May is National Bike Month, but locally the party kicked off last week at Respect the Bike
, an all-Ohio-made bike showcase held at the Greenhouse Tavern
. Before the event, hundreds of riders cruised through downtown for a traffic-stopping Critical Mass ride, then lined up their bikes along E. 4th Street for a rooftop bar celebration. Elsewhere in the Tavern, diners feted on chef Sawyer's creations as historic bikes hung in the air like flying machines.
It was a fitting start to a month packed with over 50 bike-centric events, including art shows, bike repair clinics, Towpath pajama rides, neighborhood bike rides and the region-wide Bike to Work Day.
Bike Month also includes two special events that benefit good causes. For the first time ever, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is opening its grounds to bicycles during Wild Ride at the Zoo
, a new after-hours event. Bike for the Beck
is a new fundraising ride for the Beck Center in Lakewood on May 19th.
The City Club is also hosting an event with Mark Gorton, Founder and Chairman of Open Plans, entitled Rethinking the Auto: Building Cities for People, Not Cars
. The forum takes place on Wednesday, May 9th, and Bike Cleveland is hosting a free social afterwards at Market Garden Brewery
in Ohio City.
Finally, there perhaps is no better way to kick off Bike Month than with the announcement of an exciting new project. This week, Fast Track Cycling broke ground on the Cleveland Velodrome
, a massive, 166-meter outdoor cycling track in Slavic Village. The bike track will initially be a seasonal facility, but organizers hope to eventually raise enough money to enclose it for the winter months.
Source: Bike Cleveland
Writer: Lee Chilcote