Celebrated from coast to coast, National Bike Month in May is a time to celebrate the physical and environmental benefits of bicycling.
Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists since 1956, Bike Month in May encourages more people to try bicycling for recreation and transportation.
Some ride to get to work, some for exercise, others for pleasure, and still more simply because they want to reduce their global footprint. No matter the reason you enjoy bicycling, May is the month to share your love of bicycling. And if it’s never really been your thing – this is the ideal time to give it a spin.
Bike Month in Sacramento
What makes bike month different from any other month in a city that is already cycle-crazed?
The answer is goals – big goals.
As a region, Sacramento has pledged a 2 million mile goal for the month of May. When all the pledged miles are added up at the end of the month, participating Sacramentans are hoping to tally a total of 2 million miles in just thirty-one days.
That’s a lot of pedaling, but that’s the idea.
The goal of Bike Month is to spark a community interest in cycling that will, hopefully, ignite a lifelong flame that keeps residents in the saddle.
Not only does cycling have positive effects on personal health and reduce our environmental footprint, it also creates a stronger sense of community, reduces noise pollution, makes cities nicer, and is just plain fun.
How Can You Participate?
There are a wide variety of ways to participate in Bike Month in Sacramento. From fun community events and rides to individual and group challenges, you are bound to find something that grabs your interest.
Bike Month Challenges
With employer, team, city, and school challenges, there is no shortage of options for you if you’re ready to hop on your bike and help Sacramento pedal it’s way to the 2 million mile finish line. Ask friends if they want to form a group, or suggest to your employer that you and your co-workers come together to accomplish a workplace pledge.
While working together as a team to reach a goal is always fun, sometimes the greatest satisfaction comes from accomplishing a goal you set for yourself.
If you’re ready to take on the fun of bike month, set up an account with May is Bike Month were you can pledge your miles and log your rides throughout the month. Every mile logged helps Sactown get closer to its city goal.
Bike Month Events
From lots of fun group rides that you can take part in – including a Cycle De Mayo Ride on May 5th – to watching as the Amgen Tour of California rolls through town on May18th/19th, there are sure to be Bike Month events that are right up your alley.
Encourage your kids to participate in Bike to School Day on May 9th, then strap on your helmet and pedal to work for Bike to Work Day on May 18th.
In a city that is known nationwide for it’s cycling, Bike Month is a very exciting time of year and you won’t want to miss out on the fun.
Lessons Sacramento Can Learn from Successful City Bike Share Programs
A bike share program is coming to Sacramento, placing 100 bikes and 20 bike parking corrals throughout downtown and midtown Sacramento, as well as the Waterfront District near The Railyards.
Nationally Recognized Bike Trails of Sacramento
May brings ideal weather for first-time and established cyclists. And when it comes to bike trails, the Sacramento region simply can’t be beat.
Sacramento is home to numerous awe-inspiring bike trails, from the Sacramento River Rail Trail to Elk Grove Creek Trail, Miners Ravine Trail in Roseville, and Clarksburg Branch Line Trail. But the crown jewel in Sacramento’s expansive bike trail network is the American River Trail.
The 32-mile long American River Trail, used by approximately 5 million people annually, was once known only as the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail.
The original trail dates back to the 1800s, when Jedediah Smith created a trail stretching all the way from Old Sacramento to Folsom. When automotive travel became the main mode of transportation the trail sat, unused, for decades.
Rediscovered in the 1970s by cyclists, the trail was paved to be enjoyed again and is recognized as one of the best bike trails in the nation.
The American River Trail connects to Folsom’s 45+ miles of paved trails that wind cyclists through greenbelts, dedicated open space corridors, wooded areas with native oaks, through wildlife habitats, and past creeks, streams, lakes, and rivers.
Only 2.5 miles long, but a very big connection between Folsom’s trail network and the American River Trail, the newly completed Johnny Cash Trail in Folsom now makes it possible for bikers to jump from a ride along the river to a ride along Folsom Lake, by way of the famed prison that Johnny Cash performed at 50 years ago.
The Bicycle Master Plan approved by the City of Sacramento in 2016, highlights the importance of further-developing the city for cyclists and sets forth bicycle related investments, policies, programs, and strategies to ensure establishment of a complete bicycle system in the city, thereby encouraging citizens to enjoy cycling for both recreation and transportation.
As developers are focusing on building communities that are bicycle-friendly, Sacramento is becoming even more cycle-centric. The Sacramento Railyards Specific Plan calls for a network of on- and off‐street bicycle paths, which you can see illustrated in the Bicycle Network plan, ensuring that the nation's largest infill project will be making bikeability an important goal.
Servicing the Central City, Sacramento recently launched its own bike-share program. These public bike systems are designed to make urban cycling more accessible, allowing users to “check out” bikes and return them at various points throughout the city.
Bike Month is a time to focus on enjoying bicycles for their recreational and environmental benefits, and Sacramento is the perfect region in which to do it. Whether you’ll be gliding your beach cruiser through midtown, taking your road bike out on the paved trail, or hitting the dirt path on your mountain bike, May is sure to be a month of adventure.
Photo courtesy of Steve Harriman.