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National Bike Month Events in Washington

Hop on the saddle and celebrate National Bike Month with tons of rides and events.

Washington will celebrate National Bike Month with lots of cycling events, rides, and fundraisers throughout the month of May. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user thisisbossi.

Whether you’re an avid cyclist or simply enjoy leisurely Sunday rides through the park, National Bike Month is a great way to celebrate those two-wheelers. Don’t know how to do your part? We rounded up a bunch of local events happening this month, so take your pick.

Tuesday, May 1
Today is the start of the National Bike Challenge, a free program aimed at getting 50,000 people in the US to bike 10 million miles. The initiative runs until August 31, and bikers can sign up online as individuals or with a team. Got a smartphone? Download the free GPS Endomondo app to track your distance and upload results. The grand prize includes a trip through California wine country.

Wednesday, May 9
Students, teachers, and parents are encouraged to take part in the first-ever nationwide Bike to School day. To register or map out your route, click here.

Friday, May 11
For one night the Eastern Market will be converted into a bicycling speakeasy at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s Bikefest annual fundraiser. Check out the silent auction, munch on hors d’oeuvres, and enjoy specialty drinks while raising money for the WABA. Or register for the Bikebuild contest and build a cheap and creative bike. Tickets are $55 and $45 for WABA members. Click here for tickets.

Sunday, May 13
For one Sunday morning every year, riders can explore DC and Arlington on a 24-mile ride during the Bike DC event. Bikers will ride past the Capitol, the White House, Arlington Cemetery, and down Pennsylvania Avenue. For families, there’s an 11-mile ride. Click here to register.

Friday, May 18
Join thousands of other Washingtonians as they pedal to the office on the annual Bike to Work Day—you’ll probably get there faster than if you took the Metro, anyway. Register for free; participants can check in at one of the 58 pit stops and receive a free Bike to Work T-shirt, score food and drinks, and enter raffles.

Saturday, May 19, through Wednesday, May 23
Climate Ride NYC-DC joins bikers from both cities for a 150-mile ride, starting in Manhattan and ending at the steps of the Capitol. The five-day tour is for people who have a passion for sustainability, renewable energy, and cycling, and features nightly speakers. To sign up, visit the WABA website.

Saturday, May 19
History buffs will appreciate the Seventh Annual Rivers to Rockets Rally, a bike ride past major sites of the War of 1812, including the oldest operating airfield in the US and the Port of Bladensburg. The 20-mile route goes through Berwyn Heights and ends in Greenbelt. Breakfast, lunch, and T-shirts will be provided for riders. Register online

Sunday, May 20
Head to Baltimore for the BikeJam 2012 Festival and cheer on the pro road race, attend a bike and health expo, or just enjoy food and live music. Want more? Sign up for a 12- or 31-mile ride through the city of Baltimore here.

Local Bike Rides and Info Sessions

Bike Arlington Info Sessions
Learn to be a better cyclist every Tuesday, when Bike Arlington hosts Two Wheel Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30 PM. The bike nights include informative and interactive sessions on biking in Arlington, from riding in traffic to proper equipment and attire to route selection. This month the series will be held at Courthouse Plaza in the Azalea Room (2100 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington)

Revolution Cycles
The bike shop with five locations in Washington hosts group rides every Wednesday or Sunday, depending on each store. Rides range from 10 to 30 miles, and the shop has a no-drop policy—every rider will be led back to the starting point. Click here for more information.

The Bike Rack DC
The Logan Circle bike dealer and full-service shop hosts group rides for various levels, including novices, intermediate, advanced, and commuter. Click here for more information.

City Bikes
City Bikes goes on group rides every Saturday and Sunday, though Sundays are reserved for women only. Click here for more information.

Capitol Hill Bikes
Sunday morning road rides start at this shop in about a week. Until then, you can join the Capitol Hill Bikes crew for a moderate 35-mile ride at 9 AM on Sundays and be back in time for brunch at Barracks Row. Click here for more information.

Do you know of another local Bike Month event that’s not on our list? Let us know in the comments.

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