May is National Bike Month

Thanh -- May 4th, 2010

This is part one of a series of posts about Bike Month and Bike Month events.

May is National Bike Month and it’s being celebrated in a big way this year in Harrisonburg. Local organizations including Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition, New Community Project, and the Voluntary Gas Tax Group have banded together to put on a variety of Bike Month events throughout the month of May ranging from free etiquette and bike repair workshops, bike movies at Court Square, a bike parade, scavenger hunt, a bicycle hoedown at Liberty Park, and bike mural to be painted on the side of the Shen-Valley Instrument store on Liberty Street in downtown Harrisonburg.

National Bike to Work Day is Friday May 21 and in Harrisonburg the day will feature morning refreshments on Court Square, an “Evening refuel” at Blue Nile from 5-9pm, and a friendly competition between workplaces participating in Bike to Work Day. Over 25 workplaces in Harrisonburg have already signed up to date and there is still time for others to join. Bike to Work Day event organizers will be offering bike commuting workshops at workplaces upon request. A workshop for the general public will take place on Tuesday May 12th from 7-8pm at Clementine Café.

If you spent even some of that daily drive time pedaling instead, the rewards would be:

  • A BETTER BODY Most weeks, seven out of 10 of us fail to get the minimum recommended 30 minutes of activity per day—partly because many of us have to fight traffic to get to the gym. The result:More than 60% of Americans are overweight or obese, and rates of obesity-related diseases such as diabetes are soaring. Ride your bike to work, and you no longer need to make time to exercise. Rack up just 3 hours of riding time a week, and you can slash your risk of heart disease and stroke in half. Plus, you’ll lose the gut and lovehandles—no diet required. Consult your doctor whenever starting any new physical activity.
  • MORE MONEY The average annual price of keeping an automobile running: at least $3,000. The cost of running a bike for a year: less than $300. The joy of saving more than two grand this year: priceless.
  • CLEAN AIR The number of communities that will fall out of compliance with the Clean Air Act is expected to triple within a decade. Motorized vehicles are responsible for 70% of the carbon monoxide, 45% of the nitrogen dioxide, and 34% of the hydrocarbons people produce. Riding a bike is a simple way to improve the environment.

(from the League of American Bicyclists)

More information and a full schedule of Harrisonburg Bike Month events can be found at:

Photo by SaraLS

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5 Responses to “May is National Bike Month”

  1. MB Green says:

    When I read that $3000 a year to maintain a car I thought, “They must be thinking of people with car payments,” but then I did a little math. When I don’t ride my bike I spend between $30-40 a week in gas. Splitting the difference and saying $35 a week adds up to $1680 a month. Then I pay $30 a month for my insurance – that’s $360. If I get my oil changed 4 times a year that is another $120. Historically, I have had to replace all four tires at least once a year – that’s about another $300 for cheap tires. That is $2460 right off the bat. That doesn’t take into consideration the possibility that my car might need a major repair. People with a car payment pay every bit of what I pay – PLUS the car payment. No wonder people are having trouble making ends meet.

    My plates expire the end of this month. I am seriously considering taking my car off the road for six months, and just seeing how it goes. The only thing that stops me is that my family lives way out in the county, I like to go places like Richmond and DC, and I’m a little afraid of riding after dark even with lights on my bike.

    • Frank J Witt says:

      If you take your car off the road for those 6 months, DO NOT let your insurance lapse or it will cost you even more when you want to bring it back.

      As for me, I travel about 2000 (yep 2000) miles a month for work.

      ALSO ~ May is Military Appreciation Month…just sayin’…

      • MB Green says:

        Frank – why would it cost more when I bring it back. If the car isn’t registered – which it wouldn’t be – it doesn’t have to be insured. I would probably maintain my insurance because my renter’s insurance is tied in with my auto insurance. I’m just asking.

        • Frank J Witt says:

          it’s just one of those things…for some reason most companies will say it went “UNINSURED”, even though you don’t HAVE to have it if your not using it. Call around first to make sure. I don’t understand it but it was that way when I wasn’t driving for 5 years in the early 2000’s…

  2. MB Green says:

    *$1680 a YEAR in gas.

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