Noting that a lot has been done in Barton County to promote bicycling and other healthful activities, the County Commission Monday morning approved a proclamation declaring May as National Bike Month.
The proclamation says in part “the bicycle is an economical, healthy, convenient, and environmentally sound form of transportation and an excellent tool for recreation and enjoyment of Barton County’s scenic beauty. Throughout the month of May, the residents of Barton County and its visitors can experience the joys of bicycling through educational programs, races, commuting events, charity events, or by simply getting out and going for a ride.”
“Throughout the month of May, the residents of Barton County and its visitors can experience the joys of bicycling through educational programs, races, commuting events, charity events, or by simply getting out and going for a ride,” said Barton County Health Educator Janel Rose who presented the proclamation. With spring here, this is a great time to not only ride a bike, but to walk or just be active outdoors.
The proclamation came at the request of the Be Well Barton County group, of which Rose is a member. Falling under the Central Kansas Partnership, Be Well has been around for about five years promoting bicycling, walking and other healthy activities.
Rose mentioned the several bike safety signs on rural county blacktops, the annual bicycle rodeo sponsored by the Health Department and other local agencies and the upcoming Great Great Bend Bicycle Caper through the Great Bend Recreation Commission as programs that highlight this. She also talked about the walking school bus programs in the Great Bend and Hoisington school districts and the Summer Street Stroll farmers market as other projects helping residents live healthier.
Be Well Barton County, the League of American Bicyclists, schools, parks and recreation departments, police departments, public health districts, hospitals, companies and civic groups are all involved in this effort, Rose said. “These groups promote bicycle tourism year round and bring visitors to our local restaurants, hotels, retail establishments, and cultural and scenic attractions.”
They also create greater public awareness of bicycle operation and safety education in an effort to reduce collisions, injuries, and fatalities and improve health and safety for everyone on the road, she said.
“All residents are urged to enjoy their community from a bicycle seat during Bike Month and throughout the year,” Rose said. “And all citizens are reminded to watch for cyclists on the roads and trail systems.