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May is National Bike Month!

photo of Zack Magallanez

by Zack Magallanez
May 3, 2024

May is National Bike Month – where will your bike take you this month? Did you know that more than half (52%) of all commuting trips, including all modes, are less than 3 miles? Think about that next time you leave the office to grab your shot of espresso or your lunch.

What is National Bike Month?
Group Picture of Cyclist holding signs that read show us your Bicycle. National Bike Month, observed annually in May, is a time to embrace the joy and benefits of cycling. Established in 1956 by the League of American Bicyclists, this month-long celebration encourages individuals across the United States to dust off their bikes, check their brakes, inflate their tires, and embark on a two-wheeled adventure. From leisurely rides through greenway trails to daily commutes amidst the urban setting, National Bike Month encompasses a diverse array of activities and events designed to promote cycling as a fun, accessible, and eco-friendly mode of transportation

The significance of National Bike Month extends far beyond the surface-level festivities. At its core, this annual observance serves as an important reminder of the many benefits that cycling brings to individuals, communities, and the environment. First and foremost, cycling is a powerful catalyst for physical and mental well-being. Whether you're navigating city streets or traversing greenway trails, the act of cycling promotes cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles, and boosts overall fitness levels. Additionally, cycling has been linked to reduced stress, improved mood, and enhanced cognitive function, making it a therapeutic outlet for individuals seeking solace amidst life's daily challenges. Beyond its personal health advantages, cycling also plays a pivotal role in fostering sustainable transportation solutions. In an era marked by burgeoning concerns over climate change and environmental degradation, the need for eco-friendly alternatives to driving alone has never been more pressing. By opting to commute by bike instead of relying solely on their car, individuals can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and mitigate the harmful effects of vehicular emissions on air quality and climate stability. 

The Role of the Bicycle in Reducing CO2 Emissions and SOV trips
In the quest for sustainable transportation solutions, reducing single occupancy vehicle (SOV) trips and promoting alternate modes of transportation, such as cycling, is paramount. SOV trips contribute significantly to traffic congestion, air pollution, and carbon emissions, exacerbating environmental and societal challenges. SOV trips are a leading contributor to air pollution, with vehicles emitting pollutants such as carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM) into the atmosphere. These pollutants not only degrade air quality but also pose serious health risks to individuals, particularly vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing respiratory conditions. By embracing cycling as a clean, efficient, and healthy mode of transportation, cities can alleviate congestion, improve air quality, and combat climate change, which together help foster a more livable and sustainable region for all. 

Cartoon graphic of the bottom portion of a cyclist riding a bike with a message reading Let's Ride SA

Local Context: San Antonio's Bicycle Master Plan
The update to the Bicycle Master Plan for San Antonio represents a significant milestone in the city's ongoing efforts to promote cycling as a viable and desirable mode of transportation. Building upon the foundation established back in 2011, the updated plan aims to enhance the safety, accessibility, and inclusivity of cycling infrastructure throughout the city. Central to the plan is a renewed focus on commuters, recognizing the pivotal role that cycling plays in addressing the challenges of urban mobility and reducing reliance on single-occupancy vehicles. By prioritizing the needs of commuters and integrating cycling into broader transportation planning efforts, San Antonio is laying the groundwork for a more sustainable and equitable future. 

AAMPO Celebrates National Bike Month with Planned Events 
AAMPO staff with bicyle advocates - Selfie Join the Alamo Area MPO this month as we celebrate National Bike Month. The team will be activating local greenway trails, hosting the annual Bike to Work Day event, and attending the San Antonio governments proclamation for Bike Month. If you’re interested in learning more, please visit our 2024 Bike Month webpage. Additionally, Alamo Commutes will be hosting a month-long challenge, encouraging 

Alamo Area residents to commute by bicycle to earn points toward rewards. The top four cyclists, who record the most trips in the Alamo Commutes app, will win the top prizes. To learn more about our Bike Month Challenge, visit here. Don’t have a bike you can ride, find out more about our local bike-share program here

In the Alamo Area region and beyond, the journey towards a more bike-friendly and sustainable world is underway. By investing in infrastructure, fostering community partnerships, and championing the inherent benefits of cycling, we can pave the way towards a more equitable, inclusive, and environmentally conscious society. Join the movement towards a more bike-friendly community today.