Got Wheels?

Riding into spring

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I’m not a hard-core bicyclist—you won’t find me pedaling through snow or sleet, or barreling down wicked-steep trails on Galbraith—but in the spring and summer I don’t let a few raindrops stop me when it’s time to hop on my trusty sky-blue Trek cruiser and make my way from my York neighborhood residence to various points in downtown Bellingham or Fairhaven. In fact, even if it turns out to be a little wet this week, I plan on taking part in at least one of the following three bike-related events.

Last year’s Bike to Work & School Day did not feature clear skies, but that didn’t stop more than 9,000 cyclists of varying ages from stopping by the many Whatcom County “celebration stations.” I, too, got in on the action, and was duly rewarded. In addition to scoring a free bagel and beverage at the temporary station in front of the Public Market, the cowbell-ringing volunteers also handed out reflective gear, information about the many bicycling resources in the area, and an “I Biked to Work” sticker that I proudly wore to the office. Although the purpose of the 17th annual event—which this year happens from 6:30-9:30am Fri., May 16—is to draw attention to a highly energy-efficient form of transportation, there’s definitely a festive vibe that runs through the event. Drop by one of the more than two dozen hubs from Bellingham to Blaine and find out for yourself. Even if you don’t want free baked goods or other swag, make a stop so you, too, can be counted. More info: http://www.biketoworkandschoolday.org

In 1979, 15 kids with disabilities learned to ski at the Summit at Snoqualmie, and, not long afterward, the Outdoors for All Foundation   was founded. Decades later, the nonprofit continues to offer a plethora of recreation opportunities for more than 2,000 participants a year. For example, the group will partner with the City of Bellingham, Everybody Bike, and the St. Joseph Hospital Center for Rehabilitation for the annual Adaptive Cycle Expo from 11am-2pm Sat., May 17 at Bellingham’s Civic Field. They’ll be bringing a small fleet of adaptive cycles to the track for participants to try out—including hand cycles, tandem cycles and three- and four-wheeled bikes—and those who attend will be able to test them. Both kids and adults are welcome at the free event, and Outdoors for All Foundation volunteers will help them select the right rides. More info: (360) 788-6494 or http://www.everybodybike.com

I don’t have too far to commute when I travel from home to work—it takes me less than 10 minutes to get to the office, and another 15 or so if I continue on to Fairhaven—but I’m considering expanding my routine routes to take in more of the scenery (and give my thighs a more thorough workout). An upcoming Get Ready to Bike Your Drive: Bicycle Commuting Basics clinic happening at 6pm Tues., May 20 at REI may help me do so. “Commuting doesn’t only mean riding your bike to and from work,” a class description says, “commuting is getting out and riding your bike.” In addition to helping people understand why they ride, the workshop will also focus on the benefits of bike commuting, essential gear, safety and responsibility, dressing for success and how to get started “biking your drive.” The class is free, but those who are interested in attending should sign up in advance. More info: (360) 647-8955 or http://www.rei.com

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