National Bike Month is in full effect and, as anticipated, the wheels are turning in communities from coast to coast.
Perhaps most notably, it was a big week in the Golden State as many cities celebrated Bike to Work Day yesterday. According to San Francisco organizers, a record number of cyclists took to the streets in the Bay City, boosting BTWD participation by a staggering 20 percent over 2011. And that’s saying a lot. Last year, more than 75 percent of traffic on Market Street the morning of BTWD was bicycles.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition used the festive occasion to announce its local Bicycle-Friendly Business awards (based on nominations from SFBC members and the general public), while the East Bay Bicycle Coalition encouraged new riders with its Bike Buddies program and rewarded commuters with a happy hour party sponsored by New Belgium Brewing Company.
Across the nation, Governors continued to voice their support for bicycling by putting their official stamp of approval on National Bike Month. Governor Paul LePage of Maine, Governor Sean Parnell of Alaska, Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Governor Gary Herbert of Utah and Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee are just a handful of state executives who have signed proclamations designating May as Bike Month within their borders.
Mayors are putting pen to paper, too. Mayor John Cook of El Paso, Texas; Mayor Joey Durel of Lafayette, La.; Mayor David Bowers of Roanoke, Va.; Mayor Harvey Hall of Bakersfield, Calif.; and countless others have issued Bike Month proclamations, as well.
School kids got in on the action this week, too. As Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood wrote on his blog, the inaugural National Bike to School Day was a tremendous success, with more than 700 schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia participating! (Go, Grace, go!)
Decidedly not for children: Up in the Northwest, Schooner Exact Brewing Company is partnering with the Bicycle Alliance of Washington on a special beer in honor of Bike Month: the Ale-Lliance IPA. Kegs of the limited edition beer are now available at select Puget Sound locations, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Alliance’s work. Meanwhile, down in Jacksonville, Fla., Bike Month organizers are using film to encourage folks to start pedaling with a 5-minute film noire movie: The Convert.
Speaking of PSAs, the Michigan Department of Transportation unveiled a new Share the Road safety video in honor of Bike Month that asks motorists to pass cyclists at a safe distance, even if it means a little extra noise from a centerline rumble strip.
The folks at timbuk2 (maker of great cycling bags) are celebrating with an exciting storytelling project: Women Who Ride. Meet Jessica Nguyen, their first showcased profile, and submit your own stories.
Major corporations are spreading the word this month, too. Retail giant Walmart has the Bike Month logo showcased on its national homepage and League Policy Director Darren Flusche was excited to see that, even the maker of his wife’s engagement ring, is hosting a bicycle charm give-away this May.
Last but not least, for your Moment of Bike Month Zen this week: A humorous story from Washington, D.C.
What bike events happened in your community this week? Share in the comments!
Carolyn SzczepanskiCarolyn joined the League in March 2012, after two years at the Alliance for Biking & Walking. In addition to managing the League's blog, magazine and other communications, Carolyn organized the first National Women's Bicycling Summit and launched the League's newest program: Women Bike. Before she crossed over to advocacy, she was a professional journalist for nearly 10 years.