Events: May is National Bike Month
Back in 1956 the League of American Bicyclists established National Bike Month as a way to encourage more people to ride bikes. Within the month of May is National Bike to Work Week is May 13 – 19. Even narrower is National Bike to Work Day slated for Friday, May 17. National Bike Month is perhaps the single largest effort to convince citizens to keep the car keys hanging on the hook, air up the tires, and ride to at least one destination to lessen the impact of motorized vehicles.
Just this past weekend I was driving around Doylestown, PA, in the running for USA Today’s Best Small Town poll, and was impressed by the network of bike trails meandering the town. I rolled along some of my old neighborhoods and certainly noticed the miles of trails. Doylestown, PA, has made it possible for cyclists of all abilities to get from the center of Bucks County to as far as Montgomery County – some eight miles hence – safely and separately. I was in awe of the progress and thought how nice it would be to have the same infrastructure near our offices.
Not every community is as progressive as the areas around central Bucks County. Should we try to ride even one day to our full-time place of employment, we could take our pick as to which dump truck would knick us or which landscaping truck would nudge us off the road. To take back roads would add another hour, to take the canal would add even more time and dump us out at…. well, a dump. I am often frustrated by the lack of options regarding my commute by bike. National Bike Month could merely by the encouragement of getting on the trainer one more time than planned to do our part.
Per bikeleague.org, the number of trips by bike skyrocketed from 1.7 billion in in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009. Ten years on it would be a fun statistic to see. Specifically our area around Philadelphia has seen a 300% increase in cycling as a transportation from 2005 to 2013. Considering bike sales remained high during the economic downturn, signs point to bikes being reached for more and more often as transport. With e-bike sales on the rise, options are there for riders who want to get to work by bike and with economy of effort.
While I cannot commute regularly to the full time job by bike, I pledge to take the two-wheeled rocket in lieu of the team car. With a significant number of house trips that happen less than three miles, going by bike is the northeastern curse of being in a rush. Sometimes going by bike is actually faster than car. Or I can take it one further: each trip to the bike store can only be accomplished by bike. It’s all downhill to the shop anyway. I’ll search for the chairlift back.