Looking for a good reason to bring your bicycle out of storage? The annual Bike! Charlotte event has returned with more than 50 varied activities that continue through May 15.
This schedule of events should give you the inspiration you need to get your bike off its rack, wipe it down, pump up the tires and get rolling.
The lineup includes cycling classes, greenway rides as well as a duathlon that combines a 5K trail run with a 19K ride.
The goal of Bike! Charlotte is to encourage all of us to make riding part of our daily routine.
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The benefits of riding are many, organizers say. For starters, cycling is a “clean” form of transportation that does not pollute the air. Riding also can be good for your health.
“Give the bike a chance,” said Neal Boyd, event director. “Try doing something that you would normally do in a car. Break the bike out and give it a try.”
The itinerary for the week ahead includes the popular Plaza Midwood Tuesday Night Ride, a weekly event since 2013 that draws about 60 people. Riders arrive at 7:30 p.m. and push off at 8 p.m. from Common Market, 2007 Commonwealth Ave. Riders tour the city for about two hours, with stops along the way at popular spots.
Also this week:
▪ Take a ride on Little Sugar Creek Greenway with the staff from Carolina Thread Trail, a network of more than 250 miles of open trails that link cities, towns and attractions. The ride starts at 6 p.m. Monday at the Charlotte B-cycle bike rental station at Freedom Park, 2399 Freedom Park Service Road. Rent a bike there if you don’t have one. Frozen yogurt will be served halfway through the ride. Register at carolinathreadtrail.org/bikecharlotte or call 704-375-2556.
▪ A class on basic bicycle maintenance will include instruction on how to repair a flat and other tips. The class begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at QueenCity Bicycles, 128 E. Park Ave. No registration necessary.
▪ Mountain bikes are ideal for The Dirty Easy Ride, 7 p.m. Thursday at The Spoke Easy, 1523 Elizabeth Ave., Suite 120. Riders explore “the underbelly of the queen city.” That means riders will travel along pavement, greenways, easements and other areas. You’ll likely break a sweat and get a little dirty on this ride, organizers say.
▪ Test your running and cycling toughness at the sixth University City Duathlon, 8 a.m. Saturday at University Research Park, 10101 David Taylor Drive. Registration starts at 6:30 a.m. for a 5K trail run and a 19K ride on roads in and around the research park.
This year’s schedule also brings programs to underserved communities. A Kids Bicycle Safety Rodeo at 11 a.m. May 14 will include free lessons on riding for all ages at nonprofit Learn To Ride’s location, 2145 Suttle Ave. Free helmets will be provided by Piedmont Natural Gas. Bring your bike for the lesson or borrow one.