Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Your Guide to Bike Month in Philadelphia

May is Bike Month! Yes, bikes work year round. We don't celebrate "Shoes Month" after all. But we suppose at some point May wasn't anybody's month, and Bikes saw an opportunity for naming rights, and now here we are.

Here is a guide to some of the many May bike rides, activities, and events happening in Philadelphia.
Last year's Cyclofemme ride. Join this year's Mother's Day casual ride on May 11th.

May 1st - National Bike Challenge
The National Bike Challenge starts in earnest. It's a free, good-natured competition to see how much you can ride your bike this summer. A great motivational tool to get in shape, finally bike to work, or encourage your friends or coworkers to give it a try. Read more here and sign up today!

May 7th - National Bike to School Day
Schools around the country are planning Bike to School Days to encourage children (and parents) to get exercise on their way to school. If you are an educator or parent and want to organize an event at your school, read this article for more information.

May 10th - Philly Pumptrack Opens
At long last, the Philly Pumptrack gets its official debut.

May 11th - CycloFemme Mother's Day Ride
RSVP for the ride here

CycloFemme is a global women's cycling day created to honor the past, celebrate the present, and empower the future of women in cycling and the opportunity for positive social change. Encourage women to ride and they will change the world! Philadelphia's Cyclofemme Ride is a collaboration between our Women Bike PHL program and the Sturdy Girls Cycling Club.

Free rides beginning and ending at Clark Park: beginner, intermediate, and fast ride options. All people welcome (not just women), helmets required. Stay for a post-ride picnic in Clark Park!

May 13th - Take Your Time Ride [Women Only]
Ride Facebook event here

Looking for a bike ride where no one expects you to go fast? Or where you're SUPPOSED to take your time? This is it. A social, take-your-time-paced bike ride, on the second Tuesday of every month. We meet at 6:15 PM at the Northwest Corner of Rittenhouse Square Park (across from the church) to roll at 6:30. This month we're riding to Frankford Hall (~3.5 miles).

May 15th - Urban Riding Basics class [Women Only]
Claim your spot in the class here

New to city biking? This free, one-hour class will give you tips and directions to confidently and safely bike on Philly streets. No bike needed. This class is through our Women Bike PHL program and is women-only.

May 16th - Bike to Work Day with Mayor Nutter
What better way to celebrate bike to work day than a bike ride with the Mayor? Join bicyclists -- both veterans and newbies -- at Lloyd Hall (on Boathouse Row) at 7:30am. Light breakfast provided by Cosmic Catering. We'll ride as a group from Lloyd Hall down the Parkway to LOVE Park. Ride leaves at 8:15, short press conference to follow. All are welcome!

May 17th - Trenton Ave Arts Festival and Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby
You know it. You love it. It's back. "Free and open to the public, the Trenton Avenue Arts Festival celebrates East Kensington's incredible mix of local artists, musicians and eateries." Where to do the bikes fit in? The event features the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, a design competition and parade of human-powered vehicle floats. Keep an eye out for the entry from our young friends from Neighborhood Bike Works! Festival runs 11-6, Derby kicks off at noon. 

May 17th - Kidical Mass Ride
Philadelphia's group for parents and kids on bikes, Kidical Mass, is riding in the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby (at the end of the parade!). We agree that the bakfietsen and other fancy cargo bikes some of these parents pedal around are definitely parade-worthy! If you'd like to join, check out the Facebook event and email Dena at phillykidicalmass(at) to fill out a waiver ahead of time!

May 21st - Ride of Silence
RSVP for the Facebook event here.

A somber but important event, the annual Ride of Silence honors cyclists killed/injured in motor vehicle related crashes and to raise awareness about the rights of cyclists to ride on the roads. The ride is being held in Philadelphia for the ninth gear in a row. Sister events are expected to be held this year in over 300 U.S. locations and in over 15 countries. We will ride 8 miles in silence through Center City, taking approximately 1 hour. Ride begins and ends at the front steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum on the Ben Franklin Parkway. A brief pre-ride dedication ceremony will take place at 6:45 PM and the ride will start promptly at 7:00 PM.

May 22 - Ride for Reading
Like bikes and books? Yeah, us too. Combine the two by volunteering for our second annual Ride for Reading! We need bicyclists to help us deliver donated books to a local public school, where they will be distributed to students. If this is your jam, fill out this form and we'll be in touch (and don't forget your cargo bikes, panniers, messenger bags or backpacks to help tote books!). The schedule for the day is below:
  • 7:30 AM – meet at 2000 Hamilton Street to load books into bags and onto bikes 
  • 7:45 AM - Bike ride leaves Hamilton Street (bike ride is approximately 5 miles) 
  • 8:45 AM - (approximate): Arrive at Blankenburg School (4600 W. Girard) 
  • 9:00 AM - Ride for Reading assembly 
  • 10:00 AM - Book Distribution begins
June 1st - The Velothon
The ride before the race.