In 1956, The League of American Bicyclists first designated and promoted May as National Bike Month. During the month of May 2013, biking events will be held all across the country including:
May 8th – Bike to School Day
In 2012, almost 950 schools participated in the first National Bike to School Day created to encourage kids to bicycle to school.
May 14th – Bikes & Bytes: National Bike Month Hackfest, Boulder, CO
May 15th thru 17th – International Cycling History Conference, Lisbon, Portugal
Since 1990, the International Cycling History Conference has provided a forum for sharing ideas and information about the history of bicycling and bicycle technology.
May 17th – Bike to Work Day (May 13-17 is Bike to Work Week)
As part of National Bike Month, businesses and communities host events to promote and facilitate commuting to work via bicycles such as car vs. bike commuter races, bike valet parking, and smart cycling classes.
May 19th – Strawberry Fields Forever Bike Ride, Watsonville, CA
2013 marks the 24th annual Strawberry Fields Forever Bike Ride fundraiser hosted by Cyclists for Cultural Exchange, a nonprofit organization that promotes peace and friendship around the world through cycling.
Health, Economic, and Environmental Benefits of Biking
Approximately 40% of all trips are less than 2 miles in length, in other words, a 10-minute bike ride or 30-minute walk (2009 National Household Travel Survey).
Biking and Walking Organizations
Nonprofit and industry organizations promote bicycling riding and advocate for safe biking conditions and bike-friendly transportation legislation. Some groups combine biking and walking. A few are listed below and in the resources section.
- Alliance for Biking & Walking is a coalition of local and state bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations.
- America Bikes lobbies Congress to enact and fund federal transportation laws to provide safe streets and roads for bicycling and walking.
- Bikes Belong Coalition is sponsored by bicycle suppliers and retailers to advance bicycling in the U.S. In 2006, the nonprofit Bikes Belong Foundation was created to concentrate on bicycle safety and children’s programs. PeopleForBikes is an initiative of the Bikes Belong Coalition.
- National Center for Safe Routes to School assists schools and communities with enabling children to safely bike and walk to school. It is part of the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center and receives funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.
- The League of American Bicyclists was originally founded as the League of American Wheelmen in 1880 to advocate for paved roads and improved riding conditions. Renamed in 1994, The League of American Bicyclists focuses on education and advocacy through programs such as Bicycle Friendly Community, BikeEd, and National Bike Month.
Bike Related Legislation
The latest legislation passed by Congress is Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 6, 2012.
The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) authorized under Section 1122 of MAP-21 determines how funds are allocated to each state for facilities and infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists including recreational trails, safe routes to school, and improving non-driver access to public transportation. MAP-21 authorized funding for 2013 ($809M) and 2014 ($820M).
I did not realize there is currently no national helmet law in the U.S. however, several states have mandatory helmet laws. The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute maintains a list of helmet related state-wide laws and local ordinances.
- Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals
- Cyclists International
- International Mountain Bicycling Association
- Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
- Rails to Trails Conservancy
- Safe Routes to School National Partnership
- San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club
- San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition
- Smart Growth America – National Complete the Streets Coalition
- The National Center for Bicycling & Walking
- The Street Plans Collaborative
- Transportation for America
- Wikipedia – Bicycle Sharing System