Celebrating National Bike Month During Coronavirus
As with many things these days, annual events and activities are taking different forms and acquiring new meaning. National Bike Month certainly falls into this category.
National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) every May, is traditionally a celebration of bicycling, with proclamations, events and Bike to Work Days in all types of communities across the country. These activities bring the cycling community together, lets us talk about what has, or hasn’t, happened for cycling where we live, and generally provides an opportunity to feel good about ourselves and fellow cyclists.
This year these traditional activities are not happening. The Coronavirus has caused the cancelation of public events and elected officials are rightly focused on dealing with the daily challenges of the pandemic, and not on passing proclamations. This is disappointing to all of us who were looking forward to Bike Month and especially to those who were planning and preparing for events. But, is there a silver lining in these clouds?
Visit the LAB website to learn more about what they have planned, https://bikeleague.org/bikemonth. Then, instead of lamenting things that won’t happen, think of new ways celebrate Bike Month, and ways to make your friends and neighbors, who are biking more now, part of the celebration. Put a sign in your yard saying “Thanks for Biking, Happy National Bike Month 2020” or come up with your own message. Challenge yourself and friends and neighbors to bike at least one day each week during May. The National Bike Challenge is a great way to get started on this one, https://www.lovetoride.net/usa?locale=en-US. With Bike to Work Day being postponed until September 22, why not celebrate Bike before, during or after work day on May 15. Or, as he Washington Area Bicyclist Association is doing, celebrate Bike Anywhere Week May 11-15, https://waba.org/blog/2020/04/bike-anywhere-week/. These are just a few suggestions, I am sure there are countless others.
And finally, to demonstrate the huge, positive impact that bicycling is having during this pandemic, share your stories and photos with the League through their #BikesUnite effort.
I’ll help get it started with one of my favorites. The other day my son James did not have “school”, so he and I went out for a bike ride. We decided to ride past the house I grew up in, which is located in a nearby neighborhood. As we got close, we could see that the family now living there was out front with their kids playing in the driveway. James and I stopped and introduced ourselves and had a nice visit with the current owners. Had we not been in this Coronavirus, stay at home time, James and I wouldn’t have been out for a ride and the new owners wouldn’t have been out in front of their house. Made my morning.