It's hard to believe that National Bike Month is drawing to an end in two days.
With all of its official events - Bike to Work Day, Bike to School Day, Ride of Silence, Bike The Drive, Bike to Work Week - as well as the unofficial ones generated spontaneously by beautiful weekend weather, there were plenty of opportunities to rediscover bicycling in May.
Did you ride as much as you wanted to?
As witnessed by last weekend's record-breaking temperatures (today and tomorrow's cold snap notwithstanding), it appears that summer is upon us. If you haven't already pulled your bike out of the garage/basement/attic/shed/storage unit, dusted off the cobwebs, and pumped up the tires, you might want to do that. Your procrastination may have resulted in a longer wait for a tune-up at your local bike shop, but it's still better to get started now before the hot and humid weather creates yet another excuse to stay inside.
A great way to get yourself going and stay motivated is to sign up for an official challenge.
You can start by signing the pledge at People for Bikes. This signifies in simple language "I am for bikes." It is an acknowledgement to yourself that you want to get more into bicycling this year. It also lets lawmakers know that you are a supporter of bicycling infrastructure improvement and programs to encourage more Americans to ride. Joining makes you part of a larger community - the cycling community.
Next, you can sign up for the National Bike Challenge. Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and Bikes Belong, it is a site hosted by endomondo.com where you can log all the miles you ride. You can also see the stats for all the other cyclists who have accepted the challenge to ride as much as possible in 2012.
The goal of the challenge is to have 50,000 cyclists committed to riding 10 million miles. This online cycling community also serves as a database of support for bicycling when pleading our case to lawmakers. As an added bonus for participating, you can earn points and win prizes.
Locally, you can accept the Active Transportation Alliance's Bike Commuter Challenge. Here in Chicago, we have our own bike to work week and it's from June 9th through June 15th. Even if you can't bike to work every day or bike all the way to work from home, the ATA has some great info for you about the possibilities.
Summer's here and the time is right for biking in the streets! (bike lanes/bike paths/regional rail trails, too).
Challenge yourself to ride more often this summer. Oh, and don't forget to sign the petition at America Bikes to show Congress your support for transportation enhancements (bicycling infrastructure investment).
Keep riding and be safe!
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