May is National Bike Month, and while I’m personally 12 days late to the party, Austin’s active, engaged citizenry on two wheels has Bike Month 2010 in motion. There’s a month-full of bicycling opportunities for every level of cyclist (or non cyclist). Check out the bike page on the city’s Web site for some general info about it.
Hopefully you’re already logging your trips in the Austin Commuter Challenge, which is conveniently in May, too, and rewards you with prizes for your pedaling dedication.
Me? Well, I’m not quite up for the month-long challenge. I’m a beginner, or as I read recently, a member of the non-spandex wearing crowd. But, Bike Month has something for everyone, and even scaredy cats like me can get active, do something for the environment, and see Austin from a delightfully different perspective: on a bike. (And remember, you can always combine your bike trip with a bus or train ride via Capital Metro.)
Here’s my game plan for Bike Month 2010. If you know of other events, freebies, resources, please let me know!
Step One: Tune-up the bike.
This Friday a bike mechanic will be at One Texas Center at 505 Barton Springs Road to give free bike tune-ups, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. I think my bike needs some WD-40. Check out the calendar on the city’s bike page.
Step Two: Pick up a new helmet.
Several partners have teamed up to make sure Bike Month 2010 participants have a safe ride. Visit one of several vendors this month to get a discount on bike helmets. Read more via the Austin Cycling Association Web site.
Step Three: Learn how to navigate traffic and ride smart. (in other words, how not to get hit by a car!)
There was a great class last night at REI–the basics of bicycle commuting. I missed that one, which makes me sad because I think it was free. SNAPPatx promises to post the highlights on their blog today–it’s not up yet but I will keep checking. If you have $65, there’s a comprehensive class called Traffic Skills 101, which is likely a good investment.
Step Four: Make some new bike friends.
There are several social rides and tours taking place this month. I really like the calendar section on the Bicycle Sport Shop Web site, where the events are categorized by type (makes it easy to pick out the social events from the hardcore rides).
Step Five: Locate the freebies on Bike to Work Day, May 21.
Bike to Work Week is May 17-21, and Friday, May 21, is Bike to Work Day. Last year I rode my bike on Bike to Work Day. This year I’m going to try for the full week. On Bike to Work Day, there are free breakfasts and afternoon snacks for cyclists all over the city. So many, in fact, the city put together this handy map. There’s 24 locations on the map where you can take a break, get a snack, meet some new bicycling friends, and feel like a dynamo for starting your day with a bike ride. Capital Metro staff will be serving up snacks at Plaza Saltillo.
What’s your gameplan for Bike Month?