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Gearing up for National Bike Week

The Greater Akron area will be the scene of many events marking National Bike Week to celebrate and promote cycling May 14 through May 18.

The Greater Akron area will be the scene of many events marking National Bike Week to celebrate and promote cycling May 14 through May 18.  Whatever the reason you bike – whether it’s to stay fit, save money or help the environment – there’s probably an area Bike Week event for you!  Among the events scheduled are:

Bike Friendly Kent – Monday, May 7, Kent Free Library, 6:30 p.m.: Hosted by TransPORTAGE, learn about the Bicycle Friendly Community Program and share your ideas about how to make Kent and other Portage County communities safer and easier places to bike.

Safety Check & Ride – Thursday, May 10, Lock 3, 5 p.m.: Hosted by Akron Traffic Engineer Andy Davis, a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor.  Attendees may bring their bikes to this free workshop for safety checks including advice on how to prepare for your commute, traffic skills, and route planning.  Safety checks will begin at 5 p.m. with a check-out ride beginning at 6 p.m.

Biking 101 – Thursday, May 10, Twinsburg Public Library, 7 p.m.: Sponsored by the library and the Ohio Bicycle Federation, the evening’s activities include a bike maintenance demonstration by Century Cycles followed by short presentations on various biking topics including riding around Twinsburg.  Other program participants include the Akron Bicycle Club, the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association and – of course – AMATS.

Market Street Bike-N-Brainstorm – Thursday, May 17, Hardesty Park, 6 p.m.: AMATS is hosting a workshop to discuss improving the West Market Street Corridor for cyclists.  The event consists of a bike ride along Market Street followed by brainstorming ideas afterwards.  Riders should meet at the Hardesty Park picnic shelter located at 1615 W. Market Street at 6 p.m. for a trek along Market Street.  If you can’t make the ride, then just come to the park shelter at 7:30 p.m. to discuss ideas for the corridor. 

If Bike Week doesn’t last long enough for you, then you might be interested in the following: 

The Benefits of Bicycling – Tuesday, May 22, Kent Free Library, 6:30 p.m.: Hosted by TransPORTAGE, this event presents information about the health, economic and ecological benefits of cycling.

There’s also Get Up & Ride, a challenge sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists.  This free program runs May 1 to Aug. 31 with the goal of uniting 50,000 people to bike 10 million miles.  Join a team from the Greater Akron area or ride individually.  You can meet friends and win prizes.

Check out Switching-Gears.org, our new web site for the area’s cycling community, for more details about other local rides and events.  Our site features pages devoted to Events, News, Trails and our new Bike User Map – a great resource if you plan to do on-road cycling in Portage and Summit counties.

If you are aware of other events in celebration of National Bike Week that you want to share with us, please contact AMATS at 330-375-2436 or email us at amats@akronohio.gov.  Good cycling everybody!

Before you hit the roads or the trails, please take a few minutes to watch the first of our new Ask the Experts features which accompanies this article.  These features will present useful cycling tips from area bike shop owners and personnel.  Look for new features on our Biking in the Region page and on Switching-Gears.org.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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