Dover to hold three events during National Bike Month

DOVER — May is National Bike Month and the city continues to join the celebration by holding three bicycle-related activities to showcase the benefits.

“(The events help) raise awareness of cycling and may bring people out, who don’t normally bike. It encourages the healthy lifestyle,” said Anne Marie Townshend, the city’s Parks & Recreation director.

The three events include Bike to Work Day, Youth Bicycle Rodeo and Ride of Silence.

In its third year, Bike to Work Day will be held today. It’s an event that promotes bicycling as an option to driving a car to work.

The event will be held at the Dover Public Library from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

“There will be guest speakers to welcome us. There will be refreshments and giveaways. It’s going to be a great time for everyone to come out and participate,” Ms. Towsnhend said.

On May Saturday, a Youth Bicycle Rodeo will be conducted at the Dover Elks Lodge from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The city will participate in the Ride of Silence for the first time on May 20.It will start at 7 p.m. at Silver Lake Park on the Washington Street side. The event is a free ride that asks cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph, wear helmets, follow the rules of the road and remain silent during the ride.

The ride aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways.

The ride is also a chance to show respect for and honor the lives of those who have been killed or injured.

“People need to know the guidelines of bike safety,” Ms. Townshend said. “This is not only for bicyclists, but for drivers as well. This event gives us a chance to educate everyone so we can minimize conflicts between bicyclists and drivers.”

Delaware moved up to third best Bike Friendly State in the United States, according to rankings issued by the League of American Bicyclists on Monday.

In 2008, when Delaware was ranked 31st in the nation for bicycle friendly states, at the first Delaware Bicycle Summit Gov. Jack Markell unveiled an ambitious project to make Delaware the nation’s leader in showing the rest of the country the wide-ranging benefits of having a state that is more bicycle friendly.

“We’re dedicated to improving our trails and pathways and making Delaware a more bikeable state because we know these efforts pay off by strengthening the quality of life in our communities,” the governor said in a statement on Monday.

“Today’s announcement is more evidence of the progress we have made in harnessing the health, recreation, and economic benefits of cycling. It’s all part of our commitment to ensure Delaware is great location for people to live and work.”

In the report card issued by the Bicycle League, among Delaware successes the state was lauded for a safe passing law to give bicyclists enough space when a motorist passes a bicycle, and for having an aggressive share-the-road campaign.

The state was noted for efforts in updating highway safety plans to include bicycle safety. Dover is one of several municipalities to paint notification symbols, called sharrows, on its roads and streets to remind drivers that bicyclists also use those roadways.

“In Dover we’re working hard to encourage cyclists,” Ms. Townshend said. “We developed many projects like the Capital City Trail and other projects to accommodate people who do ride their bikes regularly. We’ve made a lot of progression and we plan to keep it going.”

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