In CU and across the US, May is Bike Month. Join Neutral Cycle and other community members and organizations to celebrate, promote, and learn about cycling!
May is National Bike Month and CU has no shortage of events to celebrate cycling in the community. It’s times like these that we can feel privileged to be living in certified Bike Friendly Communities. First held in 1956, Bike Month allows cyclists to come together, promote biking, and connect with their neighbors. I’ve put together a short list of some (This word is important. There’s so much more!) of the highlights of National Bike Month here in CU. Order is based on date. For a complete listing of what’s going on, check out the CU Bike Month 2015 website and like their Facebook page.
1. Bike to School Day/Bikes on Campus Day – May 6
It may be a little late for this since most students have already travelled to school, but at the very least you might remember it next year. Bike to School Day takes the Bike to Work Day concept and tailors it to children, teaching them about bike safety and how they can integrate bikes into their lives.
Bikes on Campus Day aims to draw attention to biking at UIUC. Stop by the Bike Project‘s booth at the Alma Mater to learn more about bike safety or to register your bike. Parkland is also participating!
2. Neutral Cycle at the Urbana Farmer’s Market – May 9
Art at the Market is a monthly series that brings free performances and art workshops to the Urbana Farmer’s Market. Join us this Saturday morning from 8-12 for free tune-ups and a free bike jewelry workshop. We’ll be at the northwest corner, by the City of Urbana tent. Come get your bike fixed up and learn how to recycle old parts to make surprisingly cool-looking accessories! For more information, check out our blog post on the event. This is a part of the Bike to Market Saturdays that will be ongoing throughout May.
3. Bike to Work Day – May 14
Bike to Work Day is a day designed to promote bikes as a means of commuting to work. Here in CU, where it’s relatively flat, biking is an easy, quick, and environmentally/health-conscious way of getting to work. There will be stops all over CU, offering drinks, snacks, and information about cycling. Come by Neutral Cycle’s station at the south of the Engineering Quad on Green St. and get a free tune-up!
4. Ride of Silence – May 20
Ride of Silence is a nationwide event dedicated to remembering those cyclists who have lost their lives in accidents. As I’ve mentioned before, the number of deaths due to biking is not insignificant – in 2012 726 cyclists were killed in the US – and it’s something that has happened multiple times in recent years in CU. It begins at 7PM and is a slow-paced, silent ride. We’ll update you with more details on the location and path of this year’s Ride of Silence. Better yet, keep an eye on the CU Bike Month Facebook page.
5. Donate to the Kickapoo Rail Trail – Whenever
If you haven’t heard about it yet, the CU cycling community is working to develop a retired railroad corridor running between Urbana and Kickapoo State Park. This will be a 24.5-mile trail set in gorgeous countryside, away from major roads, allowing cyclists to easily get to the state park, where there are even more bike trails. Just take a look at some of the pictures on the site and tell me this isn’t a good idea. The projected cost is $2.5 million and it’s hoped that this will be raised in the next couple of years. The suggested donation is $24.50, but any amount will help to get this trail built!