May is National Bike Month – an event sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. The first National Bike Month took place in 1956, with the mission of showcasing the many benefits of bicycling — and encouraging more folks to give biking a try.
With a month full of events and activities nationwide, the main course will be Bike-To-Work-Day taking place on Friday, May 21st, at the end of Bike-To-Work-Week (May 17-23, 2021). With a focus on individual and community wellbeing, we’ll be highlighting how you can get your co-workers or employees involved; and show them how they can be part of a movement for safer streets, connected communities, a healthier planet, and happier people.
How to Celebrate "Bike To Work Week"
Get Your Co-Workers or Employees Involved
Whether you are working remotely or going into work, find creative ways to get your co-workers involved! In either case, you can start by creating a Strava Club for your workplace, send out invites, and show them how to log in and join.
Help those who don’t own bikes find rentals and loaner bikes; guide them in choosing the best roads and paths for their commute; and encourage them to take their time and enjoy the ride. Focus on making it fun rather than competitive, and sell them on the many benefits of bicycling.
For those working remotely, apps like Strava or Komoot will be great for keeping everyone engaged. Give people the option of cycling indoors (on a stationary bike or trainer) and walking or running for those who don’t own bikes (this goes for non-remote as well). Make it as easy as possible for everyone to get involved, by, for example, setting low minimums of 10 to 15 minutes of biking, walking, or running per day.
And don’t forget to set a rewards system. More on this later.
Spread the Word On Bike To Work Week Activities and Events
A quick online search should give you a list of events or a calendar of activities happening in your community. Visit the website of your local bicycling coalition for more information and ideas on how to get involved. Find the events that may interest you and your co-workers, and save them to your calendar; maybe create some of your own!
Get everyone in the spirit of starting to bike to work by creating hype around these events on the weeks and days prior, and set reminders on your work calendar or Slack channels.
Organize a Bike Commute 101 Class
Most likely, many in your workplace will be new to cycling and perhaps a bit intimidated by the idea of biking to work. Help novice riders get ready to roll by teaching them everything from choosing a bike and route, the road rules, and what to wear. While you can certainly teach a short Biking 101 class during a meeting, it may be more effective to lead a quick, safe ride and show them what to expect. If the class must be held inside, consider making a PowerPoint or recording a presentation and posting it for those who cannot attend.
Don’t forget to talk a bit about equipment and accessories that could make everyone’s ride smoother. Helmets, fenders, bike lights, and even a bike bag to carry your work essentials and avoid a sweaty back. Check out our collection of trunk bags and panniers , as they are our most work-friendly bike bags.
Here are some videos for ideas for what to address in your 101 class:
Organize a BikePool Program
Reach out to existing bike commuters at work to find out where they’re biking from, what routes they follow, and how long it takes them to get to work. Ask if anyone would be willing to lead a bikepool group, and spread out the leadership responsibilities for the month or week. If this works out well, it could potentially turn into a year-round thing.
Here are 4 Easy Steps to Start a Bikepool Program. If your office is still working remotely, make it virtual with Zwift, or consider meeting up for short lunch rides with coworkers that may live in your area.
Create Challenges and a Rewards System
Competition is an excellent tool for engaging riders and even get other neighboring companies to join in the challenge—with prizes for most miles or days biked. Aside from Strava and Komoot, you can also use the National Bike Challenge as a platform to keep track of individual riders and reward the winners.
We love these Bike Bingo Cards created by the Bike League. Feel free to use them or create your own!
While Bike Month is full of “appetizers,” be sure to put time into planning the big day and make a party out of it. Check in with your bicycle coalition and perhaps sign up to host an “energizer station,” a table or tent set up along the route staffed by volunteers that cheer on cyclists as they pass and offer coffee and baked goods.
Organize A Bike-To-Work-Day Finish Line Breakfast!
Make a big deal out of it! For some of your co-workers, this may have been their first time biking to work, or perhaps the most they have ever cycled. Creating a party atmosphere helps send the message that biking is indeed energizing and a lot of fun. Here are some ideas:
A finish line: Make an actual finish line for riders to cross and get everyone else involved in cheering. No need to be fancy here; a simple ribbon or chalk line will do. Get creative!
Food and coffee: Coffee is life for many cyclists and work-a-holics alike! Pre-order a box of coffee from your local coffee shop (hey, they may even want to sponsor your event! So plan ahead.), and don’t forget some baked goods are always a great source of motivation to bike to work and excellent after-ride food.
Swag: Have a little something to give out to everyone who participated. This can be as simple and fairly low cost as an “I biked” sticker, customized t-shirts with your company’s logo, or funny socks to remember the day.
Bike-to-Work doesn’t have just to be one day a year. This “holiday” is the perfect excuse to encourage others to keep riding in the following months. Bike-to-Work-Day is often the gateway into bike commuting and even more serious cycling!
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