May is National Bike Month, when hardcore cycling enthusiasts and newbies alike can enjoy a bevy of bike-related activities, deals, and discounts across the country (and why not make a mini-vacation out of it, with a visit to one of these top bike-friendly cities?). Here, some of our favorite offerings – saddle up and strap on your helmet for a month of fun on two wheels.
Now, travelers can tap into each city’s respective bikes-and-beer culture while exploring things on two wheels, thanks to partnerships with breweries and local bike companies. The Nines package, which starts at $269, includes accommodations in the landmark Meier & Frank Building, two rental bikes or a tandem bike to share, Portland walking and biking maps, two Fat Tire Beers from Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing, plus two local microbrews, house-made chips, and roasted nuts. Visitors will also snag a New Belgium gift bag with the brewery’s famous bike bell and bottle opener. Guests booking the package are entered into a drawing to win a New Belgium Cruiser bike, as well. The deal runs through September 2. To book visit the site or call (877) 229-9995 and mention booking code BNBPKG.
At the Renaissance, the package, which starts at $200, includes accommodations in the historic Beaux-Arts hotel, two welcome craft beers from local Goose Island Brewery, and two full-day bike rentals with a backpack lunch for two. (Side note for cycling in Chicago: The city has launched a new bike safety campaign, with newly proposed fines for motorists who "door" a cyclist.) To book, visit their site or call (312) 447-0955 and mention the "Bikes & Brews" package.
New York City Events:
The city’s boroughs are bursting with bike-centric events. For a good reason to visit Queens, plus a respectable 13-mile ride, pedal up to the Queens Botanical Gardens in Flushing. Anyone who arrives on two wheels will get a 50 percent discount on admission (from $4 to $2) throughout May. Another must-do event for budget-minded bike enthusiasts: The May 11 Brooklyn Bike Jumble, an outdoor bike market in Washington Park that draws vendors from all over the Northeast to sell new and used adult and children’s bikes, accessories, and all sorts of memorabilia. During May, the City of New York Parks and Recreation also has planned other events, including various Learn to Ride programs at multiple locations throughout the city.
Bikes & Bytes, Boulder, Co.:
Calling all Boulder-area bike and tech geeks: On May 14, the first annual Bikes & Bytes event, a competition to develop bicycle-themed mobile or web applications in three hours or less, will kick into high gear. Those who ride their bike to the free event can snag some great swag, as well as enjoy contests, roller races, and an awards ceremony – categories include "Longest Bike Commute" and "Most Tricked Out Commuter Bike" – and, of course, beer, will entertain the non-coders in attendance.
Other National Bike Month Events:
- Global Women's Cycling Day: Organized by grassroots group Cyclofemme, this annual event includes more than 200 women-centric rides (though "manbassadors" are encouraged to participate, too) across the globe for Mother's Day on May 12.
- Bike to Work Week and Day: Devoted car-free commuters can participate the entire week of May 13–17, while newbies can join in the fun on May 17, when local bike groups are sponsoring various events.
- Ride of Silence: On Wednesday, May 15, bike organizations across the country will participate in a Ride of Silence to honor cyclists killed or injured.