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Bike Month

Bike Month: Celebrating the Bike Ride in California: Sacramento Area

Riders fuel up at "Great Scott," the Sacramento Area's May Is Bike Month kickoff event last Saturday. Image: May Is Bike Month
Riders fuel up at "Great Scott," the Sacramento Area's May Is Bike Month kickoff event last Saturday. Image: May Is Bike Month
Riders fuel up at "Great Scott," the Sacramento Area's May Is Bike Month kickoff event last Saturday. Image: May Is Bike Month

It's Bike Month, hurray! Time to get out there and join your fellow bike riders to celebrate this awesome travel device that also generates smiles, increases health, improves air quality, and fixes lots of other problems in cities.

Every city and region in the state does Bike Month a little bit differently. Although National Bike to Work Day is officially on May 20, local areas choose whichever day works best for them. Some cities have a nice quiet celebration with a few people standing by to offer snacks and cheer on commuters, while other places pile on the pancake breakfasts, after parties, mileage competitions, and giveaways.

Yesterday Damien Newton talked with Anthony Molina in Fresno about that city's Mall-to-Mall ride, its Million Mile Challenge, and I Bike Fresno's Bike to Work Day.

Today, we take a peek at the activities for May Is Bike Month in Sacramento, which challenges riders to register and log their bike miles during the month with the Two Million Mile Challenge (up from just a measly million miles). Riders are ranked individually, within their employer's stats, and by city, school, and team, which makes for some fun competition. So far, 70,795.2 miles have already been logged, only a few days into the month. There are 7,407 cyclists registered, and between them they have pledged to ride 1,567,120 miles.

What's really interesting is to look at the numbers and see how many of those miles replace car trips. It is is not as much as one would hope. By far the most bike miles are recreational, unsurprisingly, but there are some bike riders who are leaving the car behind. The statistics are also broken out by work, errand, and commute miles. It's self-reported, and the prizes (May Is Bike Month socks, gift certificates) are given out by lottery, but winners do earn bragging rights.

What we'd like to see are rewards for trip-replacement (and therefore emissions-reducing) miles. No doubt, bike riding is good for you, but let's make it great for the planet, too.

Meanwhile the Sacramento area boasts a packed calendar of events for May, including daily rides, kids rides, classes, parties, tours, and bike-in movies. Highlights below:

May 1: May Is Bike Month got a kickoff called “Great Scott” because it closed off over thirty miles of Scott Road in Rancho Cordova and Folsom to cars so walkers and bikers could enjoy a stress-free experience. Food trucks, a bike festival, and a photo scavenger hunt rounded out the day, while light rail made the return to the starting point easy for tired participants.

Upcoming area events include:

    • May 4: Bike to School Day
    • May 10: Bike to Work Day in Davis—including a free lunch for bicyclists
    • May 12: Mayor's Bike Ride: Public officials and community leaders along the Highway 50 corridor lead this ride starting at 8 a.m. in Folsom (get there early for breakfast) along the American River Parkway to Discovery Park and Old Sacramento. Participants are encouraged to pre-register online.
    • May 12: Capitol Bike Fest on the west lawn of the Capitol from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with exhibits and a chance to log your miles for May Is Bike Month.
    • May 16: Malcolm Dougherty, director of Caltrans, leads the annual Director's Ride, which in the past has included a tour of new local bike facilities in downtown and West Sacramento.
    • May 16-17: The California Bicycle Coalition and TransForm host the California Transportation Equity Summit, followed by Advocacy Day wherein participants visit legislators and legislative staff members to talk about transportation and equity issues (registration is still open).
    • May 18: Rides of Silence in Davis  and Sacramento commemorate bicycle riders who lost their lives in traffic crashes.
    • May 19: Bike to Work Day in North Natomas, Placer County, and Sacramento. In Sacramento that means breakfast for all registered riders.
    • May 20: National Bike to Work Day
    • May 20: Amgen Bike Tour Men's Time Trials in Folsom
    • May 22: Both the men's and women's Amgen races will finish in downtown Sacramento with a festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The women's race features fast laps around downtown (see the Amgen website for details and other dates)
    • May 21: Tour de Cluck—a “fowl frolicking fantastic bike tour” of backyard chicken coops in Davis
    • May 22: Blessing of the Bikes in Davis (see May Is Bike Month calendar for details)
    • May 28: Shop Dine Bike Day

The complete calendar and details about these events can be found here—and events are continually being added, so keep checking back.

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