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May is National Bike Month, when communities throughout the nation showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving cycling a try.
Five Rivers MetroParks hosts the region’s largest National Bike Month cycling celebration from 7 to 9 a.m. Friday, May 19, at RiverScape MetroPark during National Bike to Work Day.
Nearly 700 cycling enthusiasts will gather at RiverScape MetroPark, 237 E. Monument Ave., to enjoy a free pancake breakfast provided by Chris Cakes, live music by Danny Voris and more at this celebration of cycling as a means of transportation. Businesses, organizations and community groups are encouraged to enter the team challenge prior to the event for a chance to win prizes. At Bike to Work Day:
• mingle with bike-related exhibitors,
• tour the RiverScape MetroPark Bike Hub,
• commemorate your ride at the Dayton Cycling Club photo booth, and
• enjoy a cup of joe from Boston Stoker after an invigorating morning ride.
“Bike to Work Day is a great opportunity to try transportation cycling for the first time,” said Lucy Sánchez, outdoor recreation coordinator for Five Rivers MetroParks. “There is nothing like a live band, free breakfast and a cheering crowd to celebrate your achievement. Additionally, it is a great place to get tips and resources to turn this one day into a lifestyle.”
The first 700 cyclists to register their ride during Bike to Work Day will receive a free bike light, courtesy of Five Rivers MetroParks and the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission. For those worried the commute is too long, MetroParks has partnered with Greater Dayton RTA to offer a multi-modal Bus & Bike option. Cyclists also can park their cars at one of many convenient trail access areas and ride in from a closer starting point.
Bike to Work Day is a part of the Drive Less Live More campaign. Event sponsors include Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, Wright State University, Dayton Cycling Club, LJB Inc., City of Dayton Water, Whitmans Ride Shop, Woolpert, K&G Bike Center, Kettering Bike Shop, Boston Stoker, Fronana and Premier ProduceOne. Plan a group ride, learn more about the team challenge, get the day’s complete schedule and more by visiting metroparks.org/biketowork.
“Cycling brings people of all ages and backgrounds together and is one of the keys to a healthy, active community,” said Randy Ryberg, outdoor recreation coordinator for Five Rivers MetroParks. “Most of all, it’s just fun!”
While National Bike to Work Day is the largest event, it is by no means the only event in May. Events will be held throughout the Dayton area, including many hosted by Five Rivers MetroParks:
• Bike for the Health of It Rides: Saturdays in May (continues throughout summer and fall)
Enjoy this series of bicycle rides on our region’s paved bikeways on Saturday mornings starting at 9 a.m. Visit metroparks.org/bikehealth for more information and a schedule of rides.
• Courteous Mass: Friday, May 5
Courteous Mass is a monthly street cycling ride. Ride meets at the Don Crawford Plaza in front of Fifth Third Field at 5:15 pm. Helmets and lights strongly encouraged. Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/CourteousMassDayton.
• GO W/ THE FLOW - Bike Edition: Monday, May 15, 6 to 7 p.m.
Get your mind, body and soul ready for National Bike to Work Week with this free class at RiverScape MetroPark. Dayton-area yoga instructor Tori Reynolds and local musician BJSR created this unique rhythmic fusion of yoga and music appropriate for all levels. Bring a yoga mat.
• Trailside Repairs: Wednesday, May 17
This hands-on class, taught by Five Rivers MetroParks’ staff, will cover bike selection, commuting equipment, and trip preparation. Briefly discuss traffic laws, hazards encountered, safe-riding skills, and proper route planning. Registration required. Fee: $5.
• Wegerzyn Bike Rodeo: Saturday, May 27, 9 a.m. to Noon
Kids ages 3 to 15 can join the MetroParks Ranger Division on a ride through a safety course and have their bikes checked by a technician at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave. Sponsored by Dayton Children's, Safe Kids of Dayton, Junior League of Dayton and the Put a Lid on it Campaign.
The League of American Bicyclists has designated Dayton a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community, and Dayton is home to the nation’s largest bike trail network, with more than 300 miles of paved, off-street bikeways to explore.
“Conservation, education and recreation comprise the foundation of Five Rivers MetroParks’ work in the community, and Bike to Work Day and other cycling events strengthen all those,” said Five Rivers MetroParks Executive Director Rebecca Benná. “Cycling rather than driving is not only an environmentally friendly, healthy form of transportation, it’s an active way to experience the outdoors and connect with nature locally — while helping protect our region’s natural heritage.”
Visit metroparks.org/cycling for tips on safe cycling, details about upcoming Five Rivers MetroParks programs and such cycling facilities as the Bike Hub and MoMBA (MetroParks Mountain Biking Area) at Huffman MetroPark, information about regional bikeways, and much more.
ABOUT FIVE RIVERS METROPARKS
Five Rivers MetroParks is a nationally renowned park system composed of natural area parks, gardens, high-quality river corridors, urban parks and a network of recreation trails, celebrating more than 50 years of preserving green space and natural areas. Five Rivers MetroParks protects the region’s natural heritage and provides outdoor experiences that inspire a personal connection with nature. Educational programs and recreational opportunities are offered year-round for all ages. To learn more about Five Rivers MetroParks, log onto www.metroparks.org or call 937-275-PARK.
Kristen Wicker is the marketing manager for Five Rivers MetroParks and a Dayton native.