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Bike Month rolls in

Two-wheeled transportation celebrated all month with a range of bike-related events

Cyclists, rejoice! May 1 officially ushered in Bike Month, an international holiday that Humboldt County takes very seriously. Events will be happening all month long and a variety of businesses have stepped up, offering discounts and special deals for those who arrive by pedal-power.

Oona Smith is a member of the Bike Month Humboldt Coalition, an informal group of bike enthusiasts and advocates that helps curate the events and deals being offered. She was tabling at the Trails Summit held last weekend in the Kate Buchanan Room, and said to many participants that “every month is bike month.”

“Our goal is to normalize biking as a convenient, fun and accessible form of transportation,” Smith said. “Not enough people use bikes for those short, one to three mile trips that are beyond a reasonable walking distance.”

One event that Smith expects to have a large turnout is Arcata’s bike-to-work day which takes place on Thursday, May 9. All you have to do to participate is ride your bike to work, but early birds or those in need of bike maintenance will want to make it out to the Arcata Co-Op from 7-9 that morning. A pop-up station will be offering free breakfast snacks and coffee for riders and free tune-ups if your ride has been acting up recently.

A similar event will be held at the Eureka Co-Op on Thursday, May 16. There will also be a rally at noon on May 6 where cyclists can congregate in the Arcata Plaza for food, fun and bike tune-ups courtesy of Revolution Bikes.

A variety of bike-friendly-businesses are offering their own special deals and discounts to celebrate this month. Highlights include Los Bagels offering free coffee and Richards’ Goat Tavern and Tea Room offering 25 percent off your tab if you mention Bike Month, both of these deals available May 5-11.

Other events like a bike film festival, kid’s bike rodeo and an array of morning “pancake” rides with a complimentary breakfast will be happening throughout the rest of the month. Details for these events can be found on the Bike Month Coalition website at bikemonthhumboldt.org.

The other major component of National Bike Month is the National Bike Challenge. Participants can register at the Bike Month Coalition website and use a tracking app like Strava to track the miles they travel by bike over the course of the month. The team or individual who logs the most miles wins a litany of discounts and prizes from local businesses.

Last year Humboldt riders were able to log over 31,000 miles in just this one month. Thanks to an especially quick start this year, Smith thinks that Humboldt cyclists can collectively track more than 35,000 miles before the end of the month.

Smith thinks that commuting by bike is not just a fun way to stay fit, but a way to de-stress on the way to work. She thinks it’s important for the future of our planet.

“Cars should be the exception, not the go-to. We can’t treat our planet that way,” Smith said. “Bikes bring a quality of life that many haven’t been exposed to. They’d be surprised at the joy and freedom of simply riding a bike.”

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