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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 18, 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, live music 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.
During the event participants can:
“Bike to Work Day is a celebration of human-powered transportation and healthy, active lifestyles,” said MetroParks special events coordinator, Angela York. “Whether you are cycling as part of the team challenge of as an individual, everyone enjoys the camaraderie of this event and learns how biking is a healthy, safe alternative when planning your commute.”
The first 500 cyclists to register their ride and check in at Bike to Work Day will receive a free gift! For those worried the commute is too long, MetroParks has partnered with the Greater Dayton RTA to offer a multi-modal Bike & Bus option. Cyclists also can park their cars at one of the many convenient trail access areas and ride in from a closer starting point.
Bike to Work Day is presented by Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission and is a part of the Drive Less Live More campaign. Event sponsors include K&G Bike Center, Woolpert, Boston Stoker, Dayton Cycling Club, LBJ Inc. and City of Dayton Water. Plan a group ride, learn more about the team challenge, get the day’s complete schedule and more by visiting metroparks.org/biketowork.
While the National Bike to Work Day Pancake Breakfast is the largest National Bike Month event in Dayton, 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.
New this year, MetroParks will kick off its revamped Bike for Health Challenge at the beginning of May. Formerly the Bike for the Health of It Challenge, the new program allows riders to complete suggested self-guided biking routes on their own time, as their schedule allows.
“The new Bike for Health Challenge empowers people to get out and explore the region’s more than 300 miles of paved recreation trails—the nation’s largest paved trail network—on their own schedule,” said MetroParks outdoor recreation coordinator, Randy Ryberg.
Some additional Bike Month events include National Women’s Mountain Biking Day, GO W/ THE FLOW – Bike Week Edition the Wegerzyn Bike Rodeo for Kids and Bike to the Dragons. National Bike Month events cover the gamut of cycling-based interests and are fun for the entire family, from races to children’s programs. To find all regional Bike Month events, visit metroparks.org/bike-month/regional-events.
The League of American Bicyclists has designated Dayton a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community, and Dayton is home to the nation’s largest paved trail network. Additionally, Five Rivers MetroParks is a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Business designation.
“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 of safe cycling, details about upcoming Five Rivers MetroParks programs, information on such cycling facilities as the Bike Hub at RiverScape MetroPark and MoMBA (MetroParks Mountain Biking Area) at Huffman MetroPark, information about regional bikeways, and much more.
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. 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. Five Rivers MetroParks is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies. To learn more about Five Rivers MetroParks, log onto www.metroparks.org or call 937-275-PARK.