PIQUA — In anticipation of May — National Bike Month — Bike Piqua is preparing for a number of events to take place to promote bicycle safety, as well as utilizing cycling as an alternate means of transportation.
“Bike Piqua is an organization that advocates, promotes, and creates bicycle awareness,” Jim Hemmert, president of Bike Piqua, said.
Starting off the month, certified League Cycling Instructors Chris Schmiesing, Jeff Lange, and Hemmert will cover the Smart Cycling curriculum prepared by the League of American Bicyclists to teach adult cyclists the rules of riding bicycles on the street and to help them feel comfortable doing so. These two sessions will be held at the Piqua Branch of the YMCA on May 1 and 3 from 5-7:30 p.m. The cost is $25.
“It’s for adults to get more adults feeling safer riding on the street,” Hemmert said.
Next, the city’s annual bike blessing will be held at individual churches. “Each church will pick a day when they bless bicycles, scooters, skateboards … any human-powered transportation,” Hemmert said. “We will be spreading that transportation blessing much wider.”
Hemmert encouraged residents to contact their church to see when they will hold their own bike blessing.
On May 13, certified League Cycling Instructors will be on hand at the Kiwanis Bicycle Rodeo for Kids from 9 a.m. to noon at Washington Primary School, located at 800 N. Sunset Drive.
“Our plan is to, each year, be in a different section of town,” Hemmert said.
Piqua High School Key Club members will lead the rodeo with assistance from certified League Cycling Instructors. They will help kids learn and practice cycling techniques, including starting and stopping, riding in a straight line, scanning while riding their bike, quick stopping, dodging rocks, avoidance weaves, and more. Overall, there will be different league cycling features.
“Each one of these has a definite safety purpose,” Hemmert said. “We’re going to make it fun, but it has a definite purpose.”
The Piqua Police Department will also be at the rodeo to register bicycles, along with AAA and Ohio State Highway Patrol representatives to encourage safe bicycling practices.
May is also Bike to Work and Bike to School Month, with Bike Piqua conducting the Silver Pedal Challenge to see which school, individual, large business, and small business logs the most miles riding their bikes to work and/or school. Those interested can participate by registering to join the Active Piqua Bike Challenge, creating a profile with Bike Piqua and a team, workplace, and/or school that one selects or creates on nationalbikechallenge.org. After signing up on the website, Hemmert explained that they should be able to locate Bike Piqua through entering their zip code and/or entering “Bike Piqua.”
For more information, people can follow and/or contact Bike Piqua on Facebook. Those who wish to join can get a free T-shirt.
“It’s not a bike club,” Hemmert said about Bike Piqua, explaining that they are an advocacy group to encourage more bicycle-friendly infrastructure and using bicycles as alternate means of transportation for every day tasks.
“If there’s a possibility to enhance bicycle infrastructure, that’s what we do,” Hemmert said.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336