How to make Bike Month matter in Portland

How to make Bike Month matter in Portland

Great idea from Portlander Russ Roca: when you
patronize a bike-friendly business this month, draw a bike on
the receipt and share a social-media photo to thank them.
(Photo: The Path Less Pedaled)

Much like Arbor Day, and for basically the same reasons, National Bike Month has long been a bigger deal in Nebraska than it is in Portland.

But, though it’s a little harder to spot around here, May is indeed Bike Month in the United States. And there are lots of great ways to celebrate it locally.

First, here’s a wonderful idea from Russ Roca of The Path Less Pedaled: All this month, patronize businesses that you know to be bike-friendly, and thank them for it by drawing a little picture of a bike on your receipt. Then share a photo of the receipt on your favorite social media account with the hashtag #bikenomics.

Here’s Roca’s pitch:

A lot of the great changes that are happening in our cities is because of the work of passionate advocates – but they do not operate in a vacuum. Supportive businesses and business improvement districts are also helping accelerate change, and this month we’d love to flip the script a little. …

Let’s give thanks to the businesses that support biking this month! Let’s frequent the restaurants, pubs, hotels, and retail shops that are supportive of bicycling. I had a creative writing professor tell me that “it’s always better to show than tell,” so in that vein draw a little bicycle icon or thank them for supporting bicycling on their receipts this month and take a photo of it and share it. If you are on Instagram or Twitter, tag it with #bikenomics. If you are on neither, you can email us the photo and we can post it for you.

Including the social media handle of the business in question might be a great way to spread the idea.

The City of Portland is organizing lots of events for bike month: most notably the first Sunday Parkways of the year, in East Portland on Mother’s Day, May 11th, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in East Portland. Other great stuff on their docket includes a free “Quick Fix” event at SE Lincoln Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue on Tuesday, May 6th from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. It’s a great way to get your chain lubed up and your tires pumped for peak commute season.

On May 16, Regence Blue Cross-Blue Shield is hosting the free Portland Employers Bike Summit, an afternoon mini-conference for employers looking to get and share ideas for supporting their bike-commuting employees. We’re one of the sponsors. If you get your boss to show up and they credit you for getting them to go, I’ll personally send you a prize. (It’s a surprise, but I promise you’ll like it.)

Every May, Portland State University (one of the nation’s seven bike-friendliest, according to the League of American Bicyclists) organizes its Bike to PSU Challenge, which lets students and employees compete, in teams or solo, to log the most miles or trips. Here’s a PSUer who won a new bike in a contest by the Bike Hub, the university’s on-campus bike shop:

Here’s to another bike month in Portland — a time I always try to use as an opportunity to be grateful that I’m about to get a whole summer’s worth of the warm, dry weather that Nebraska (among other states back east) only sees for about four weeks.

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