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Archive for May, 2015

Lauren Havens of the Sitka School District's LiveWell Program and Doug Osborne of the Sitka Community Hospital Health Promotion program hang a banner on the Crescent Harbor basketball court fence on Thursday (April 30) to promote National Bike Month in May. A full slate of events for the month is planned in Sitka. On Saturday the Rotary Club of Sitka hosts the annual Sitka Bike Rodeo at 11 a.m. at U.S. Coast Guard-Air Station Sitka. Wednesday, May 6, is National Bike to School Day, May 11-15 is National Bike to Work Week, and Friday, May 15, is National Bike to Work Day. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Lauren Havens of the Sitka School District’s LiveWell Program and Doug Osborne of the Sitka Community Hospital Health Promotion program hang a banner on the Crescent Harbor basketball court fence on Thursday (April 30) to promote National Bike Month in May. A full slate of events for the month is planned in Sitka. On Saturday, May 2, the Rotary Club of Sitka hosts the annual Sitka Bike Rodeo at 11 a.m. at U.S. Coast Guard-Air Station Sitka. Wednesday, May 6, is National Bike to School Day, May 11-15 is National Bike to Work Week, and Friday, May 15, is National Bike to Work Day. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

National Bike Month kicked off today (Friday, May 1), and Sitka residents are encouraged to find ways to get out and ride your bike this month.

2015NationalBikeMonthFlierWe posted a schedule of National Bike Month events in April, and we’ll continue to post details for individual events as we receive more information. So far our schedule includes the Sitka Bike Rodeo for kids, National Bike to School Day, our annual National Bike to Work Week drawing for those who commute to work or school by bike, our annual National Bike to Work Day pancake breakfast, a series of walking and biking safety assessments, a series of school presentations on bike safety to kids, the Julie Hughes Triathlon, a Southeast Alaska Independent Living-ORCA program bike day, and the Sitka Community Bike Ride and Cookout.

Gov. Bill Walker has gotten behind the cycling community and has issued state proclamations honoring National Bike Month. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities issued press releases about National Bike Month and National Bike to School Day.

NationalBikeChallenge2015PosterIn addition, Sitka cyclists are encouraged to join with thousands of others from around the country as they ride in the third annual National Bike Challenge, a free event that runs from May 1 through Sept. 30.

Cyclists can ride as individuals, for their workplaces or on other teams, and the mileage they log also will help their cities and states in the rankings. This event launched in 2012, but some changes this year and last year will make it easier for people to participate. The challenge was extended a month last year, so it now is five months long and covers the entire summer. The 2015 goal is for 75,000 cyclists around the country to ride 35 million miles from May 1 through Sept. 30.

Participants can record the miles of their commute to work, as well as logging their various errands around town and pleasure rides, just so long as they ride an actual bike. It doesn’t count if people use exercise bikes or other machines.

It’s easy to participate. Just go to the website, create a profile and log in your miles. You also can join teams from the website. For those of you with smartphones, there are three apps available for free for iPhone, Android and several other devices, and their global-positioning system tracking will record your workouts directly into your profile. The apps also will record workouts in other sports besides cycling, such as walking, kayaking, and even dancing.

There already are several teams in Alaska, including one called Sitka Cyclists that Sitka residents can join. Two years ago we also had a couple of workplace teams, including a team from the University of Alaska Southeast Sitka Campus, and more Sitka teams are encouraged so we can get a little friendly competition going. For those who miss the May 1 start date, if you’ve been riding you can back-record your workouts so long as you create a profile before the end of May. There are monthly prizes (awarded by random draw to cyclists nationwide who score a certain number of points), and additional prizes at the end of the contest.

• 2015 National Bike Month list of Sitka events (PDF flier to print and post)

• 2015 National Bike Challenge poster (PDF flier to print and post)

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