Earth Day was founded in 1970. U.S. Senatory Gaylord Nelwo of Wisconsin called for a nationwide demonstration in the spring of 1970 aimed to raise awareness of environmental issues. It worked. The first national Earth Day was April 22, 1970.
Since 1956, National Bike Month has been celebrated every year in the US. This nationwide event aims to unite bicyclists and new riders all over the country to challenge themselves and encourage each other to stay healthy and reduce their carbon footprint by finding their reasons to ride, and advocate for better bicycle-friendly infrastructure in their communities.
This year, the NYC Department of Transportation has joined Transportation Alternatives (TA) to launch Bike Month in New York City. May will be full of challenges and competitions on a local, state and national level, such as:
- The NYC Commuter Bike Challenge: TA's search for New York's "Bikingest Workplace" spans all five boroughs and will award the workplaces that have the highest number of trips logged per challenge also has monthly prize drawings and will award winners at the end of the challenge, based on a system that awards points for each trip and miles logged. Register for the Commuter Challenge
- The National Bike Challenge: organized by the League of American byciclists, this nationwide event aims to unite current cyclists and encourage new riders all over the country. Participants are eligible for monthly prizes and awards at the end of the challenge, based on a points-system. Register for the National Bike Challenge
Bike Month is also full of fun events all over the city, including:
- The Five Boro Bike Tour: Sunday, May 7th. The largest charitable bike ride in the US is open to cyclists of all skill levels, who can enjoy a car-free city and help fund cycling education programs for children and adults. Register for the Bike Tour
- Moonlight Rides in Central Park: first Friday of the month, 10:00 PM. organized by Time's Up, an environmental action charity, these events will take you on a relaxing ride of Central Park's car-free spaces. To participate, simply meet at 10:00 PM at Columbus Circle (SW corner of Central Park) on the first Friday of the month, every month (including tomorrow, May 5). Any bicycle will work, be sure to bring a helmet. There are also monthly Moonlight Rides in Brooklyn's Prospect Park as well.
- Brooklyn Bike Jumble: Saturday, May 13, 2017 - 10:00 AM to 4:30PM. New York's only bike flea market can help you find your dream bike or accessories, new or used. Prices start at $50. Read more details
- East Coast Greenway's 5-Island Tour: Sunday, May 21, 2017 - 9:00 AM. Organized by the East Coast Greenway Alliance, this 29-mile guided bike ride through 5 Islands of New York City: Manhattan, Randall's Island, Queens, and Roosevelt Island, plus the South Bronx, with several stops along the route. Find more information
These are just activities of the many events happening all over the five boroughs throughout the month! For many more, visit Transportation Alternatives' Events page. And if you or someone you know needs a bike riding lesson, you can register for a free Learn to Ride class, offered indoors or outdoors by Bike NY.