MILLEDGEVILLE — May is National Bicycling Month and local events are slated throughout to generate awareness on the benefits of bicycling and about the local bicycling club.
In recent years the Milledgeville Bicycling Club has boosted its efforts to promote bicycling-related activities and efforts to make the local community more bicycling-friendly. The promotion of more, expanded bike trails and bicycling accessible areas are visible in many areas. The recent Phase 2 expansion at the Oconee River Greenway was made possible in part through funds and support from the local bicycling club.
There are other community outreach efforts as well. The annual Deep Roots Ride was added two years ago as a fall bike event to compliment the April Fools Ride held in the spring. Proceeds from these events have gone to support local nonprofit organizations.
The organization has also made efforts to strengthen community partnerships, working with local businesses and other groups. Just recently the club partnered with BodyPlex to sponsor an essay contest to coincide with the eighth local April Fools Ride. In addition to the strengthening of partnerships this effort also brought bicycling education and wellness education to the local schools by having the essayists write about making their community healthier and more active.
Proceeds from the recent April Fools Ride will go toward supporting that effort as well. Funds generate from the ride are earmarked for bicycle advocacy efforts and toward trail improvements at the Selma Erwin Nature Preserve. The club also utilizes funding to generate awareness of bicycling safety, particularly among younger riders. The May 21 Ride of Silence honors cyclists injured or killed in bicycling accidents. At 7 p.m. local cyclists will ride through town wearing black or red armbands to honor those who have fallen or been injured. Later in the month, on May 30, the BATTY ride, Bikes Are Traffic Too, Y’all, aims to promote traffic laws and safety.