For the past 63 years, May has been officially designated as Bike Month around the nation. We’re not surprised—May has an average high temperature of 55 degrees in Alaska, 76 in Baltimore, and 72 in Boise (just a few of the locations home to Kittelson offices). What better time to get outside on two wheels?

While we believe in celebrating the health, economic, environmental, and social benefits of cycling year-round, Kittelson staff around the country are counting down the days until the month this celebration is official. Here are a few reasons why.

Why Pick Up Your Bike?

We were inspired by these statistics on biking from People for Bikes, The League of American Bicyclists, and Streetsblog USA:

  • People who walk and bike are more likely to enjoy the trip. (source)
  • Cyclists can be exposed to less airborne pollution than auto drivers. (source here and here)
  • Biking and walking is correlated with reduced cardiovascular disease and diabetes. (source)
  • On average, cyclists live two years longer than non-cyclists. (source)
  • Choosing to bike rather than drive reduces carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions. (source here and here)

Along with these statistics, traveling via bicycle opens people up to greater community connection, which is linked to overall happiness and well-being. There are many reasons to pick up your bike in May!

Ways to Participate in Bike Month 2019

If cycling is outside your normal routine, don’t be intimidated. There are many fun and easy ways you can take part in the action.

  • Bike some or all of your commute to work. If the mileage is daunting, bring your bike on a bus or train partway, then finish the commute on two wheels.
  • Take a weekend bike ride with a family member or friend. Pick a scenic destination and travel by bike rather than car! Use this as an opportunity to introduce your family to the excitement of cycling, along with rules of the road to encourage safe cycling behavior.
  • Bike to School Day is May 8, and Bike to Work Day is May 17. See what your city or community is doing to support participation (hint: there may be free food or coffee involved).
  • Research other group rides in your community. Many cities will host cycling events in the month of May, from the DC Bike Ride and New York’s Five Boro Bike Tour to more casual events at parks or trails in your community.
  • Don’t have a bike? No problem! There may be other options available to you, including bike share and short-term rentals from your local bike shop. A colleague may even be willing to loan you an extra!

Follow the Kittelson Bike Challenge

Twice a year, Kittelson staff engage in a friendly competition to encourage one another to trade in automobile trips for bike rides. Kittelson’s Spring 2019 Bike Challenge aligns with Bike Month every year, running from May 1 to May 31 (photos from last year below). We encourage all staff who are interested to take part in Bike Month and log their trips, whether it’s 5 miles for the month or 500.

Last fall, Nick Gross from our Portland office clocked in at 426 miles and was the lucky recipient of the new Kittelson bike month trophy (pictured left). Our Boston office topped the charts for staff involvement, boasting an 83% participation rate. But May 1 is a fresh start—who will it be this year?

Make sure you’re following Kittelson on Facebook and Instagram to catch our biking photos from the month of May! We also encourage you to post your own Bike Month photos using #BikeMonth to inspire and encourage your own followers.

We’re counting down the days to May. Top off those tires and pick up your bike with us during Bike Month!