UTAH (ABC4) – May is National Bike month, and local agencies are prompting others to get outside.
According to officials, National Bike Month is a grand time to celebrate the numerous reasons people ride bicycles.
“We’re lucky to live in Utah, which is the eighth-most bike-friendly state in the country,” writes the Utah Department of Transportation. “During National Bike Month, learn more about active transportation in Utah and the unique power of the bike.”
The best thing about getting involved in national events, according to the Utah Department of Transportation, is community engagement and expanding your social circle.
“From St. George to Moab, bikers across the state will celebrate National Bike Month with their trusty steeds,” they add.
Here are a collection of biking clubs and events happening this month to get your pedals rolling.
The Beehive Bike Polo Club is a group that promotes, educates, and recruits people to the Hardcourt (HC) and Grass Bike Polo scene in the Salt Lake Valley.
“We think that this is one of the most exciting and up-and-coming cycling sports. Grass bike polo has been played in the Salt Lake area since the early ’90s. This is where I gained my love for the sport, members of our group have played in multiple grass tournaments and have also branched out to compete in the well-organized HC tournament scene,” shares group leader, Chuck Heaton.
According to Heaton, HC has been exploding on the urban scene for many big cities, and Salt Lake is headed in this direction as well.
But what is Hardcourt Bike Polo exactly? HC is a variation of traditional Bicycle Polo in which teams of players ride bicycles and use mallets to strike a small ball into a goal. Many tend to refer as “Hardcourt,” “Urban Bike Polo,” or simply “Bike Polo.”
Heaton tells ABC4 that those interested in participating in the team sport are welcome to tag along Tuesday nights around 8:00 p.m. Officials say most HC events take place near the Liberty Park area.
This group is for families who want to expand their circle and ride their bicycles in a group setting. According to the Utah Department of Transportation, this group typically goes on rides together on the first day of every month at the Southern entrance of Liberty Park from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
All ages are welcome.
“Kidical Mass SLC is a safe and FUN bike ride for kids, kids at heart, and their families. All types of bikes, trailers, trail-a-bikes, longtails, Long Johns, Bakfiets, tandems, folders, trikes, and whatever rolls are welcome,” shares the group.
According to officials, Kidical Mass was born in April of 2008 in Eugene, Oregon. The early morning brainstorm was a combination of wanting to get more kids and families excited about riding and wanting to put together an event to celebrate bike documentarian and creator of the term “Critical Mass” Ted White coming to town. They wanted to do something different than the traditional Critical Mass ride, and Shane Rhodes coined the term ‘Kidical Mass’.
Shane Rhodes, who manages the Safe Routes to Schools program for a Eugene-area school district and has been active in the bike advocacy world for 15 years, says “The bike movement has grown up, and now it has kids!”
According to group leaders, the basic guidelines go as follows:
- A short FUN route that avoids busy streets when possible
- Have some “street presence” so riders are seen and recognized
- Stay together as a group and follow all traffic safety laws
- Helmets required for children
- Treat yourself to a fun treat like icecream
- Have children involved
- Have all participants do artwork and spread the word
Hosted by Crank SLC, Salt Lake City’s first and only shop dedicated to the Urban Commuter, this event invites community members to take a slow stroll along the city.
According to officials, those interested in participating are welcome to line up behind the Crank SLC shop located at 749 S. State St. around 7 p.m. any Tuesday night.
“We want to share with the world the freedom, enjoyment and energy that comes from knowing you can go where you want, how you want, and when you want, without needing a motor or a license,” group organizers share.
For more information, bicycle enthusiasts are asked to contact Christian Clemens at 385-528-1158 or by email at email@example.com.
Are you into the paranormal and all things spooky? If so, this biking group is for you.
“We ride around Provo stopping at various haunted locations around the city. At each location, your tour guide will tell you a story that actually happened at that spot, and you get to learn more about an old city and are sure to be a little frightened in the process,” event organizers tell ABC4.
According to officials, riding around the city and learning about the history that accompanies it allows for a memorable time.
“In the spring of 2016, I was thinking one night about what I could do to help the night-life in Provo be more… lively. I wanted to start a business where I could not only create a unique brand, but also explore my passions of cycling and storytelling simultaneously. My mind went back to that chilly fall night in 2013 and the thought of opening my own bicycle tour business almost seemed too perfect. A quick search showed no other bicycle ghost tours in Provo, so I set out getting a business license, building a website, and crafting a company that I hope will bring everyone who comes enjoyment and a healthy amount of fright,” shares Derek Jacobs, founder of Pedal Provo Ghost Tours.
Another notable biking group is the Ride of Silence. The Ride of Silence is a free ride, hosted in cities worldwide, that aims to inform motorists, police, and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride also honors those who have been killed or injured.
According to the Provo chapter of the Worldwide Ride of Silence, a group ride-along will take place on May 19 to honor people who were killed or injured while biking these last several years.
“We will begin at Dixon Middle School and go for a short, slow, silent ride with brief stops at the ghost bike memorials for Doug Crow and Mark Robinson, and return to Dixon Middle School where we will have light refreshments,” the chapter tells ABC4.
Those interested are asked to meet at 6:30 p.m. at Dixon Middle School, located at 750 W. and 200 N. The ride begins at 7 p.m.
For more information, community members are asked to contact Lucy Ordaz Sanchez at 801-477-7048 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark your calendars everyone, because this is a biking event you need to sign up for! SLUG magazine is hosting its annual SLUG Cat Alleycat Bike Race on May 29.
“This exciting alleycat event features a scavenger hunt bike race that takes you all over Salt Lake City. Bike with the coolest cats you know in town, make new friends, and win awesome prizes from our local sponsors,” event organizers tell ABC4.
This event will be the magazine’s ninth annual race. According to officials, registration is open between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. The race is anticipated to begin at 5 p.m.
“Cyclists will ride around the city to collect points for their manifest. At 7 p.m., we will begin the award ceremony and cyclists can relax for a well-earned celebration.,” they add.
Community members searching for more information are asked to contact Angela Brown at 801-487-9221 or by email at email@example.com.
If there is a biking group we missed, let us know!