May is National Bike Month and like many other annual events, the celebration has transitioned from in-person programs to virtual activities. The League of American Bicyclists promotes the cycling holiday which began in 1956. The month-long observance is meant to inform the public about the benefits of biking and to encourage people to try the healthy activity. This year, the league is focusing on how cycling has both physical and mental benefits. People are encouraged to enjoy the activity through solo rides or rides with other household members. Below are ways regional organizations are celebrating National Bike Month with events, challenges and contests.
Tune Up Tuesdays: The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is offering a Tune Up Tuesday series on Facebook Live every Tuesday at noon. The series includes instructional videos about basic bike maintenance. To watch the series live, visit the organization’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bicycle.coalition. After each live video is made, the recording is posted on their website. The first episode was a lesson on how to fix a flat. The second episode included tips on how to maintain and adjust bicycle brakes. For more information, visit bicyclecoalition.org/bike-month-2020.
Virtual Speaker Series: The Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area has organized a lineup of virtual talks available to the public. The event series for May is all about the Schuylkill River Trail. The presentations take place on Zoom which people can register to attend but are also broadcast live through the Schuylkill River Greenways Facebook page (@SchuylkillRiverGreenways). The Zoom events are also recorded and made be available on the organization’s website schuylkillriver.org. Upcoming topics include how public officials are supporting the trail as a community resource and the organization’s partnership with Sly Fox Brewery which resulted in the creation of SRT Ale. A Zoom presentation about Schuylkill River Trail updates such as current construction projects to fill gaps is available as a recording on the website. For more information about the series and to sign up for future zoom presentations, visit schuylkillriver.org/events.
CONTESTS AND CHALLENGES
Photo-A-Day-Contest: The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is hosting a photo contest all month long. Cyclists in the region can participate by posting bike pictures on social media that tags the coalition (@bicycle.coalition on Facebook, @bicyclecoalition on Instagram and @bcgp on Twitter). People can also submit a bike photo by sending an email to email@example.com. The winner will receive a prize pack that includes a T-shirt, bandana and more. People receive one entry into the prize drawing for every day they submit a photo. For more information, visit bicyclecoalition.org/bike-month-2020.
Bike Month Bingo: The Clean Air Council is hosting a Bike Month Bingo challenge this month. The bingo card includes challenges such as bike three days in a row, visit a nearby trail and take a lunchtime ride. People who post their completed bingo card on social media by the end of the month can win prizes. To enter for a chance to win, people should tag the Clean Air Council (@CleanAirCouncil ) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. People can also participate by sending their address and completed bingo sheet to the email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit cleanair.org/ccp/may-is-bike-month-and-you-could-win-prizes.
SRT Bike Photo Contest: The Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area is celebrating National Bike Month with a Schuylkill River Trail Photo Contest. A winner will be randomly selected to receive a free Schuylkill River Trail hat and a Schuylkill River Greenways T-shirt. To enter the contest, people should post a bike photo taken along the trail this month to the Schuylkill River Greenways Facebook page. There is a specific post pinned at the top of the page where people can submit a photo in the comments section. The photo must include a Schuylkill River Trail sign in the background. The contest ends on May 29 at noon. For more information and to enter, visit www.facebook.com/SchuylkillRiverGreenways.
REGIONAL TRAILS OPEN FOR USE
Many of the public trails in the region have remained open throughout the COVI-19 pandemic. When businesses were closed because of the virus, trails such as the Chester Valley Trail, the Perkiomen Trail and the Schuylkill River Trail continued to be a resource people could use for the essential activity of exercising outdoors. Many trails in the area have seen increased usage since the pandemic, as more people are turning to the multi-use paths for solace. The trails were able to stay open by requesting users follow certain guidelines such as staying six feet apart from other and remaining at home if sick. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources provided several tips for cyclists to keep in mind as they use area trails and neighborhoods during this time. The tips are listed below.
Tips for COVID-19 Biking Etiquette
• Only ride by yourself or with others in your household
• Try to maintain a safe distance of six feet between yourself and others while you ride and pass
• Have a couple places to ride that would be less busy. If a trailhead is full, go to another.
• Bike during less crowded trail times such as early in the morning or toward the evening
• Announce yourself and give ample room when passing other trail users.
• Wear a mask if you are going to be on a crowded trail and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after you ride.
• If you don’t feel well, don’t ride.
• Be kind and considerate to others. We’re all in this together!
For more information about National Bike Month, visit bikeleague.org/bikemonth.