May is National Bike Month and the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee wants to share a calendar full of events to promote and encourage biking in May and beyond – as well as celebrate the city’s silver status as a Bicycle Friendly Community.
The city earned the silver status from the League of American Bicyclists. Battle Creek first earned bronze status in 2014. The committee and city staff continue work to improve our bike amenities. There are just 12 Bicycle Friendly Communities in Michigan – four silver, and eight bronze.
The League praised Battle Creek for being proactive with education and enforcement – two of the “5 Es” on which communities are scored (along with engineering, encouragement, and evaluation). In particular, the League called out the Battle Creek Police Department for requiring all new hires to become police bike certified. The city also received an “excellent” rating for bike-friendly laws and ordinances; our local traffic ordinance includes a required three-foot passing distance between vehicles and bikes.
The following Bike Month activities welcome everyone — all bicycle types, all skill levels, and all ages – and the committee highly encourages all riders to wear properly-fitting helmets. All activities will take place in rain, shine or snow.
- Sunday, May 6 is the Fort Custer Stampede Race, an event from the Southwest Michigan Mountain Biking Association. Categories are Elite, Expert, Sport, Beginner, and Kids. Race times are from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Fort Custer Recreation Area in Augusta. See swmmba.com for more information.
- Wednesday, May 9 is Walk/Bike to School Day, as organized by the National Center for Safe Routes to School. While the committee is not organizing activities on this day, members ask all area schools to encourage their students to walk and, especially, ride to their schools on May 9 and throughout the school year.
For details on joining in on May 9 or participating at other times, contact your child’s school.
- Monday through Friday, May 14-18 is Bike to Work Week, and all neighbors in Battle Creek are encouraged to ride to work this week, and anytime!
If you ride to work this week, post a selfie – created safely – and your mileage to social media! Tag the city on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and use the hashtag #BikeBC2018
- Wednesday, May 16 is the Ride of Silence, a worldwide event that honors those who have been injured or killed while riding bicycles.
The city’s local ride will begin and end at Willard Beach Park, off George B Place. Starting at 7 p.m., the approximately 10-mile route travels through the Lakeview area and is for all skill levels.
Along with these great events, neighbors and visitors will see the BCycles return to the racks at Kellogg Community College, Riverwalk Centre downtown, the Kool Family Community Center near downtown, and in Old Lakeview on Capital Avenue SW. Use a BCycle bike this month to attend Spring into the Arts, set for 5-9 p.m. Friday, May 18, in downtown. Also watch for information on the grand re-opening of Team Active, downtown Battle Creek’s longtime bike shop.