May is National Bike Month, and organizations across the Chattanooga area are holding events to encourage bicycling as a fun, healthy way to get around and enjoy our community.
Since 1956, May has been recognized as National Bike Month, with Bike to Work Day as a flagship event in many communities across the country, according to the League of American Bicyclists.
Local Bike Month activities include annual Bike to Work and Bike to School Days.
GreenTrips, The Chattanooga Hamilton-County Regional Planning Agency (RPA)’s award-winning transportation incentive program will again be coordinating Bike to Work Day activities, while Thrasher Elementary, Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences (CSAS) Upper and Lower Schools, and Normal Park Museum Magnet Upper and Lower Schools will host Bike to School Day events.
“This is the perfect time of year to try biking to a destination near you,” said Jonathan Gibbons, GreenTrips Coordinator. “Biking is one of the easiest ways to add a little more exercise to your routine while helping cut back on air pollution and traffic. The number of special cycling events and ongoing opportunities shows just how much fun it is to see our community on two wheels.”
In addition to Bike to Work and Bike to School events, organizations such as the Chattanooga Bicycle Club (chattanoogabicycleclub.com), the Southern Off Road Bicycle Association (sorbachattanooga.org), Team Bubba (beabubba.com), and the Velo Vixens (velovixens.net) all offer monthly socials, bike rides, various activities, and challenges.
The following events offer a great jumping on point for new bikers and an opportunity to connect with other cyclists. The list below is just a small sample of the events going on in our community during National Bike Month (please use the contact information listed for each specific event for more information):
Sat. & Sun., May 5-6 | REI’s Play Days offering free Bike Chattanooga access
Tues. & Wed., May 8 & 9 | National Bike to School Day events
Thrasher Elementary - Tues., May 8 | 7:30 am, starting from Signal Mountain Town Hall (1111 Ridgeway Ave).
Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences (CSAS) Upper and Lower Schools - Wed., May 9 | 7:30 am, starting from the Tennessee Riverpark access off of Amnicola Highway at Curtain Pole Rd (2011 Curtain Pole Rd).
Normal Park Museum Magnet Upper and Lower Schools - Wed., May 9 | 7:30 am, starting from St. Marks Church parking lot (701 Mississippi Ave).
Wed., May 16 | Bike to Lunch on the TN Riverwalk | 10:30 am - 12:30 pm | Outdoor Chattanooga (200 River Street)
Join Outdoor Chattanooga for a guided bicycle tour of the Tennessee Riverwalk extension from downtown to the foot of Lookout Mountain in historic St. Elmo. Please no training wheels, and children must be able to confidently ride a bike for this distance. Helmets are required for all riders and can be provided. Bicycles are provided from a gracious grant from Chattanooga Bicycle Club and Friends of Outdoor Chattanooga. Bring your lunch money for the stop at Crust Pizza for a soda or their lunch buffet.
Wed., May 16 | Bike Walk Chattanooga and the Jeff Roth Cycling Foundation co-host the annual Ride of Silence | 7:00 pm | Waterhouse Pavilion, Miller Plaza
Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public may not be aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.
Fri., May 18 | Bike to Work Day: Breakfast | 7:30 - 9:00 am | Waterhouse Pavilion, Miller Plaza
Join GreenTrips and other organizations in Waterhouse Pavilion for a free breakfast and panel discussion including Mayor Berke and other policymakers, businesses, and residents discussing the new safety enhancements and improvements along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
The panel discussion will be moderated by Matt Busby of the Camp House, and recorded live for inclusion in a later episode of the Camp House Podcast.
Fri., May 18 | Bike to Work Day: Lunch | 12:00 pm | Memo’s Grill (430 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.).
Sat., May 19 | Bike in the Battlefield with the National Park Service | 9:30 am | Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center
Enjoy a leisurely-paced bicycle ride with a National Park Service ranger making several stops to talk about the history of the battlefield while Outdoor Chattanooga staff provide loaner bicycles (for riders over 5ft tall) from their Mobile Bicycle Fleet at no charge, thanks to sponsorship from the Friends of the Park and the Chattanooga Bicycle Club. Reservations for these bicycles are required; contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at (706) 866-9241. The rides are considered beginner friendly and are appropriate for adults, and children ages eight and older when accompanied by an adult. Please, no training wheels. All participants are required to wear helmets. (Supported by the Friends of the Park and the Friends of Outdoor Chattanooga)
Mon., May 21 | Adaptive Cycling| 6:00 pm | The Tennessee Riverpark at the Hubert Fry Center (4501 Amnicola Hwy)
City of Chattanooga Therapeutic Recreation, SPARC and Outdoor Chattanooga offer individuals with disabilities the ability to cycle on the TN Riverwalk through the use of adaptive cycling equipment and volunteers. Please note that equipment is limited and pre-registration is REQUIRED! Contact Jerry Hightower at email@example.com or call him at 423-596-5268 to find out how you can get involved as a participant or as a volunteer.