OUTPEDAL – Since 2011, Spokane has celebrated May as the perfect month for cycling, with Bike to Work Week. This year, the celebration is being renamed and extended to cover the entire month of May, says Sally Phillips of the Spokane Bicycle Club.
The effort is geared to getting people to pedal more and drive less, for physical fitness and reducing traffic and parking congestion well as for the general good of the planet.
National Bike Challenge starts Monday. Individuals can register and log their cycling miles online to motivate themselves and others.
“Riders can also form or join a club to enhance competitive fervor,” says Phillips, who has been a devoted bicycle commuter for decades.
“All miles logged by Spokane County residents will show up in the ‘Spokane Bikes Everywhere’ advocacy group, and give us some bragging rights,” she said. “Last year the Challenge attracted almost 47,000 riders, logging 24.7 million miles.”
Also on Monday, Mountain Gear will be providing the staple for what’s become the annual kick-off to Spokane’s Bike to Work Week. Roast House Coffee will provide the eye-opening beverage while the Mountain Gear staff will be heaping pancakes on the griddle to feed hungry bike commuters who coast through Riverfront Park from 7-9 a.m. New this year, the bike commuter breakfast will be at the park’s north picnic shelter.
On May 7, Bloomsday participants can pedal through the congestion on race morning to the Bike Corral operated by Spokane Bicycle Club at Riverfront Park. The attended parking corral is free.
Continuing the effort through the month, “energizer stations” will be staffed with treats and encouragement to morning cyclists at designated stations on May 16.
May 19 has been pegged as Bike Everywhere Day, Phillips said. Pedalers will be rewarded in one of their favorite ways, with free free pizza, beer and music at River City Brewing.
Throughout May, short rides of 10 miles or less will be led around town to showcase completed or planned bike amenities, Phillips said. “Also a couple just plain quirky rides” for fun, she added.
Register and get more information on all of the events online at spokanebikes.org.
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