Bellingham is home to an astounding array of bike riders.
Some of them are clad head-to-toe in Spandex and enough assorted gear to bankrupt a small nation. Others dress for success and cinch up their work slacks so as not to get them caught in the spokes of their handy conveyances. Then there are those who ride as if they’re perpetually on the way to the beach—shorts, flip-flops and as little clothing as possible (if the sun is out, it doesn’t seem to matter that it’s only 55 degrees).
However they’re dressed, one thing is certain: Around here, people like to get on their bikes and go. Whether it’s a short jaunt to the Farmers Market or a roller-coaster ride down Galbraith, if it’s a sunny spring or summer day, you should expect to share the roads and trails with those ambulating on two wheels.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an everyday biker, a sometimes-rider or someone who’s been thinking about dusting off the vintage cruiser in the garage and joining the cycling hordes—there are plenty of events right around the corner that can make it easier to be a part of the biking community.
As part of National Bike Month, Whatcom County will be more than ready for Bike to Work & School Day, which kicks off from 6:30-9:30am Fri., May 18 at approximately 30 “celebration stations” in the area. While the bulk of them are located in Bellingham—everywhere from Sehome Village to Marine Drive to Whatcom Community College—there’ll also be welcoming committees at the Lummi Fitness Center, Lynden Public Library, Blaine Schools, the C Shop in Birch Bay, Ferndale’s Main St., and at the Nooksack Valley Middle School.
Even if you don’t have time to stick around at one of the stations for complimentary treats and beverages, pause for at least a minute or two in order to be counted. The numbers will come in handy next year, when organizers can demonstrate to nonbelievers (and city planners) just how many people in our community are biking or walking for transportation.
Additional activities will happen throughout the day, including a tricycle race at noon at Bellingham City Hall and, beginning at 5pm, an after party at the Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen.
Once you’ve biked to work and proven you can do it, the choices for social riding just keep coming. For example, even though the seasons haven’t technically changed over just yet, Everybody Bike’s Summer Rides series has already kicked off, and doesn’t show signs of slowing down until the end of August.
For those who didn’t catch wind of the series last year, the free, guided rides focus on different places and themes each week. Whether it’s the Petite Parks Tour featuring small parks and led by a Whatcom Museum historian (May 20), a Diva Ride (June 8), a Ferndale River Ride (June 17), a Birch Bay Beach Pedal (July 22), or a Lynden-based Dutch Treat Bike Ride (Aug. 5), each excursion brings with it a brand new experience.
“The real story behind these themed bike rides is that it gives an opportunity for cyclists of any skill level to participate in learning how to safely navigate our city streets with a group of other cyclists in a non-competitive guided ride,” says outreach coordinator Linda Blake. “All the rides include routes that encourage riders to explore local businesses, connecting city trails, parks and historic elements of Bellingham.”
The rides are all free and don’t require registration, so simply pick a themed outing of your choice and show up on time. As to how you dress, well, the possibilities are endless.
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