Fuel up those feet in May during National Bike Month
When: May 1 – 31
What: Bicycle riders have a wide range of reasons for utilizing the two-wheeled style of transportation, including environmentalism, frugality, exercise and recreation. But as more people hit the trails and bike lanes, safety and awareness become concerns. In May, celebrate National Bike Month, an annual campaign promoting regular biking as well as safety for America’s cyclists.
Background: National Bike Month is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and will celebrate its 54th year with the theme “Count Cyclists In.” To encourage pedal-fueled commuting, Bike-to-Work Week is held from May 17 through 21, culminating with Bike-to-Work Day. The League offers a list of states’ community events to help bikers find a group near them.
Story Pitch: May provides many opportunities for bicycle manufacturers, retailers, and mechanics to promote their goods and services. Local communities can advocate for dedicated bike lanes or encourage use of existing lanes or trails. Schools can educate about bicycle safety, and environmental groups can promote the benefits of biking.
Story Hook: Already a provider of bus, subway, and walking directions, Google recently added cycling routes to its extensive maps system. It includes bike lanes for 150 cities, as well as trails across the entire country. How are communities accommodating the growing number of commuting riders? Consider the following when making your pitch:
- According to the National Bicycle Dealers Association, the U.S. bike industry sold approximately $6 billion in cycles and equipment in 2008. This number has steadily risen since 2002, when the industry was at $5.3 billion. What are the contributing factors to this increase of bike sales?
- Are bicycles making it possible for riders in metropolitan areas to go completely car-free?
- What should cyclists and motorists know to help them share the road?
- What are some new and popular features that have been appearing on bicycles?
- Do the health benefits of cycling differ for recreational users and those who use a bike to commute?
Tips: When making your pitch, provide the contact information for a cycling enthusiast who can speak about his or her experiences. Have a bicycle retailer or mechanic ready to answer technical questions about bicycles.
Adventure Cycling Association
League of American Bicyclists
The National Center for Bicycling and Walking
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
–Researched, compiled & written by Lisa Rowan
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