May is National Bike Month, so dubbed by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. It is a celebration of all things bicycle and a chance to get out doors.
Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.
Not all cycling enthusiasts wear Spandex and roam the remote back roads for miles on end. Whether one bikes to work or school; rides to save money by reducing trips to the gas pump; pumps pedals to preserve health or the environment; or simply to explore their community, this is a chance to celebrate life on human powered two wheels and the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride.
National Bike Month has grown to include numerous special events — but the biggest of these is Bike to Work Day. In 2014, Bike to Work Week will be May 12-16, with Bike to Work Day on Friday.
According to the League of American Cyclists, over half of the U.S. population lives within five miles of their workplace, making bicycling a feasible and fun way to get to work. With increased interest in healthy, sustainable and economic transportation options, it’s not surprising that, from 2000 to 2011, the number of bicycle commuters in the U.S. grew by more than 47 percent.
Not only has bike community grown in popularity. The number of bicyclists is growing rapidly from coast to coast. The National Household Travel Survey showed that the number of trips made by bicycle in the U.S. more than doubled from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009.
Even around Great Bend, the number of bikes seen is increasing. Many forward-thinking local business owners are installing bike racks in front of their businesses.
It is also hoped that motorists, seeing the swell in the number of bikes, start to pay more attention and grant the riders the courtesy they deserve. Cyclists – this works both ways and you must obey the rules of the road as well.
So, whether you ride regularly or have to get that old three-speed hanging in the garage down off the rack and dust it off, at least get out and try pedaling around a bit.