May is national bike month, and it’s become such a big deal in the South Sound that 31 days aren’t enough to contain all the festivities.
Activities spill into April and June. Most are kid friendly, some involve beer, and others offer chances to win prizes. Here are some highlights:
Blessing of the Bikes: At 7:30 a.m. Friday, Tacoma’s Urban Grace Church, 902 Market St., hosts a gathering of religious leaders and cyclists.
Tacoma Bike Swap: The eighth Bike Swap starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at the University of Puget Sound’s Thompson Hall parking lot. In addition to buying and selling bikes, visitors can learn the basics of bike repair, score a free bike map and dine on Food Truck cuisine.
Commuter contests: Once Bike Month is officially rolling, so are the bicycle commuter challenges. Thurston County’s Intercity Transit hosts the 29th Bicycle Commuter Challenge where participants can win prizes for commuting by bike. In Pierce County, residents are eligible for prices if they bike at least five days in May as part of the Bike Everywhere contest. piercetrips,com, bccblog.com.
Bike polo: Tacoma Bike Polo will host a demonstration at Verlo Playfield, 4321 McKinley Ave. E., 1-5 p.m. May 1. Watch those who know what they’re doing, then give it a try. Don’t want to put your beloved bike in harm’s way? Organizers plan to have bikes and mallets available for first-timers to borrow. Bring a helmet. Visit the club’s Facebook page for more information.
Intro to Road Cycling: Capital Bicycling Club hosts clinics on Monday evenings designed to help people learn to ride safely. The clinics start at 5:30 p.m. at Lacey’s Joy Ride Bikes, 1225 Ruddell Road SE. capitalbicycleclub.org.
Bike to School: National Bike to School Day is May 4.
Wednesday Night Worlds: Enter a friendly cross-country mountain bike race ($15-$20) at North SeaTac Park. Racing starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday nights through Sept. 14. nwmtbseries.com.
Ladies/LGBT Night: Tacoma’s 2nd Cycle offers bike inspections, tips on maintenance and pizza at a 6-9 p.m. event May 6. The event is geared for women and the LGBT community. 2ndcycle.org.
Bikerobrew: Last spring, Jonathan Teeter staged two bike tours of Tacoma’s breweries. “Both went well,” Teeter said, so this year Bikerobrew events are planned for every other week starting May 7. Rides are short (about 5 miles) and visit four breweries. Registration is $55 (discounts available for students and military) and includes a headband and an adult beverage at each stop. bikerobrew.com.
CycloFemme: On May 8, women around the world will ride bikes as part of CycloFemme, a Mother’s Day event designed to celebrate women and cycling. VeloFemmes is hosting a ride on the Tacoma waterfront and Point Defiance at noon. The ride starts from Old Town Park, 2350 N. 30th St. velofemmes.wix.com.
Poker Run: The third Steel Wheel Alleycat Poker Run starts at 5:30 p.m. May 16 at 2nd Cycle, 1205 MLK Jr. Way, and visits five locations where riders must perform a task to get a card. Prizes go to those with the best hands. 2ndcycle.org.
Puyallup ride: The city of Puyallup is hosting a free ride for all ages at 10 a.m. May 14, starting from Grayland Park, 601 N. Meridian, and using the Riverwalk Trail. The ride is flat and covers about 7 miles. bike253.com.
Kidical Mass: Tacoma’s monthly family bike ride series continues at 11 a.m. May 15 with a ride from Lincoln Park to Lincoln Heights Park. The rides are designed to be kid friendly. kidicalmasstacoma.blogspot.com.
Bike to work: National Bike to Work Day is May 20.
Anderson Island Ride: Pierce County and Bike Tech sponsor a family-oriented ride on Anderson Island at 1:45 p.m. May 22. Riders arrive by ferry from Steilacoom and make the 3-mile ride uphill to the Ol’ Swimming Hole at Florence Lake. Those interested in participating should email county planner Shawn Phelps at firstname.lastname@example.org.
’50s ride: A free 7-mile ride starting at 10:30 a.m. May 28 from War Memorial Park will have a 1950s theme and include lawn bowling and ice cream. bike253.com.
Peninsula Metric: If bike month motivates you to try something a little more challenging, the Tacoma Wheelmen’s Bicycle Club hosts its 34th Peninsula Metric Century on June 5. The hilly ride has routes ranging from 36-100 miles. The ride was nearly canceled last year. TWBC president Darrell Eslinger believes the ride has suffered from an abundance of rides around the region. This year the ride, $40 to enter, will be limited to 149 participants. The club saw 530 riders turn out for its Daffodil Classic ride on April 17. twbc.org.