May is National Bike Month and is celebrated all over, including here in Austin. Since 1956, Bike Month has been a chance to highlight the benefits and joys of cycling and give everyone a chance to get rolling on two wheels.
May is National Bike Month!
Why is May the National Bike Month?
Started in 1956, the National Bike Month is an opportunity for professional cyclists and enthusiasts to showcase the many benefits of the activity.
Whether you ride a bicycle to compete, go to work or school, save money on your daily commute, explore other communities, or help protect the environment, this month-long event is the perfect time for you. This is the time to celebrate and enjoy the unique power of your bike and the many reasons why you ride.
During this month, the League of American Bicyclists (as the main sponsor) provides resources to help organizers plan activities in their local areas.
And, in recent years, the number and diversity of this national bike event’s celebrations have continued to grow, with plenty of activities that the cycling community can enjoy.
May comes with idyllic weather conditions in many parts of the US. Especially in Austin, Texas, you’ll enjoy the warm weather and sunny skies for most of the month. Therefore, May is the perfect time to celebrate the National Bike Month.
Looking back, the yearly celebration’s conception wasn’t instant. In fact, it was decades late!
Specifically, in the 1890s, the country experienced its first bike boom. Advertisers saw that most people wanted to ride during the Spring season. That’s why in 1897, advertisers started declaring May as the “best bicycle month of the year”.
However, it was only in 1956 that the celebration became official. The lobbying and promotional arm of bicycle manufacturers in the US, the Bicycle Institute of America, got involved and officially designated May as “American Bicycle Month”.
Bike Month Events Near Austin
Here in Austin, there are a number of events for every rider out there. From things like our own regular weekly shop rides, to special events, to the ever-popular Bike to Work Day, May is your chance to get out on two wheels.
Aside from those events held in Austin, there are other National Bike Month activities to enjoy in the nearby regions.
Here are just some of the bike-related events happening for the remainder of May:
Each Tuesday in May – COTA Bike Night.
Ever wondered what it would be like to be on an F1 track? Ever thought it might be fun to ride your bike on an F1 track? Well, you can right here in Austin at the Circuit of the Americas. Each Tuesday join hundreds of riders for a car-free spin around the only Formula 1 track in North America. Presented by Holland Special Events.
Each Thursday in May—Driveway Series.
Come spectate or race the country’s biggest and best weekly criterium series each Thursday night at Driveway Motorsports. With varied courses each week and races for women and men, kids and masters, and for every category, there’s something for everyone. Family friendly and fun to spectate as well with weekly food truck vendors and free beers.
Wednesday, May 8—Bike to School Day.
Get to school the fun way—on two wheels! Why wait in car drop off lines when you can pedal to class.
Saturday, May 11—Concert on the Creek.
Smart Trips is celebrating National Bicycle Month by taking a spin to Ai Weiwei’s Forever Bicycles sculpture. Riders will be treated to a truly unique musical experience and fun workshop!
Wednesday, May 15—Ride of Silence.
Friday, May 17—Bike to Work Day.
Join the crowd and beat the traffic! Bike to work and have fun stopping at fueling stations around town on your way in. We’re a fueling station here at the shop, so come by and grab a doughnut and a coffee. After work, swing by the Bike to Work Day after party at Cheer Up Charlie’s where you can win door prizes, including ACL passes!
Saturday, May 18—Mellow Johnny's 11th Anniversary Party.
Stop by the shop from 11 am to 2 pm for free burgers (while supplies last), beer samples from Hi Sign Brewing, and birthday cake! DJ Madcoins will be here spinning tunes.
Wednesday, May 22—City of Austin Bicycle Advisory Council (BAC) Advocacy Gathering.
Taking advantage of the National Bike Month, BAC organized this meeting with the purpose of advising the city of Austin and other surrounding regions on all matters related to using a bicycle.
Saturday, May 18—Bike the Woodlands Day.
You can head on to the Woodlands to experience the community’s tradition of celebrating this month-long national event. There’s a myriad of fun activities for bicyclists of all ages and skill levels.
This is actually the community’s highlight of celebrating this national event, where there is something for everyone who loves to ride. Most activities are held at Northshore Park. Here, you will find colourful exhibits by local bicycle clubs, bike shops, and other supporters of the National Bike Month.
The event will also include demonstrations for maintaining bicycles, covering the basics such as repairing a flat tire and other bike parts. Other activities include discussions on bike safety, bike rodeos, live music performances, and children's activities.
Saturday, May 18—Bike.
Held in Alamo, this event is dedicated to educating the community about life in riding a bicycle, being part of a cycling community, and promoting a healthier, safer lifestyle through cycling. This gathering is hosted by the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Main Plaza Conservancy.
May 1 – September 30—National Bike Challenge.
his cycling challenge is an event celebrated nationwide, uniting thousands of new and existing bicyclists across the country to ride in a friendly competition. The goal is to promote and celebrate the sport of biking.
During the event, all riders are encouraged to show their support for a bike-friendly country. Registered riders and social cycling teams are free to compete to grab the top spot.