To mark National Bike Month, the Office of Sustainability is seeking to combat climate change and promote physical health by encouraging students to, well, bike everywhere. According to Program Manager Elissa Gordon, “[Bellevue College’s] annual greenhouse gas report continually shows that [commuting by car] is our largest contribution of greenhouse gas emissions….Biking is one of the alternative forms of transportation our office works on encouraging, and Bike Everywhere Month is an excellent platform to spread the word about [its benefits].”
To promote bicycling, the office will be holding the following events:
- A biking competition where participants use a form to record how many miles they biked over the course of May. The three with the highest numbers will win bike accessories.
- A workshop about bikes on May 30 with Seattle non-profit Cascade Bicycle Club called “Maintenance for Every Commuter,” where participants can learn about bikes themselves. Afterwards, they can receive recommendations on repair and maintenance.
- A public stand on campus on May 31 which will provide giveaways and resources to encourage people to bike more.
The Office of Sustainability provides a list of biking trails in our surrounding area on their website for both participants in the cycling challenge and those who are generally interested. These include trails in Bellevue, Seattle, Kirkland, Issaquah, Renton, and other parts of King and Snohomish Counties as well. There is also a link to “Choose Your Way Bellevue,” a website dedicated to supporting alternative transportation to cars, which lists various local events for May, such as a biking class on May 27 at the local library. Finally, there is information concerning state biking laws and maintenance information.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, BC conducted events for National Bike Month with other groups in King County. There was a stand on-campus that provided drinks and snacks to students, staff and faculty who commuted by bike. National Bike Month was established in 1956 by the bicycling activist group League of American Bicyclists, which has promoted the month ever since. The League claims that its advocacy was vital in the eventual creation of the National Highway System in the 1950s.
Gordon hopes that Bike Everywhere Month will “…foster an interest and enjoyment in bicycling and encourage students, staff, and faculty to at least try commuting to BC by it.” She also said that participation is a “great way to get involved on campus, learn a new skill, to get around, or simply have fun”.
World Bicycle Day, made official by the United Nations in 2018, occurs on June 3. Feel free to ride your bike then as well!