Bicycling Takes Center Stage in Wisconsin during May - National Bike Month

MADISON, Wis. (April 24, 2012) – Three special pedal-powered events converge during May across Wisconsin to encourage bicycling for transportation and recreation.

Wisconsin is one of the most bike-friendly states in the nation, according to League of American Bicyclists, and thousands of people plan to participate in the 2012 Wisconsin Bike Challenge, (May 1 – Aug 31), National Bike to School Day (May 9) and National Bike to Work Week (May 14-18).

The Wisconsin Bike Fed’s Wisconsin Bike Challenge is for anyone who loves to ride a bike. This free event provides a fun and simple opportunity to promote wellness, team-building and bicycling within the workplace. Participants easily track transportation and recreation bicycle miles online for a chance to win an impressive list of bicycle-themed prizes.

The Challenge, begun by Kimberly-Clark Corp. in 2011, was so successful in Wisconsin with over 4,500 participants and 1.2 million miles logged that it is being offered as a national event in all 50 states in 2012.

“Being tied into the national Challenge this year will give participants the chance to win more exciting prizes and see how Wisconsin stacks up against bicyclists in other states,” said Kevin Hardman of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin.

Once the Challenge is underway, kids in communities across the state will hop on their bikes for the inaugural National Bike to School Day, May 9. Bike to School Day is based on Walk to School Day, founded in 1997, to build awareness for creating safe routes for kids to walk and bike to school.

“Bicycling is the most popular outdoor activity for kids in the U.S, but in one generation, the percentage of kids who walk or bike to school has dropped from 50% to about 12%,” Hardman said. 

“When kids have to travel along or cross a road with busy traffic and without lights or crossing points, they’re obviously less likely to bike to school,” said Amy Seeboth with the Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. “In Wisconsin, we need to work on creating safer routes for kids and adults to commute to work and school.”

During Wisconsin Bike to Work Week, May 14-18, many communities across the state have scheduled fun events to tempt people to ride bikes for transportation and to reward those who already do. It’s also a great opportunity to log miles for the Wisconsin Bike Challenge.

“Bicycling is an excellent mode of transportation for Wisconsinites, and more people choose to go by bike in Wisconsin every day,” Hardman said. “Since 1990, bicycling to work has increased by 62% across the state. We anticipate record-breaking participation in our May 2012 bicycling events.”

For information about the 2012 Wisconsin Bike Challenge, visit www.bfw.org

For information about National Bike to Work Week, visit www.bikeleague.org/programs/bikemonth/

For information about Wisconsin’s Bike to Work Week events by community, visit http://bfw.org/events/bike-to-work-week-may-14-18/

For more information about National Bike to School Day visit www.walkbiketoschool.org

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CONTACT: Amanda White

608-251-4456, Amanda.white@bfw.org