WELCOME TO BIKE MONTH

Check out the latest and greatest news and events from Bike Month and get ready to roll!

BIKE MONTH CYCLIST PROFILE SERIES PRESENTED BY MEC: BURLINGTON

Published May 23, 2017 16:10

We visited Samantha Gatchene in Burlington for our weekly cyclist series. She met with us near a beautiful waterfront trail to chat about the freedom she feels when cycling, her passion for commuting, and what inspired her to get on her bike in the first place! 

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Samantha Gatchene on Burlington's waterfront trail. Photo by Danielle Griscti.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m an urban planning student and a lifelong cycling enthusiast. I was raised car-free so cycling has always been a huge part of my life. When I’m not cycling, I enjoy journaling and listening to podcasts. After I finish my studies, I hope to work promoting active transportation to benefit the health of citizens, while advocating for a greater network of shared roads.

When and why did you start cycling?

I’ve been riding since I was child but got seriously into it when I got my first job. Like most teenagers, I had a million places to go but little money. Cycling offered me a cost effective solution that allowed me to balance a busy schedule while being independent. I attribute a lot of my cycling passion to my dad, who is a cyclist and is familiar with the challenges of commuter cycling. We share a special bond over cycling and he has been a huge inspiration, teaching me all about road safety while encouraging me continue cycling. 

What style of bike do you ride?

I ride a Norco hybrid. I’ve covered it in yarn to add some personality and protection to my bike.

Tell us about some of the things you ride your bike for.

I ride my bike everywhere - work, groceries, and the mall. Cycling saves me the stress of navigating traffic as well as giving me a sense of freedom that doesn’t come with driving. Cycling has become an integral part of my identity because I’m passionate about living a sustainable lifestyle while supporting the reversal of peoples’ aversions to bike commuting.

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Photo by Danielle ... Read more

BIKE MONTH CYCLIST PROFILE SERIES PRESENTED BY MEC: MISSISSAUGA

Published May 16, 2017 11:31

We headed to Mississauga to meet Nicole Hanson along a beautiful lake trail for our latest cyclist profile. She is passionate about riding her bicycle to find new paths and navigate around the city. Her flower-decorated basket and bike provide her the perfect ride to take in the stunning views. 

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Nicole Hanson enjoying the view at LakeView. Photo by Danielle Griscti.

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Nicole Hanson. I am an environmental cultural planner living in Mississauga.
This city is undergoing a tremendous amount of urban change and I enjoy exploring it at the petal of my bicycle. I have been a strong advocate for active transportation: cycling, rollerblading, walking and park equity for children. I grew up in both Lakeview and Cooksville and I am extremely passionate about pursuing active transportation in these areas of Mississauga.

When and why did you start cycling?

I started cycling since I was about 6 years old. I enjoy cycling to experience the city because it engages my senses of way-finding in a variety of ways. To me this means that I am able to move in neighbourhoods, streets, parks, parking lots and traffic by actively creating paths, routes and way-finding techniques at a whim. Every ride is an adventure. Unplanned rides take me one landscape experience to the next, and he rhythm of how I experience my urban environment is constantly changing.

What style of bike do you ride?

I ride a flowered commuter bike called Genesis. The front of my bike carries half a dozen roses and the basket located in the rear is canopied with floral arrangements. The frame of my bike has a low diagonal top tube design which enables me to wear dresses and skirts as a woman. I enjoy riding my bike based on my everyday urban experience and not conforming to “traditional cyclist” appearances. Riding this style bike advocates for people to get motivated and inspired to ... Read more

BIKE MONTH CYCLIST PROFILE SERIES PRESENTED BY MEC: DURHAM

Published May 09, 2017 09:50


This week, we headed to Durham Region for our fourth blog post in our cyclist profile series. We met up with Rick Robertson on Taunton Road, and headed to the brand new multi-use trail nearby for some shots. Rick commutes daily from Ajax to Whitby by bike.

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Rick Robertson riding to from work on his daily commute. Photo by Danielle Griscti

Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in Ajax in a family of 4 boys. Growing up I played a lot of sports including hockey, lacrosse, baseball, soccer and of course bike riding. I am an avid Green Bay Packer fan and part owner! I now live in Whitby with my family and cycle back and forth to Ajax for work.

When and why did you start cycling?

I started cycling as a kid as a way of getting around Ajax. At the age of 13, I was riding to my first summer job picking weeds for a local farmer. I was commuting 11.6 km each way but back in those days it wasn’t called ‘commuting’.

What style of bike do you ride?

My very first bike was a purple coloured bike with a banana seat and pull-back handlebars which I thought was pretty cool back then! Now I proudly ride a TREK dual sport 8.4.

Tell us about some of the things you ride your bike for.

I use my bike to commute to and from work, as well as casual rides on weekends with family and friends. We have also started incorporating cycling trips into our summer vacations. This year’s trip is to the Mount Tremblant and Ottawa area!

Any favourite bike routes? What do you like about them?

I really like our local waterfront trails. I very much enjoy being in nature and the waterfront in Durham region is an ideal spot. Another benefit to these trails is that most of it is away from traffic.

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Photo by Danielle Griscti

What would you say is the greatest benefit you get from cycling?

I mostly ride my bike for the health benefits it provides me. There is heart disease and diabetes in my family and ... Read more

BIKE MONTH CYCLIST PROFILE SERIES PRESENTED BY MEC: TORONTO

Published May 02, 2017 17:45

For our latest blog post, we met up with Adil Dhalla last week in the heart of downtown Toronto. Adil met us at his workplace, CSI Regent Park, and we chatted about his daily commute on the Bloor Street bike lanes, and what he loves about the cycling community in Toronto.

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Adil with his favourite piece of gear, outside his workplace. Photo by Danielle Griscti

Tell us about yourself.

I self identify as a civic entrepreneur and community organizer who absolutely loves my city (Toronto), but believes that it has a lot of room for growth and change. I channel my desire to be a part of this growth and change through my work at the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) where I have the privilege of being the Executive Director and through Chairing the Board of the StopGap Foundation and Co-Chairing Camp Reset.

When and why did you start cycling?

I had a few starts and stops growing up but I really picked up cycling about 5 years ago when I was getting a business off the ground here in Toronto and I found cycling was the most affordable way for me to get around. One of my best friends Eric gave me his old bike so I really want to honour him for helping me overcome the financial barrier I faced at the time around buying a bike and for coaching me to get out into the streets.

What style of bike do you ride?

I rock a KHS Urban Soul, which is “one-gear city spinner” purchased at local legend Bateman’s Bicycle Company.

Tell us about some of the things you ride your bike for.

I take my bike pretty much everywhere and especially find it useful for work as it enables me to get to meetings at different locations (CSI has 4 buildings!) in a predictable fashion. I’m also motivated to tap into the health benefits that cycling provides, especially as it relates to mental health and happiness. 

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Photo by Danielle Griscti


Any favourite bike routes? What do you like about them?

I’m ... Read more

BIKE MONTH CYCLIST PROFILE SERIES PRESENTED BY MEC: HAMILTON

Published April 25, 2017 13:40

For our second blog post, we went to Hamilton and met Lily Romano. Lily greeted us in sunny Hamilton with her Sobi bicycle, ready to roll. We chatted about the bike lanes she likes to take, where she goes, and what she loves about using Hamilton’s bike share system.

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Lily Romano using the Charlton Ave bike lanes on a Sobi bike. Photo by Danielle Griscti

Tell us about yourself.

I'm a Hamiltonian, born in St. Joseph's Hospital, I'm a 'let's pretend' artist working in acrylics, alcohol inks and mixed media. I love to cook and feed my friends, read, sew and keep fit. Being recently retired allows me the time to do all of the above.

When and why did you start cycling?

I began cycling as a 8 year old, when my parents bought me my first CCM bicycle. I've never stopped riding and as a young parent in Lincolnshire, England, taught my own children Matthew & Kate to ride. We'd ride to the North Sea and go for a swim. Well, my kids would swim, I'd watch. The North Sea is very cold.

What style of bike do you ride?

I have owned several bikes throughout my life and now I'm part of Hamilton's bike share program. I ride a Sobi, a nickname for the social bikes! The advantages are too many to list here but my favourite things are: I do not need to store it, maintain it, clean it, or worry about someone stealing it. I learned about Sobi from Steps To Health, a wellness group here in town.

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Photo by Danielle Griscti

Tell us about some of the things you ride your bike for.

I ride a Sobi to do my shopping, go to the library, or meet up with a friend. I love being outside and there is always a Sobi in a rack somewhere near where I live.

Any favourite bike routes? What do you like about them?

I love to ride down to the Bay Front Park with friends, grab some fish and chips from Hutches and sit at the water’s edge to eat and talk. Thene ride home, feeling full and content.

What ... Read more

BIKE MONTH CYCLIST PROFILE SERIES PRESENTED BY MEC: YORK REGION

Published April 18, 2017 13:55

This is the first in a series of blog posts about cyclists from around the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Today we are profiling Krysten Bates who lives in Richmond Hill in York Region.

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Photo by Danielle Griscti

It was a beautiful day to head north of Steeles Avenue into York Region. At Regional Road 7 and Commerce Valley Drive, we met Krysten Bates, who rides her bike about 5 km to work here. With the wind in her hair, she says her black hybrid saves her about 5-10 minutes per trip each day.

Krysten rides her bike to work in Richmond Hill, as well as some recreational and trail riding when she can. We asked Krysten some questions about why she chooses to bike, her essential gear, and tips she has for people who want to try riding!

Tell us about yourself.

I’m an avid soccer player, knitter, tree-hugger and of course, cyclist! I live and work in Richmond Hill, so
my commute is fairly short (just over 10km round-trip).

When and why did you start cycling?

I lived in Victoria, BC for a short while back in 2014. I did so little driving there that I ended up taking my
car off the road and bought a bike to use for commuting instead. When I moved to Richmond Hill in 2015, a friend from work encouraged me start getting back into the habit of riding to work again. If I recall correctly, my first official day riding to work was Bike to Work Day 2015. I continue to ride for a number of reasons but one of the main drivers is the environmental benefit of commuting by bike. The smaller my carbon footprint, the better!

What style of bike do you ride?

I ride a hybrid made by Raleigh. It’s the perfect fit for my needs (mostly light trail and road riding).

Tell us about some of the things you ride your bike for.

Function, fitness and fun . Whether it’s riding to work, to see a friend or to grab groceries, most of the
time I’m riding to get from point A to B. I do, however, enjoy ... Read more

POST YOUR BIKE EVENTS NOW ON THE BIKE MONTH CALENDAR

Published March 21, 2017 10:34

If you’re planning an event soon, why not hold it during Bike Month? Bike Month kicks off with Bike to Work Day on May 29 and continues until the end of June. The Bike Month website is home to every kind of cycling event, from art shows and scavenger hunts, to film nights, parades, bike rodeos, cupcake rides, cycling workshops, and so many more. The online calendar is open for submissions and you can post cycling related events that take place between May 1 and June 30.

Follow us on Twitter: @BikeMonth and on Facebook for updates!

CONGRATS ALEX MOK ON WINNING THE BIKE TO WORK DAY DRAW PRIZE!

Published June 28, 2016 17:29

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Congratulations to Alex Mok on winning the Bike to Work Day prize! We hope you enjoy your Norco Indie 4 commuter bicycle on your many cycling adventures. Thank you for participating in the Markham/Richmond Hill Bike to Work Day Ride on May 30. We interviewed Alex to get his thoughts on what it's like to commute between downtown Toronto and his home in Richmond Hill. Here's what he had to say:

Tell us a bit about you:

I'm currently a Doctor of Pharmacy student at the University of Toronto, where I just finished my 2nd year and 7th year overall. I've lived downtown during school terms and uptown in Richmond Hill during the summer. Living in both locations has been certainly interesting in terms of commuting. Getting downtown from Richmond Hill during the school term solely by public transit was not a fun experience and I quickly realized how much time I could save by biking parts of my daily commute. I believe that if you live in the GTA, you can get anywhere by bike (weather permitting).

When did you start cycling? 

I started cycling regularly this past year when I moved back downtown and couldn't help but notice how great the cycling community is in Toronto. I bought the bike I’m currently using from a friend in 2013 for $50. Ever since then, I've learned how to fix, repair, and maintain my bike. These skills have helped me ensure a smooth ride, during my longer commutes uptown and as well for my participation in Richmond Hill's Bike to Work Day.

Why do you ride a bike to school?

A big reason why I bike to work is that as a student on a limited budget, it's key for me to save time during hectic commute hours (vs. walking) and money (vs. TTC, YRT/Viva).

What would you say is the best part or benefit of your commute?

The best part of my commute is that I can try different routes every day. It's great exercise as well and gives me a reason to wake up every morning ... Read more

THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN-ONLY BIKE REPAIR SPACES

Published June 20, 2016 12:32

This blog post originally appeared in Sexual Assault Centre Hamilton & Area (SACHA). By Johanna Bleecker, New Hope Bikes. 

As an avid rock climber, I always felt comfortable enough in climbing gyms. I would go with both guy and girl friends and on my own, was happy to make friends with other climbers, and never felt overtly discriminated against. Occasionally I would have to put up with others, usually male, giving patronizing tips I hadn’t asked for and didn’t want or trying to engage me in conversations that made me feel uncomfortable.

Then my bouldering gym started a women’s only time, adding a couple extra reserved hours onto their schedule.

Intrigued, my female friend and I went and found something in that space that we hadn’t realized we were missing. Women at all levels of climbing were cheering each other on, there were baked treats, and even the music was female-fronted. The biggest wall, usually overrun by the stronger male climbers, was being climbed by women who said they’d never felt comfortable trying it when the largely male clientele were showing off their skills one after another.

The women’s-only time was a comfortable, judgment-free zone for women to experiment and feel more comfortable in their skills, which would help them later when returning during regular hours.

I’ve made it my current mission to recapture that enthusiastic, supportive atmosphere in the different, also male-dominated world of bike repair.

After learning to work on my own bike in the friendly spaces of bike repair coops, I got further involved by volunteering at a coop in Vancouver after moving there last year. I assisted with a series of women’s only bike repair workshops which were welcomed by the community and created a warm camaraderie among the attendees, many of whom returned to attend multiple workshops in the series.

Upon moving to Hamilton, I took up my community bike repair ... Read more

VULNERABLE ROAD USER LAWS ARE LONG OVERDUE IN ONTARIO

Published June 14, 2016 13:06

Vulnerable Road User Laws are long overdue in Ontario

More and more frequently, people are ditching their cars and opting for an active and more convenient method of transportation for their commute to work. Although cycling advocates in Toronto are working hard to become a bicycle friendly city, we still have a long way to go.

When reviewing cyclist deaths across Ontario between 2006 and 2011, we found something upsetting: while 62% of all bike related deaths were found to be at least partly the fault of the driver, only 27% of drivers involved were ever charged for those deaths. Even worse, those charges did not involve any jail time, license suspensions or court appearances, just small fines usually under $1,000.00. Just this last month, the driver that killed Edouard Le Blanc, a rider that was instantly killed when he was hit on the Gatineau Hydro Corridor, was fined a mere $700.00.

The Ontario Highway Traffic Act defines the bicycle as a vehicle that belongs on the road, which means all road users need to be aware of, and follow the rules. So we all work together to ensure all road users are safe, right? Wrong. As most of us know, this is not necessarily the case. It is very clear that motorists are not aware of, or choose to ignore the rules of the road and compromise the safety of Vulnerable Road Users.

So how do we fix this? We implement Vulnerable Road User (VRU) laws for the Province. If a driver could face potential jail time, or serious penalties, it would force them to take greater care when sharing the road with cyclists and other at risk road users. The penalties when a driver has seriously injured or killed a VRU would require the court to consider increased fines, license suspensions and jail if necessary.

Bike Law Canada has been working to implement VRU laws and we continue to do so. Our efforts have been great but we need the momentum behind us from our ... Read more

DISCOVER YORK REGION BY BIKE

Published June 06, 2016 17:39

Explore York Region By Bike with the new tour map!
There are many on and off-road cycling routes that run from our border with the city of Toronto in the south up to the shores of Lake Simcoe in the north. These routes provide cyclists of all ages and abilities an opportunity to stay active and explore York Region's natural beauty. The new cycling tour map provides some routes for exploring York Region by bike, from ten tour routes to mountain biking, BMX and family cycling options.

 

Recreational cyclists

  • All-Terrain Ride
  • Butter Tart Ride
  • Group of Seven Trails
  • Markham Town and Trail
  • Pedal to the Kettle
Experienced cyclists
  • Main to the Moraine
  • Simcoe Beaches
  • Tour de Holland
  • Village Roundabout
  • York Century

Family/leisure cyclists

  • Nokiidaa Trail - Aurora, Newmarket, East Gwillimbury 
  • Rouge Valley Trail - Markham 
  • Oak Ridges Corridor - Richmond Hill 
  • Bartley Smith Greenway - Vaughan 
  • William Granger Greenway - Vaughan 

Let us know about your cycling experience in York Region with the hashtag #yorkcycling or by emailing cycling@york.ca. For more information, visit York.ca/cycling.

Mark Inglis Greenbelt Route

BIKE TO WORK DAY IN THE NEWS!

Published June 01, 2016 18:29

Bike To Work Day 2016 was an incredible success! Thank you to everyone who came out to show their support for cycling in their communities - and had a great time doing it! We've rounded up the top media articles about Bike To Work Day - check it out:

Global News Toronto - Hundreds of cyclists hit the streets for Bike to Work Day in Toronto

CBC Hamilton - What biking to work looks like in Hamilton

CBC Hamilton - Bike to Work Day celebrated in Hamilton on Monday

Hamilton Community News - Smooth ride for Hamilton’s Bike to Work Day

CTV News Toronto - Bike Month aims to enforce city's bicycle lanes; kicks off with 'Bike To Work' day

Durham Radio News - Durham Region celebrates ‘Bike Month’, which features hundreds of events across the GTA

Inside Halton - New bike corrals in place in Oakville's Downtown and Bronte and Kerr villages (just in time for Bike Month)

IT'S BIKE TO SCHOOL WEEK 2016, MAY 30-JUNE 3

Published May 30, 2016 13:54

Riding a bike to school – around the world, it’s a daily ritual for children and youth which helps them start their day refreshed, energized and ready to learn. Research demonstrates that active school travel helps kids do better in school, while also getting the exercise the need.

But sadly, in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, fewer children bike – or walk – to school than ever before. This worrying trend has motivated educators, transportation planners, health promoters and community members to come together and envision ways to change our collective travel habits.

Bike to School Week is an opportunity for today’s busy families to discover that biking to school is possible and even preferable! Many schools have received Cycling Education Kits and other incentives. They will be tracking students’ bike trips to school, offering safety activities, hosting contests, and more. With this campaign, the GTHA is joining other jurisdictions across Canada and the United States which promote cycling to school in May and June.

In 2015, 144 schools registered events for during and around Bike to School Week in the GTHA, and over 16,000 students participated. For 2016, registration has doubled to over 280 schools! And registration is still open at biketoschoolweek.ca. We can’t wait to hear the stories – tweet #biketoschool @bikemonth and @smartcommute to share.

Bike Rack Tuesday (Pauline Jr)

LESS THAN A WEEK TO SIGN UP FOR BIKE TO WORK DAY

Published May 24, 2016 16:50

There's less than a week left to sign up for Bike to Work Day! Bike Month is just around the corner - join us and thousands of other cyclists for this annual kick-off event. But don't stop there. Why not bike to work all year round? We've rounded up the five best reasons to bike to work every day - check it out! 

REASONS TO BIKE TO WORK

  • It's way cheaper than driving! Once you own a bike, maintaining it costs just $500 a year. 
  • It's a free gym membership. Imagine getting your daily 30 minutes of activity simply by commuting!
  • Goodbye, traffic jams! Bike lanes, multi-purpose trails, and side roads are your best friends when whizzing past car traffic.
  • Arrive at work refreshed and ready to go. Riding your bike fills your lungs with fresh air and clears your head, helping you take on your day. 
  • Bike parking is free! All you need is a good lock and you can lock your bike nearly anywhere. Your business or school may even have special facilities for you to keep your bike, or they may let you bring your bike into the building. 

Sources: grist.org, businessinsider.com, The Sierra Club

TRY BIKE SHARE ON BIKE TO WORK DAY!

Published May 10, 2016 10:44

Don't let that flat tire stop you from riding to work this Bike to Work Day.

Whether you have a working bike or not you can participate in Bike Month if you live in a community with a bike share system! Bike share gives you a convenient solution for reaching your destination without the worry of storing your bike, having your bike being stolen or dealing with repairs and maintenance. The bikes are well designed for new riders and allow for easy one-way trips 24 hours a day.

Bike share is also a great option for people who need to get from transit stations to the front door of their office. For example, if you arrive to Union Station on a GO train or get off at a TTC station, you can grab a Bike Share Toronto bike for the last leg of your journey. Bike Share Toronto is also offering free extended time to participate in the Toronto Bike to Work Day Group Commute to Nathan Phillips Square from 6am-11am on May 30!

Riders in Hamilton can utilize the SoBi Hamilton system that spans across nearly 30 square kilometers of the lower city. The blue smart-bikes allow you to lock at one of the 115 hubs in the system or at any regular bike rack or post in the service area. Anyone riding a SoBi to the Hamilton City Hall event on Bike to Work Day will even get a $10 riding credit to sweeten the deal!

Both services offer short-term and long-term membership options and you can see how many bikes are available at any location in real time online, or on the free SoBi app if you're in Hamilton.

Give it a try and sign up today at sobihamilton.ca or bikesharetoronto.com

JOIN US FOR BIKE TO WORK DAY - MAY 30, 2016

Published May 01, 2016 09:49

Our annual contest is now live! Sign up here to ride to school, work, or to a Bike Month event for your chance to win a Norco Indie 4 commuter bicycle. You'll get another contest entry for every person you recruit on email or social media through your page.

IT'S SPRING! CHECK OUT FIVE WAYS TO GET YOUR BIKE READY TO RIDE

Published April 04, 2016 17:39

The snow is melting and the days are getting longer, which means that spring cycling season is just around the corner. We can’t wait for those long trail rides in the sunshine, arriving at work or school refreshed and ready to take on the day. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up the top five ways to get your ride ready for spring:

1) Tune up your ride

Before jumping on your bike this spring, make sure it fits you right, all the brakes and gears are still working properly, and that your tires are properly inflated. You can visit a do-it-yourself bike shop to tune up your bike yourself, or you can take it to a bike shop in your neighbourhood for a safety check and tune up. To find a bike shop near you, click "Where I Ride" in the toolbar above, choose your area, and go to "Tools and Resources" in the sidebar.

2) Show your ride some love

If you’ve been riding through the winter, give your bike the TLC it deserves! Wash the chain and parts with warm soapy water and a rag, and be sure to re-lube your chain afterwards. Tip: If you don’t have access to a hose or garage, you can visit a self-serve car wash and use theirs instead.

3) Safety first

When was the last time you replaced your helmet? Helmets become less effective the more they’ve been dropped or knocked around, so consider getting a new one in your favourite colour for spring!

The days are getting longer, but you still need to have bike lights between dusk and dawn. There are many options in a wide price range, and some are even rechargeable via a USB port.

4) Get the right gear

Spring weather can be lovely - most of the time! Dressing right for the weather will make your ride a lot more comfortable. Wear layers that you can add or remove as necessary. Investing in a rain jacket and pants will keep you warm and dry, and you can wear all your regular clothes underneath. Tip: If you don’t already wear glasses, a ... Read more

POST YOUR BIKE MONTH EVENTS NOW

Published March 17, 2016 10:03

If you’re planning an event soon, why not hold it during Bike Month? Bike Month kicks off with Bike to Work Day on May 30 and continues until the end of June. The Bike Month website is home to every kind of cycling event, from art shows and scavenger hunts, to film nights, parades, bike rodeos, cupcake rides, and oh so many more. The online calendar is open for submissions on April 1st and you can post cycling related events that occur between May 1 and June 30.

Follow us on Twitter: @BikeMonth and on Facebook for updates!

About Bike Month

Bike Month 2017 kicks off on Monday, May 29 and continues until the end of June with hundreds of interesting and fun things to do, including rides, guided bike tours, festivals, art shows, film screenings, and so much more.

Join The Conversation


Coming May 1, take the Bike Month pledge!

Pledge to ride to school or work on Bike to Work Day, Monday May 27 and/or throughout June for a chance to win one of three trips for two courtesy of VIA Rail (to Quebec City, Montreal or Ottawa) or a weekend getaway courtesy of Welcome Cyclists. Contest closes June 18.

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