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Webinar Recap: Running A Better Bike Month
Monday, February 28th the League co-hosted a webinar with Love To Ride to help guide current and aspiring Bicycle Friendly Businesses in running an engaging and impactful Bike Month. While the League and our Bicycle Friendly Businesses encourage bike riding every day, National Bike Month is a time to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and encourage new riders to join the bicycling movement. Many businesses honor this by hosting Bike to Work Days, engaging in community-hosted bike events and joining in challenges like our National Bike Challenge and our Drive Less, Bike More Campaign, in which over 8,000 workplaces participated to help us reach over 1 million miles of car trips turned bike trips.
This year’s National Bike Month will kick off with National Ride A Bike Day on Sunday, May 1, with Bike to Work Week taking place May 16-22 and Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 20. As you start planning the ways you will celebrate, here’s what you can do to increase engagement during Bike Month and hopefully encourage people at your business to keep riding throughout the months that follow:
Make It Fun & Social: use your imagination and get silly with it! For example, make lunch at one of your favorite spots the destination for a group ride to add even more of a social gathering incentive. Creating themes around each week can also be a fun way to keep people anticipating.
Understand Where People Are At: take the time to get to know your team’s experiences on a bike. Are most people frequent bike commuters? Knowing everyone’s experience level can help you plan your rides to accommodate first-time/inexperienced riders.
Make It Easy To Take Part: offer bike share for those without a bike of their own to use on rides and encourage employees to participate in ways that make sense for them, whether that be biking to work every day or joining a staff ride once a week.
Give People A Short, Sweet, Fun Riding Experience: to those who are first-time riders or have had negative experiences that have kept them from getting back on a bike, cycling can be seen as scary and undoable. Counter that by using minutes as a goal for how long you ride instead of miles and establishing a “no-drop” rule, meaning no rider gets left behind.
A Little Competition Can Go A Long Way: use a point system or brainstorm creative prizes, like company-branded badges, to reward behavior.
Measure Your Impact: keep track of progress and accomplishments made during the month i.e. minutes or miles spent riding, how many employees participated in group rides, etc., and report it to members of your organization. Pictures can go a long way to visualize data as well so try to take plenty of them!
Amplify Your Wins: use social media, your company’s website or other channels to share photos and celebrate your team's participation and accomplishments.
Most importantly, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all way to celebrate Bike Month. All Bicycle Friendly Businesses are built differently with different capacities, resources and kinds of riders but by working with your team and/or with outside organizations to make bicycling a safer, easier and more comfortable option for all you can get more people on bikes!
If you would like to receive valuable feedback and assistance in becoming more welcoming to bicycling, apply to the League’s Bicycle Friendly Business program at apply.bikeleague.org or learn more at bikeleague.org/business. There are three submission deadlines to apply to the BFB program in 2022: March 2, June 15, and November 3.