Celebrate National Bike Month

Pushing the pedals on a regular basis is a great start, but if you really want to back cycling during National Bike Month, you have to make your voice heard, too. Start with these ideas.

(Kryvenok Anastasiia via Shutters)

National Bike Month: Say It Loud, Say It Proud

Friday is National Bike to Work Day, one of many events that mark the League of American Cyclists' National Bike Month, aka May. Aside from pedaling to work—which you already do—try these on for size:

Take the money and run
Ride to Washington

Be a bike ambassador
Get paid to commute
Find your posse

Take the Money and Run

Pushing the pedals on a regular basis is a great start, but if you really want to step up your game during National Bike Month, you'll have to make your voice heard, too. Start with these ideas.

(Coqrouge via Shutterstock)

The Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) is a federal program that designates $250 million that can be used to plan for, build and improve bicycle and pedestrian access to National Parks and other federal lands. To advance this program, contact your local bike coalition and work with local transportation agencies to identify eligible projects and build a broad coalition of support for funding. Each state has a unique funding process. If the application deadline has passed for your state, spread the word about this program since funding will also be available in 2014.

Ride to Washington

Pushing the pedals on a regular basis is a great start, but if you really want to step up your game during National Bike Month, you'll have to make your voice heard, too. Start with these ideas.

(Rails-to-Trails Conservancy via )

The Climate Ride is a five-day, 300-mile ride from New York City to Washington, D.C. The next east coast ride starts September 21 (if you don't need training, the next California edition -- Redwoods to San Francisco -- starts May 19). The only competitive part of this ride comes in vying against your pals to raise the most money for the cause. Funds are put toward renewable energy projects, and putting a spotlight on the need for bike-friendly roads and transportation options.

Be a Bike Ambassador

Pushing the pedals on a regular basis is a great start, but if you really want to step up your game during National Bike Month, you'll have to make your voice heard, too. Start with these ideas.

(Artens via Shutterstock)

Does it seem like drivers are purposefully trying to scare you off the road? Some might be, but a study (done by a car insurance provider, so it might be worth a grain of salt) shows that drivers failed to see more than 20 percent of the cyclists in their vicinity. Tensions between cyclists and drivers in most parts of the country are on the rise. Thankfully, the proliferation of cycle-mounted cameras has helped implicate guilty drivers, but that's not quelling the raw emotions. Assume drivers do not see you, ride defensively but not aggressively, use a bell, use bike lights and wear bright colors. Each state has slightly different traffic laws, so know yours and how to defend your rights in the event of an accident.

Get Paid to Commute

Pushing the pedals on a regular basis is a great start, but if you really want to step up your game during National Bike Month, you'll have to make your voice heard, too. Start with these ideas.

(Jym Dyer via Flickr)

Does your employer provide a safe place to secure your bike, and showers to wash off the workout to work? These amenities will not only improve your bike-commuting experience, they'll also encourage coworkers to bike commute, as well. Does your boss know the IRS allows them to make tax-free $20/month incentives for biking to work? Give a nudge to employers that haven't gotten the memo about the benefits of bike commuting, and ask them to create a biker-friendly workplace. The same goes for apartment buildings that lack good bike storage, and even your favorite stores or clubs. If you don't speak up, business owners won't feel the need to make more room for bikes.

Find your Posse

Pushing the pedals on a regular basis is a great start, but if you really want to step up your game during National Bike Month, you'll have to make your voice heard, too. Start with these ideas.

(Inhabitat via Flickr)

Bicycle coalitions play a vital role in securing better infrastructure and support for cyclists. Whether you live in a metropolis or a hamlet, there's likely a nearby bike group that could use help, doing anything from working as bike-parking valet, to assisting with membership drives, to improving websites.

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