VIDEO: May is National Bike Month

Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards, left, and county Sherrif Eileen Whalon Behr lead a pack of cyclists on the Schuylkill River Trail Friday, May 18, 2012, as part of National Bike to Work Day. (Photo by Gene Walsh / Times Herald)

Many commuters are ditching their gas-guzzling vehicles this month and heading to work and school in a self-propelled manner. May is National Bike Month, and next week, May 13-17, is National Bike to Work Week with Friday designated “Bike to Work Day.”

The League of American Bicyclists promotes the effort as a means to “celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride.” It lists a calendar of events promoting biking to work and group rides for Bike to Work Week.

Locally, Bike Walk Berks is holding a Bike to Work Day event on Friday, May 17, with a ride from the Brentwood Trailhead of the Thun Trail near Millmont, Berks County, to the Bike to Work Day ceremony at the Berks County Services Building for a 7:45 a.m. ceremony. Refreshments will be served and participants can sign up for a raffle of prizes.

For more information on the event, click here.

You can also visit the Walk Bike Berks blog on our TownSquare blogging site: http://bit.ly/merctownsquare

Pennsylvania is ranked No. 15 in the nation for being bike-friendly. According to the League of American Bicyclists, the number of people commuting to work by bicycle in the Philadelphia region has more than doubled since 2000.

Locally, bicyclists can use the Schuylkill River Trail, Perkiomen Trail and Thun Trail to travel safely, but many cyclists must traverse roads with busy traffic in the morning. To help area cyclists stay safe when riding near cars, Mercury staff in conjunction with the Pottstown Police Department produced the video seen here to remind riders of road safety rules they should follow.

For a rundown of laws pertaining to bicyclists in Pennsylvania, click here.