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May is Bike Month!

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May is Bike Month!

Events around Sandpoint

Despite the water-logged start to the month, May officially heralds the beginning of bike season in the Idaho Panhandle and area bikers will be celebrating during the fifth annual Bike Week.

This year’s events include Bike to Work and Bike to School Day, a Bike Swap, a Ride of Silence, and Free Bicycle Film Festival. All the events are free of charge, though bicycles and bicycle gear will be for sale at the annual Bike Swap. In addition, select merchants will be offering daily “Wheel Deals” for cyclists. 

Sponsored by Pend Oreille Pedalers bike club, Sandpoint’s annual event began with Bike to Work Day in 2007 when about 250 riders rode to work. In 2008, the folks behind that initial event decided to expand the fun to a full week of cycling activities and Bike Week was born. Last year, more than 700 kids rode their bikes to school on Bike to School Day. 

“It’s been great to see Bike Week evolve into such a community-based event,“ Brian Anderson, President of the Pend Oreille Pedalers, said. “It really takes the commitment of volunteers and sponsoring businesses to make it happen. The true reward is seeing the variety of riders, young and old, biking during the week. The goal is keep the momentum going throughout the summer.”

There are several events to mark on your calendar, including a Bike Rodeo from 9:30 to 11 am on Saturday, May 12 at the Eureka Institute on Church St., for children aged 6 to 16. Learn about bike safety and then, at noon, participate in the Bike and Gear Swap until 1:30. You can even consult with bike mechanics while you swap or shop for gear. (Drop off any items you wish to trade between 9 and 11.) A barbeque will also take place.

On May 15, join the Ride of Silence at 5:30 pm at Sandpoint’s City Beach. This is a silent, slow-paced ride in honor of those injured or killed while cycling on public roadways. The ride is part of a worldwide share-the-road campaign. The route is fewer than ten miles, and all riders must wear a helmet.

On Thursday, May 17, take part in Bike to School or Work day. There will be four aid stations with free goodies for riders, plus a free raffle to win prizes. All students who ride their bikes to school will get a prize. Aid stations are located on the Dover Bike Path at the corner of Division and Hwy. 2, at Outdoor Experience on First Ave downtown, at Evans Brother Coffee, 525 Church St., and at the old Chamber of Commerce located on 5th Avenue headed north. Aid stations are open from 6:30 am to 9 am, and bike week t-shirts will be on sale for $10. 

A free, bicycle film festival will take place at the Panida Theater on Saturday, May 19 at 7:30 pm featuring family-friendly, short films on cycling. Raffle prizes from the Bike to School/Work day will be awarded this evening, though you need not be present to win.

New this year are Daily Wheel Deals. Pend Oreille Pedalers’ corporate sponsors will be offering different specials to cyclists during the week, including: Coldwater Creek Wine Bar, Eichardt’s Pub Grill, Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters, Greasy Fingers Bikes N Repair, Laughing Dog Brewing, Loading Dock, MickDuff’s Brewing Company, Pend d’Oreille Winery and Trinity at City Beach. Visit www.pendoreillepedalers.com for the Wheel Deals.

As always, be aware of the rules of the road when out on a bike, and those in cars, please pay special attention to bikes on the road.

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