National Bike to Work Day is celebrated annually on the third Friday of May, which will be on May 19 this year. We enjoy this day because we wish our work commute would vanish into a fiery abyss somewhere. This day seeks to encourage us to switch to bicycles for our daily commute, and we are grateful for it! Emphasis on safety awareness for cyclists and other commuters is another important aspect of this celebration.
The background of National Bike to Work Day
The League of American Bicyclists designated Bike to Work Day as a portion of Bike to Work Week, which itself is a portion of National Bike Month. As a means to raise awareness of the health benefits of daily cycling, the day was established.
Bicycles as we know them were not invented until the late 19th century. Prior to that, a two-wheeled, steerable contraption created by German Baron Karl von Drais de Sauerbrun was commonplace for a limited period. This machine was known as the’velocipede,’ ‘hobby-horse,’ ‘draisine,’ and ‘trotting machine,’ and it earned Von Drais the title of ‘father of the bicycle’ from many. However, the famous poet John Keats was not particularly impressed by this invention. He referred to it as the “nothing of the day”
Later inventors, including Frenchmen Pierre Lallement and Pierre and Ernest Michaux, utilised von Drais’s invention as a basis for their own innovations. They created prototypes that featured pedals attached to the front tyre. These were the initial bicycles. Later, inventors such as Eugène Meyer and James Starley enhanced this model by adding a larger-than-normal front wheel. These models fueled the bicycle craze in Europe and the United States and led to the formation of cycling organisations and competitions. A bike with a four-foot-high saddle was popular for a time, the first iteration of the’safety bike’ was introduced, etc., laying the foundation for the modern bicycle.
Each year, local, regional, and national bicycle advocacy groups encourage individuals to commute by bicycle.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT BIKE TO WORK DAY
In 2012 and 2013, eleven Boulder, Colorado businesses provided complimentary breakfasts to more than 1,000 National Bike to Work Day participants.
In 2012, Ziggy’s, a local cycling club in Kitchener, Ontario, donated 12 commuter bikes to individuals who participated in National cycling to Work Day and blogged about it.
On Bike to Work Day, the commuter rail network Metrolink in southern California provides free transportation to cyclists.
National Bike to Work Day participants in Chicago once received complimentary balaclavas and tune-ups.
The Dutch top the list with 30%, followed by the Japanese with 15%.
NATIONAL BIKE TO WORK DAY DATES