May is National Bike Month – Celebrate by Biking

National Bike Month Logo - The League of American BicyclistsMay is National Bike Month. Celebrate by biking to work, school, the store, or around the neighborhood.

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

Web developer Quick Left is hosting a Bikes & Bytes Hackfest for bike enthusiasts and geeks to create a bicycle themed application in three hours or less.

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

Bike to Work Day 2010 in San Francisco, CARiding a bike is good exercise, saves money, and uses renewable energy—you.

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.

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.

Bike to School Day 2009 in Seattle, WAThe 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.

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Author: Linda Poppenheimer

Linda researches and writes about environmental topics to share information and to spark conversation. Her mission is to live more lightly on Earth and to persuade everyone else to do the same.

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