As April washes away and the merry month of May begins, it's time to celebrate all things bike. Here at Schwinn, we tend to celebrate cycling 365 days a year, but May is officially National Bike Month so everybody can get in on the action. Cool, right?
It sure is.
But, um, what exactly happens over the next few weeks and why should you care? We'll try to answer that question, and a few more, as we take a deeper look into National Bike Month.
1 - Who's bright idea was National Bike Month?
The League of American Bicyclists, a nonprofit membership organization, established National Bike Month as May in 1956 as a way to encourage more people to take up biking. It came at a time when the automobile was radically changing American life and children's safety was one of the major themes of the earliest celebration. These days it stands as a month-long opportunity to showcase the multiple benefits of biking, from building better communities to benefitting the environment.
2 - Are we to assume that National Ride A Bike Day takes place in May?
You are. May 7, to be specific. The first National Ride A Bike Day was held all the way back on May 2, 2021. Staying true to this month's theme, National Bike to Work Day is May 19, which just so happens to fall within National Bike to Work Week (May 15-19). National Bike to School Day is earlier in the month on May 3. Just a heads-up: The fun continues into next month when World Bike Day is celebrated on Saturday, June 3.
3 - What happens during National Bike Month?
There are a ton of special cycling-specific celebrations around the country in May, and nearly all of the events are planned and executed at the local level. We're talking things like a Bike Breakfast – a pop-up food station along popular bike routes or commuting arteries where riders can stop and enjoy food, refreshments, and company. Or a Bike Rodeo for kids where safety rules are taught, helmets get fitted, and bikes get decorated. There will be lots of group rides, too, for riders of all levels and abilities. Some communities will have cookouts, others will host film viewings, some will have fundraisers for bike paths. Some employers even provide bike-related perks to their employees who take part in the month or Bike to Work Day. Like they say on television, check local listings.
4 - Do e-bikes count?
Of course! Nationally, e-bike sales are skyrocketing, and e-bikes are a becoming a hugely popular way to commute to work and school. The League of American Bicyclists probably wasn't thinking about e-bikes way back in 1956, but since the league is dedicated to supporting cycling as a viable commuting alternative, e-bikes are totally part of the celebration. Keep in mind that all the benefits we've talked that come with biking are enhanced by the use of e-bikes as well.
5 - Besides biking, what else gets special attention in May?
A lot sure happens in May. Besides National Bike Month, it's also American Cheese Month (go cheddar!), Correct Your Posture Month, National Wildfire Awareness Month, National Strawberry Month, National Egg Month, National Hamburger Month, National Asparagus Month and – our second favorite – National Barbecue Month. If you happen to bike to a barbecue this month, sit up straight, get a cheeseburger, a side of grilled asparagus and some fresh strawberries for a true multi-theme celebration!
Here at Schwinn, we're celebrating Bike Month all May long by going on group rides and playing some Bike Month bingo! You won't want to miss it!