your health & really great for the environment. They are the green, eco-friendly way to get around.

What better way to keep your weight in healthy balance and enjoy the fresh air? Get where you’re going and stay in shape ~ Ride A Bike!

Cars produce harmful emissions, use oil & gas that must be imported from far away and are much more expensive to maintain & insure.

Bicycles cost much less to maintain, don’t use harmful oil or gas and don’t send harmful emissions into the air! Cycling is a very popular outdoor activity for the whole family. Ride your bikes around the neighborhood or enter cycling events, or both!

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Most importantly ~ Ride Your Bike & Spread The Word About National Bike Month

May National Bike Month
Palo Alto Bicycle Commuters by Richard Masoner on Flickr, Commons 2.0

1. Ride Your Bike To Work For National Bike Month Instead Of Driving Your Car

In some countries, bicycles are the standard mode of transportation.  China, Japan, Norway, Sweden and Germany are just a few of the countries with a strong cycling culture. People in those countries (and more) ride their bikes everywhere!

Think of all the gasoline you could save, which means all the money that you could save, if you rode your bike to work.

Riding your bike to work is not only a money-saving idea, but an awesome treat for the environment. There would be less traffic and so much less pollution in the air.

I would call those some very good reasons to celebrate National Bike Month by riding your bike to work instead of driving your car.

Why not start a trend?

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Bike to Work Day, Austin, Texas

Just up the highway from me, Austin has a great idea for celebrating National Bike Month and especially Ride Your Bike To Work Day. It looks like so much fun!

2. Celebrate National Bike Month by donating your old bikes to a non-profit organization.

Have some old bikes your kids don’t ride anymore because they’ve outgrown them? Donate them to a local non-profit that works with kids.

Contact your local Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers and Big Sisters or other similar organizations that work with at-risk kids and see about donating those old bikes so that they can see some happy children riding them again.

Another idea? Get together with your church group, your co-workers or other group and pick up a few bikes at garage sales or even the pawn shop. Enjoy an afternoon barbecue or picnic gathering to clean up the bikes and donate them to your church or other local charity.

Don’t forget that adults can make good use of your old bikes too. Check with the Goodwill or Salvation Army or other charitable organization to see if any adults need bikes to ride to work or school. You could lead a fundraiser to get one or more used bikes to meet that need.

Bike Month
Bicycle Donation by New Jersey Department of Military & Veteran’s Affairs on Flickr, Commons 2.0

3. Go on a family bike ride.

May National Bike Month
Bicycling At Wildwood Recreation Site by Mt. Hood Territory on Flickr, Commons 2.0

Family bike rides are a wonderful way to spend time with your family.  Pack a picnic and ride your bikes down to a neighborhood park for an afternoon together.

See if your area has any local attractions that include bike paths. This could be a zoo, botanical garden or other beautiful sight seeing attraction. That would be perfect for a family bike ride, wouldn’t it?

Here in Corpus Christi, we have bike paths along our beautiful bay, which make for cool and lovely sight-seeing along the water with your bike ride.

Other local paths go through a local riverside park and a popular wildlife preserve.

If there’s a popular city, county, state or national park near you, why not get a couple of families together for a multi family bike ride?

That would be a wonderful way to encourage the kids to ride their bikes.

Don’t forget your helmet and your sunscreen!

4. Take a bike safety course during National Bike Month.

This is another opportunity to raise awareness for National Bike Month, whether it’s with your family, your neighborhood, your church or your office.

It’s always a good time to brush up on bike safety!

Why not see if you can arrange a bike safety course for your kids’ classroom, your kid’s scout troop or their Sunday School class?

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A Brief Bike Safety Reminder

Hundreds of cyclists are hurt or killed while riding their bikes. Watch out for cyclists on the road if you’re driving. If you’re riding your bike, be sure to wear your helmet. Check out this video for more bike safety tips.

5. Celebrate National Bike Month by joining a cycling group, or entering a cycling race.

There are several big cycling events in my city and state every year. In fact, I believe there may be more than that next year.

We live in a beautiful area with a moderate climate, which is perfect for cycling groups to enjoy outings. Might you be able to organize a similar activity with a group?  Are there cycling clubs that you could join?

If you’re involved with a local charity, organizing a cycling race is an awesome fundraising activity.

Fort Collins Velodrome Association bicycle races by Paul L. Dineen on Flickr, Commons 2.0

6. Organize a group of bicyclists to clean up a local bike trail.

Across the country, bicycle paths and trails are becoming more widely available. Local resources may not stretch to keeping them clean, though.

Organizing a group of cycling buddies to spend the day cleaning a local bicycle trail would be a great way to inspire community involvement.

Challenge another bike club or group to adopt a similar bike trail or to compete at beautifying the same one. Most of all, enjoy spending time with other bicyclists!

7. Organize a bike rodeo at your child’s school.

1616″ Marvel Spider-Man Bike by Huffy

If your kid’s school has a carnival or other festival during the year, wouldn’t it be fun to help them organize a bike rodeo?

The kids would have so much fun showing off their mad skills with their bicycles. It never hurts to have another opportunity to present bicycle safety training to kids in a fun and interactive way.

Your local police department or fire department may be able to help you organize an event like this ~ why not ask them and/or your school officials? The kids always love seeing McGruff! You could ask for him to be there.

Local bicycle clubs may also enjoy getting involved with a bike rodeo to encourage bike safety.

8. Read a book on the history of cycling or rent a classic bike movie.

Watching a classic bike movie makes for a fabulous way to relax. Enjoy some ‘me’ time with it or pass the time with friends and family.

Making a point of learning about the history of bicycles could be more fascinating than you know. Do you know who invented the bicycle? Do you know what they looked like in the beginning? Now, isn’t that some knowledge you’d love for your kids to know?

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9. Visit the Bicycling Hall of Fame, which houses one of the largest collections of antique and classic American bicycles.

If you’re in the vicinity of Davis, California, why not visit the United States Bicycling Hall Of Fame?

10. Donate a bike to the American Red Cross.

In the same spirit as donating your old bikes to a local charity, you might consider donating a bicycle to the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross uses the bikes to get into remote areas that can not be reached by vehicles.  What a great way to celebrate National Bike Month!

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