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Plenty of Reasons for Bay Staters to Pedal During National Bike Month

Whether it is riding to work, the store or just for fun, Bay Staters have plenty of riding opportunities during National Bike Month. (Mike Clifford)
Whether it is riding to work, the store or just for fun, Bay Staters have plenty of riding opportunities during National Bike Month. (Mike Clifford)
May 6, 2016

BOSTON - It's National Bike Month, offering plenty of opportunities for folks in Massachusetts to press their feet to the pedals and get on the road.

Stefanie Seskin, active transportation director for the Boston Transportation Department, runs the Boston Bikes Program.

She says they are encouraging Bay Staters to consider biking this month for all sorts of trips, whether it is to the store, to get to work or just riding for pleasure.

"Riding a bike is fun, and it's a great way to get exercise as part of your daily life," says Seskin. "It's great for the community as a whole, when you think about public health and congestion, and air-quality concerns."

One of the biggest events statewide will be Boston's National Bike to Work Day Festival that will take place May 20. A convoy will ride from Dorchester to downtown for free breakfast at City Hall Plaza.

There is no community more into biking in the state than Somerville, according to Ken Carlson chair with the Somerville Bicycle Committee.

"Somerville, for instance, is the third-highest bicycle mode share in the country," says Carlson. "We have 8 percent of our city bikes regularly to work. We are trying to build that to 15 percent by 2020, and that would make us second in the nation."

He says there is plenty of outreach all over the state this month aimed at teaching bike safety and getting more folks to hit the road by bicycle.

"We have bike commuting clinics, so I'm bringing in someone to my workplace who is basically going to be talking about basically how to bike to work safely, so a big part of this is education and encouragement," he says.

Toward the end of National Bike Month cyclists can retrace the route of Paul Revere's famous ride from Somerville to Lexington on May 22 during Bay State Bike Week.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA