I don’t remember when I started smoking, but I remember when I quit. I also don’t remember when I started riding a bike to work, but it’s the best addiction I’ve ever had, and I’m not about to stop. I get two fixes five days a week.
If you’ve ever wanted to give cycling to work a try, then now is a good time because May is Bike to Work Month. There are plenty of events in our area to whet your appetite. And if you’re a seasoned bike commuter, you probably already know this.
Spokane celebrates Bike to Work Week May 12-16. There’s a commute challenge where you can log your miles. At 7 a.m. on May 12, there’s a kick-off breakfast at Riverfront Park right across from City Hall with free pancakes and free coffee. During the morning hours on May 14, you can stop by one or more “energizer stations” that provide snacks and drinks for cyclists. At 6 p.m., May 14, meet at Riverfront Park (Spokane Falls and Wall Street) for the Ride of Silence honoring cyclists who have been killed or injured while riding on public roadways. At 5:30 p.m., May 16, attend the wrap up party at the River City Brewing (121 S. Cedar). Prizes and awards will be handed out and there will be food and drink. More info at: spokanebikes.net.
The City of Spokane is also doing something new during Bike to Work Week. They’re hosting Commute of the Century rides that follow many of the city bike routes. Volunteers are helping with these supported rides. There’s a more important reason to attend – the city is looking for your feedback to help direct transportation planning. The rides take place from 11:30-1:30, May 12-16. Register at beta.spokanecity.org/getthere/bikecommute.
Coeur d’Alene starts Bike to Work Week on May 12 with a ride from Home Depot down Government Way to City Hall where riders will gather for coffee and doughnuts and talk about other upcoming bike events. Meet at Home Depot at 7:30 a.m. There is also a Moonlight Ride on May 14th. Meet at Vertical Earth bike shop on Sherman Ave. at 8 p.m. and ride out on the Centennial Trail to Higgins Point and back. After-ride revelry will take place at Moontime. On May 15, meet at Pilgrims Market at 6 p.m. for beer tasting and a movie about cycling. And then on Saturday, May 17, compete in the Roots Pursuit, a team cycling event consisting of 12 challenges. The event begins at the community garden on the corner of 10th and Foster Ave. at 10 a.m. The after party and awards presentation are from noon to 2. More info at: www.cdaid.org/852/departments/parks/park-events/bike-to-work-week.
In Sandpoint, Wednesday, May 14 is Bike to School/Work Day. Energizer stations will provide free refreshments, and students who ride their bikes to school will get a prize. On Saturday May 17, check out the Classic/Unique Bike Show where you can browse a collection of classic and unique bikes at Greasy Fingers Bikes N Repair from noon to 3 p.m. Awards will be given to People’s Choice and Most Unique Bike. If you want to enter your classic or unique bike, stop by Greasy Fingers or call them (208-255-4496). On the same day, there is a Bicycle Film Festival at the Little Panida Theater at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a raffle and you must be present to win. Doors open at 6:30 and movies start at 7:30. There is a suggested donation of $2. On Sunday, May 18, there is a Bike Swap at the Eureka Annex in the Old Granary Art District from 12:30-2 p.m. Trade, shop, or consult with bike mechanics. You can drop a bike off to sell that morning between 9-11, and every child bicycle purchase comes with a free kid’s helmet. At 12:30 p.m., there’s also a Bike Rodeo that’s open to children 6-16 years of age. At 6 p.m., May 21, meet at City Beach for the Ride of Silence. More info at: www.pendoreillepedalers.com.
For me, bike commuting is a twice-daily workout that keeps me in shape and makes me feel good. I’m invigorated by my ride to work. I say hello to people I pass by. I get fresh air instead of road rage. I smile more. I save money. Barbecues urge me home to fire up my own grill. How could I give that up? Give it a try, and you might get hooked too. And that would be a good thing. //