May is Bike Month in Cleveland Heights
Cleveland Heights will again celebrate National Bike Month this May, with various events that will take place throughout the month, including a Bike to School Day and a Bike to Work Week.
Cleveland Heights City Council first declared May as Bike Month in 2011. Two years later, in 2013, Cleveland Heights was declared a Bicycle Friendly Community—one of only 13 in Ohio—by the League of American Bicyclists. The other cities in Northeast Ohio that have been so designated are Cleveland, Lakewood, Oberlin and Akron.
Cleveland Heights Bike Month is organized by the Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC), a nonprofit organization that formed in the spring of 2010 with the goal of making the Heights more bicycle-friendly. Since its inception, HBC has gained the support of the City of Cleveland Heights and the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District for its bicycle-friendly initiatives. HBC has also collaborated with University Heights, Shaker Heights, Cleveland and East Cleveland to lay the foundation for improved area bicycle routes.
Since HBC formed, Cleveland Heights has created bike lanes on parts of Euclid Heights Boulevard, Edgehill Road, Coventry Road, Taylor Road, Mayfield Road and North Park Boulevard.
Mary Dunbar, a member of the Cleveland Heights City Council, is HBC's board president and has helped organize the city’s Bike Month activities. Bike to School Day will take place on Wednesday, May 4. (According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and adolescents should engage in one hour or more of physical activity every day; biking to school can help them reach that goal.)
Bike to Work Week will take place May 16–20. On Friday, May 20, HBC will offer free coffee and pastries in a tent at the intersection of Edgehill and Overlook roads to those riding their bikes to work.
On Saturday, May 14, a family bike event, All Geared Up, will take place at Canterbury Elementary School. The event will run from 9 a.m. to noon, and features 2-mile and 4-mile neighborhood bike rides, a father-and-child relay race, and safety clinics.
On Wednesday, May 18, the annual Ride of Silence will take place, starting at 7 p.m. This international event honors bicyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Bicyclists will meet at the John Carroll University parking lot and then ride together to University Hospitals Case Medical Center in University Circle, where a ceremony will take place. The participants in this event are asked not to ride faster than 12 miles per hour. In addition, they must wear helmets, follow the rules of the road and remain silent during the ride.
In the past, Bike Month has included a bicycle tune-up day on Coventry Road. This year, the tune-up event will take place on Saturday, June 4, at the Coventry Courtyard (at the northwest corner of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard).
James Henke, a Cleveland Heights resident, was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years. He is also the author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley. He is on the board of FutureHeights, and is co-chair of the Heights Observer Advisory Committee.