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ICYMI – Bike Month

Get on your bike and ride!

Get on your bike and ride!

In case you missed it (ICYMI), May is National Bike Month. The idea is to showcase cycling of many forms in varying communities around the country, with the goal of inspiring even more people to get pedaling.

Manayunk just staged the second edition of the Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic, one of the more prestigious professional cycling races held in the U.S. Kiel Reijnen and Evelyn Stevens won the men’s and women’s races respectively, both for the second year in a row. Anyone that spent that Sunday afternoon on the Manayunk Wall will tell you, it was exciting.

Cycling and commerce have deeply shared roots. For example, Italian cycling legends Fausto Coppi and Felice Gimondi both began their cycling careers by delivering meat, and mail, on their bicycles.

Closer to home, Wash Cycle Laundry (washcyclelaundry.com), started by Gabriel Mandujano in Philadlepha, picks up and delivers laundry by bicycle. Gabe has recently expanded to Washington DC.

Philadelphia-based nonprofit Gearing Up (gearing-up.org), founded by Kristin Gavin works with women transitioning from rehab or incarceration. The philosophy of the organization is to stimulate improved self-esteem, encourage a sense of release and offer positive new direction via the cycling experience and the human connections formed through that shared experience.

According to the Inquirer, Philly bike-share will launch in the Spring of 2015, elevating Philadelphia’s reputation among the country’s more cycling friendly cities.

A recent study of cycling trends shows strong ridership growth in key cities (think Portland, OR) where bicycle infrastructure has been installed. For the period 2001 to 2009, ridership has grown most among males ages 25 to 64, while popularity has actually fallen in children. (“Bicycling renaissance in North America? An update and re-appraisal of cycling trends and policies,” John Pucher, Ralph Buehler and Mark Seinen.)

This trend might be addressed through programs such as Philly’s Neighborhood Bike Works Earn-A-Bike program. This inspiring program allows children to learn bike repair and maintenance, and much more, while earning their very own bike. (neighborhoodbikeworks.org)

Pedaling a bicycle is many things to many people. At once healthy, environmentally friendly and economically sensible, it’s more than that. So, in case you missed it, why not dust off your bicycle, pull it out of the garage and pump those tires, to head out for a ride?