Celebrate Bike Month and Take Ride

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Tompkins Weekly 4-27-15

By Jonathan Maddison

May is National Bike Month. Throughout the month, Tompkins County residents of all ages can get involved in Tompkins County’s growing bike movement.

Streets Alive!, on May 3rd, will open more than a mile of streets to people walking, biking and rolling (and close the streets to cars). The event route runs along Cayuga Street from Boynton Middle School all the way to Court St. and down to GIAC, where Cinco de Mayo performances and food from diverse Latin American cultures will be found.

Streets Alive! is an opportunity to bike, walk, talk, dance and build community in Ithaca’s neighborhoods. Some of the highlights of this May’s event are a Cargo Bike Fair, Dancing in the Streets, Ryan Zawel & Haiti Horns (a brass marching band), a Bike Rodeo and Helmet Giveaway, and a Food Truck Round Up.

National Bike to Work & School Day is on May 15th. Join hundreds of others commuting to work by bike for a free breakfast at any of several Breakfast Stations from 7:00am -10:00am in downtown Ithaca, Cornell University and around Tompkins County on May 15th. At each station you can enter to win prizes provided by Ithaca Carshare, Way2Go, Cornell Transportation and other local sponsors. For youth interested in biking or walking to school, the Ithaca Youth Bureau will be launching youth bike and walk educational activities as part of the City of Ithaca’s Safe Routes to School program in May. Learn more about these opportunities by contacting Kim Olsen, kolsen@cityofithaca.org or 607-273-8364.

Join bicyclists in the Ithaca Festival Parade on May 28th. Boxy Bikes is organizing the “Ithaca Bikes Together” as part of the Ithaca Festival Parade. Everyone is invited to ride their bike in the parade. The Meeting location will be announced at boxybikes.com. You can sign up with laurence@boxybikes.com or just show up.

If you have a flat, rusty chain or want to learn some bike repair skills there are plenty of opportunities in May and for the rest of the Summer. There are great bike shops around the County (see the Finger Lakes Cycling Club’s website for a directory of shops). Ithaca also has two ongoing community bike repair spaces that offer tools and skilled advice. Recycle Ithaca’s Bicycles (RIBS) is a community bike program out of the Southside Community Center. Located on 520 W. Buffalo Street, RIBS has an open shop on the following days: Tuesday 5:30 to 7:30, Thursday – 5:30 to 7:30pm, Saturday – 11am to 1pm. In Fall Creek, the Friends Bike Clinic is a free weekly bike repair gathering on Sunday 1 to 3pm from April through September. The clinics are located on the Quaker Meetinghouse deck on Madison and Third Street in Ithaca.

Biking is a great way to make friends and spend time together. Finger Lakes Cycling Club (FLCC) hosts regular group bike rides. Every Thursday a group meets at 5:30 at the Cayuga Professional Center for a “slow” bike ride for new cyclists or casual bicyclists. The FLCC also hosts a longer group bike ride on Saturday, visit flcycling.org for more information.

For the entire month of May, you can keep track of your bike commute using zimride.com/tompkins and win prizes for participating as part of the Tompkins County Commuter Challenge. The Tompkins County Commuter Challenge is a yearlong effort to encourage employers, commuters and the community to use sustainable transportation options and alternatives to driving alone like biking to work. The Challenge is powered by Cornell Transportation and Way2Go. Learn more at tccommuterchallenge.com

For more information:

Jonathan Maddison is the Program Manager of Way2Go, a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County. For information about getting around Tompkins County safely, affordably and comfortably contact Way2Go at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County at (607)-272-2292, or Staff@Way2Go.org.

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