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A warm day greeted hundreds of cyclists during the kickoff celebration of May is Bike Month at Fremont Park on Tuesday. May is Bike Month is sponsored by SACOG, the Sacramento Area Council on Governments. The kickoff ceremony included free bicycle check-ups, a raffle drawing, and presentations about bike safety, selecting a bike and locking it securely.
Bike Month Co-Chair Joe Krovoza, the Mayor of Davis, encouraged the crowd to expand their use of bicycles for errands, commuting and recreation. Citing a top ten list of reasons to ride a bike, Krovoza peppered the audience with statistics, jokes and bicycle socks. Krovoza said, "Bicycling and walking make up 10% of the trips in Sacramento. If we increase that to 13%, we'd save 3.8 billion gallons (of gas) per year." He continued, "In the Sacramento region, 43% of commutes and 72% of other trips are under six miles."
Jeffery Rosenhall, a certified bicycle safety instructor, spoke about the importance of obeying traffic laws, being predictable for other drivers, and keeping high visibility in traffic. Rosenhall also dispelled some bicycle crash myths and said a high number of bicycle accidents are solo crashes. He said, "Only 30% of reported bike crashes involved motor vehicles. Bicyclists are most likely to be injured falling themselves."
T.J. Windmiller from Mad Cat Bicycles demonstrated the proper way to repair a flat tire. Windmiller quickly removed the tire and tube from a rim, explained how to find and remove the cause of the leak, and reinstalled the tire and tube in a matter of minutes.
Chris Luyet from Park-a-Bike announced a recent contract award for Sacramento City and County to install 1,300 of their Varsity Bike Racks throughout the area. The racks feature a wheel support, scratch resistant pads and hardened steel. A quick demonstration of securely locking a bike to a rack followed.
The event wrapped up with Eric Navarro from City Bicycle Works who showed a variety of bicycle designs and explained the importance of comfort when riding a bike.
Over 5,000 cyclists have pledged to ride over one million miles in May. Krovoza urged cyclists to raise the goal to two millions miles.
Future Bike Month events include Bike Film Night on May 3, Bike to Work Day on May 17 and various organized rides and maintenance clinics throughout the month.
More photos from Bike Month kickoff here.