National Bike Month happens every May in the US. Originally established in 1956, it is celebrated in many communities across the country.
Why a national month?
Many reasons, but arguably the best reason why National Bike Month was created to last a full month is that it encourages people to get out there and ride.
Reasons to ride
Helps the environment
One of the most obvious and beneficial reasons why biking is such a good choice is that it has minimal impact on the environment. As more and more communities create biking paths and lanes, it makes biking a more viable form of transportation.
And when more people choose to ride their bike over driving their car, the environment benefits even more.
Helps your health
While it’s not hard to hop on a stationary bike at the gym, it’s more practical to ride your bike outside.
- It works your body harder
- Helps you burn more calories in a shorter period of time
- You can run your errands while getting a healthy workout at the same time – saving you both time and money
- It’s heart healthy – improves heart and blood vessel fitness
- Reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes
- Can help you sleep better at night
- Is easier on your joints than running
- Can help build up leg muscles and improve bone density
Boosts your mood
What do fresh air, warm sunshine, and cool breezes have in common? All of these elements combine to lift your spirits, energize you and keep you feeling good – even after you’ve finished riding!
No more wasted gas as you circle the block looking for a parking space – or waiting for a meter.
And you can save on car repairs and ownership costs (e.g. fuel, insurance, licensing, etc). These costs can be greatly reduced when you opt to ride your bike whenever possible.
Ways to celebrate
There are lots of ways you can celebrate National Bike Month! Pick one which works for you and enjoy… It might just become your favorite way to get around!
Here are some great ways to take part in the fun:
Bike to work
Lots of communities put together Bike to Work Week and/or Bike to Work Day – which comprise a part of National Bike Month.
You can go it alone, or for more fun, get your co-workers involved.
Some ways to keep it interesting:
- Competitions (e.g. most miles ridden, days biked to work, etc.)
- Team goals (e.g. sales vs marketing department, etc.)
Bike share programs are growing in popularity across the country.
Self-serve bike stations provide shared community usage for short term use. These amenities are typically found in high traffic areas of cities and/or communities.
If your city doesn’t have self-serve bike stations, reach out to city planners, council members, etc. to see about getting them started where you live.
If you don’t already own a bike, consider finding an old or vintage bike that you can restore to new life rather than buy a new one.
Often it doesn’t take much to restore one:
- a good wash and maybe a new paint job
- new chain
- new brake cables
- new tires and
- a bell, of course!
Not only will you save money, you’ll rescue a decent bike from the bike boneyard!