Every year the League of American Bicyclists promotes May as National Bike Month. This annual event is an opportunity for local communities to promote bicycling as a mode of transportation. More than half of the U.S. population lives within five miles of their workplace, a rideable distance. Once people discover how easy it is to commute they become regular commuters. A study by the San Diego Association of Governments showed that one out of five people that participated in Bike to Work day continued to commute by bicycle. Riding to work is just one way to cut down on traffic congestion. Bike Month is also an opportunity to plan safe routes with your children to ride to school.
Several cities are organizing bicycle related activities and chances are your city has something planed during this month. However the League of American Bicyclists have highlighted a few cities in particular. In South Carolina, Anderson and Greenville cites have organized Bike Month activities.
In Carrboro, North Carolina on the 15th at the Farmer’s Market the Chapel Hill Transit bus department will be demonstrating combining bus and bike commuting. Greensboro and Winston Salem are also conducting Bike to Month activities during the month.
While there are numerous activities that promote the use of bikes South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford proclaimed May 19 as the day for “The Ride in Silence” to honor those killed or injured in vehicle/bicycle accidents and raise awareness of cyclist’s rights.
Several cities in the Carolinas are recognized by the League of American Bicyclists for their efforts to promote bicycling. Greenville was recently awarded the bronze level as a bicycle friendly community. This upstate city isn’t the only South Carolina community on the list. Columbia and Spartanburg are also recognized as being bronze level bicycle friendly communities. North Carolina has five bronze level communities: Carrboro, Cary, Charlotte, Davidson and Greensboro. Additional communities recognized in the Southeast: Auburn, AL (bronze); Boca Raton, FL (bronze); Gainesville, FL (silver); Orlando, FL (bronze); St. Petersburg, FL (bronze); Tallahassee, FL (bronze); Roswell, GA (bronze); Chattanooga, TN (bronze).
While those reading this site are probably already cyclists, many of you may be first time commuters. There are ample resources on the web. The Palmetto Cycling Coalition offers several tips on how to share the road as well as laws of the road for cyclists. Of course the League of American Bicyclists is another excellent resource for all cyclists.
If you commute by car try to commute by bike this month at least once. Who knows, maybe the commute you start tomorrow will start a lifetime habit of riding to work.