If you believe, as Performance Bicycle manager Jeremy Burcham does, that cycling can change the world, pull the Spandex out of the back of the dresser drawer and get ready to ride all month long, but especially on a day set aside near the middle of the month.
Burcham’s shop is partnering with Novi officials for a “Ride Your Bike to Work” event May 14 as part of National Bike Ride Month, the Oakland Press reports.
Burcham knows the benefits of cycling not just from running the Novi bike shop, but also from his experience as a competitive racer for a decade. Cycling, the 38-year-old Michigan transplant said, “is the first step to getting in shape.”
He bikes the 18 miles separating his home in Canton and his business almost every day.
That’s an easy commute compared with the two hours it took him to from home to work when he lived in Connecticut. The clutch had gone out of his car and while it was in the shop, he made the commitment to start cycling.
“There are some drawbacks,” he admitted, “but I have a 6-year-old son now who is lerning about the environment, about pollution. I guess I can at least look him in the eye and tell him I’m doing something about it.”
That’s one of the ideas behind Ride Your Bike to Work and four other Novi events planned this year to promote biking is an alternative mode of transportation and a healthy physical activity. Novi’s efforts are part of a national push by the League of American Bicyclists, whose goal is to create safer roads, stronger communities and a bicycle-friendly America.
The bike-to-work events have been in the works for three years, interim City Manager Victor Cardenas said.
“We have a pretty active staff and community for non-motorized transportation ... now we have a whole week of events in the community,” he said. “Two years ago, we actually had one guy that rode in (to work) from 30 miles away or so ... and we have passionate people in the city that live here that it’s just who they are, so we thought we would celebrate that.”
Novi is one of Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2014 Active Community Award winners, a validation that the city is taking strides with its zoning ordinances, 250 miles of non-motorized trails and green initiatives to promote healthy living in Novi, Cardenas said.
Other activities during National Bike Ride Month include:
- Monday, May 12, 6-8 p.m., Bike Rodeo, Novi Civic Center Campus: This is a free event geared for kids 5 to 12 years old. Members of the Novi Police Department will be on hand and stations include safety, bike registration, trivia, giveaways and more. Bring a bike and helmet. No registration required.
- Tuesday, May 13: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Novi Nights Group Rides: Lakeshore Park. Novi Nights is a beginner-friendly, no drop ride through Lakeshore Park's mountain bike trails hosted by Motor City Mountain Biking Association. Each Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. (weather permitting) near the trailhead kiosk. All skill levels welcome. Riders often enjoy post-ride drinks and food at the nearby Lakeview Bar and Grill, overlooking Walled Lake.
- Wednesday, May 14, 7:45 a.m., Ride Your Bike To Work and Lunch Day: Celebrate Bike to Work Day. Meet in front of Performance Bike, 43235 Crescent Blvd., at 7:45 a.m. for a group photo and head to work in style (on your bike). Shirts provided to those who pre-register to ride by contacting Community Relations at (248) 347.0416 by May 9. We will also be riding to Penn Station or lunch, meet at the Civic Center at 11:45 a.m. or join the group at the restaurant.
- Thursday, May 15, 11:30 a.m., Bike Safety Lunch & Learn at Police Department Training Center: Learn the rules of the road, safety suggestions, maintenance and proper bike selection. Not sure where to ride? The session, presented by Novi Police Bike Patrol and Performance Bike, will cover that, too. Pre-register by contacting Community Relations at (248) 347-0416 by May 12. A sub lunch included.
- Monday, May 26, 9:30 a.m., Memorial Day Bike Parade: You and your family can be a part of the Memorial Day Parade by decorating your bicycles and meeting at the Holly Hill Plaza (Ten Mile Road, west of Haggerty Road). To join in on the fun, contact Novi Parks at (248) 347-0400.