Established in 1956, the purpose of National Bike Month is to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and encourage people to use bikes for transportation, fitness, recreation and environmental purposes.
For Bike Month and beyond, Golden Hills RC&D, with assistance from a $25,000 Wellmark Foundation Small MATCH grant, is working to improve and promote safe bicycling in rural Southwest Iowa.
Rebecca Castle, Project Coordinator for Golden Hills RC&D, says so far this month, there has been a bike to work day, a bike to school day and a bike to work week.
Castle says improving bikeability has been shown to produce economic gains that provide many benefits to all residents.
"We’ve been going into classrooms and talking to students about what they can do to make sure they’re more visible to drivers. We are also going to be going into driver’s education programs. So teaching new drivers about the ways they can share the road with bicyclists and make sure they’re always being attentive and not paying attention to their phones or other distractions in the car.”
Castle says Golden Hills RC&D is also working with four specific communities in Southwest Iowa about ways they can become more bike-friendly to promote tourism as well as active transportation in their towns.
For more information, the website is bikeleague.org/bikemonth.