Get your pedals turning – May is National Bike Month. Not only that, but this week is Bike to Work Week with Friday, May 18, singled out as Bike to Work Day for those who can't commit to the whole five-day spread. The League of America Bicyclists has listings for bike events happening all over the country this month, along with commuter data, bike maintenance information, and safety rules.
At Shareable, biking is a hot topic every month. Here are some of our best bike-related articles:
The Precariat's Guide to Biking Across Europe
Feeling adventurous in honor of National Bike Month? Take to the roads of Europe – or any other unknown land – with this helpful guide to bike trips. The subjects of the article road some 3,500 miles across five countries. Perhaps you'll want to start smaller.
Bicycling as a Way of Life
For many people, every month is bike month. The practice has become more than just a practical matter or a money-saver or a fitness option. It has, truly, become a way of life. To embrace biking in this way changes everything about you.
How to Be a Carfree Family
Because cars have become integral parts of our individual – and collective – existences, getting to the point of embracing biking as a way of life may or may not require baby steps, even if you don't have children. However, there are a lot of reasons to make the switch, even part-time.
The Boom in Biking Benefits Everyone, Not Just Bicyclists
In metropolitan areas the world over, biking has become something of an imperative because it solves numerous problems in one fell swoop. Traffic congestion ... check. Carbon emissions ... check. Parking problems ... check. Public health ... check. Economic issues ... check. It's all in there, and more.
Bicycling magazine's map of the top 50 biking cities.
The Most Bike-Friendly Cities
Many cities are recognizing all of that inherent goodness. At the head of the class stands Minneapolis, a surprising lead, no doubt, considering the climate. Nevertheless, Minneapolis continues to pursue ways of maintaining their standing with off-road bike trails, a bike-sharing program, nearly 200 miles of bikeways, a bike and foot bridge, and more.
How to Boost Biking and Walking Even Further in Your City
Because biking – and its natural companion, walking – are so multi-functional in urban centers, cities other than Minneapolis are doing everything they can to create infrastructure improvements and other resources that support and further the move toward these people-powered transportation options. Citizens, too, can help the process along.
How to Create a Bike Corridor
One specific way residents can speed bike-friendly policies along is to get involved with the planning of safe bike corridors in their city. That's what a group of folks have done in Los Angeles as a way to show municipal planners exactly what is possible and practical.
A protected bike lane on Dunsmuir St. in Vancouver shows the street of the future. Photo credit: Photo by Paul Kruger. Used under a Creative Commons license.
Feds Vote To Defund Bike & Pedestrian Programs
All of this local activism is critical at this juncture in our collective bike-geared future because officials at the federal level have decided recently to pick a fight with cyclists and pedestrians by defunding programs which support these alternative transportation modalities. With all of the benefits known to be associated with biking and walking, the move makes no common sense.
Five Things Every Mayor Should Know Before Starting a Bike-Sharing Program
Still, the people have the power. And some of the people with the most power are mayors. Implementing bike-sharing programs in cities brings along all of the myriad goodness already mentioned as well as one more factor – tourism. Though boosts in visitors and their accompanying revenues are important to any city, bike-sharing programs aren't cheap so the potential for offsets is key.
Study: Bike Sharing Can Save Your Life
Above and beyond the financial savings that bike sharing can provide, the saving of lives can't be counted in dollars. A study of Barcelona's biking program suggests that 12 lives are spared annually due to a decrease in car accidents on the road.
So, hop on a bike this month for National Bike Month. And, then, keep the wheels spinning for the rest of the year!