May is Bike Month in the Heights
Since 2010, Cleveland Heights has joined with cities nationwide to celebrate May as National Bike Month.
Activities take place in and around Cleveland Heights and University Heights throughout the month, including Bike to Work Week from May 15 to 18, and the Ride of Silence—a memorial that honors those injured or killed while riding their bicycles—on May 16.
"Biking has been on the rise in the past few years in our community and across Northeast Ohio," said Steve Reinhardt, Cleveland Heights resident and head of Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC), which plays a major role in organizing Bike Month in Cleveland Heights. "Bike Month is one way we can spread the word about the safety of cycling, the health benefits of riding and the fun that biking can provide."
On May 9, all Cleveland Heights-University Heights public schools and some private and parochial schools will take part in Walk or Bike to School Day. Walking or biking to school is a good way to get exercise, and children and adolescents should get 60 or more minutes of exercise each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Research also shows that children who walk or bike to school arrive more ready to sit down and learn than children who get a ride to school.
Bike to Work Week concludes with Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 18. That morning, from 7 to 9 a.m., HBC provides free coffee, courtesy of Phoenix Coffee, and home-baked oatmeal cookies at the corner of Edgehill and Overlook roads—Northeast Ohio’s most traveled commuter bike route.
The May 16 Ride of Silence—a worldwide coordinated event—takes place each year on the third Wednesday in May. Heights-area bicyclists depart from John Carroll University's (JCU) southeast parking lot at 7 p.m. and finish in front of University Hospitals on Adelbert Road in University Circle, where they are joined for a memorial observation at about 7:30 by riders coming from the Free Stamp sculpture in downtown Cleveland. Along the route from JCU, the eastside ride progresses west along Fairmount Boulevard to North Park Boulevard, then down Grandview Avenue to drop off flowers where Cleveland Orchestra bassist Charles Barr died in a bicycle accident in 2006.
Bike Month in the Heights wraps up on June 2 with Bike Tune-Up Day at the Coventry Courtyard on the northwest corner of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard. This free event runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Experts from Hirobel, Two One Fix Bicycle, and HBC will be on hand to assess bicycles and make minor repairs. This event, presented with support from Coventry Village Special Improvement District, is first-come, first-served, so attendees are advised to arrive early—and no later than 12:30 p.m.
For more information on Bike Month, or to get involved in bicycle advocacy, visit www.bikesintheheights.org.
Heights Bicycle Coalition
Heights Bicycle Coalition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to educating and encouraging Heights community members to use bicycles as a sustainable and healthy form of transportation and recreation. This article was written by Jamison Babb and members of the coalition's communications committee.