Columbus, OH USA

Pedal Pusher
May 2009
by Greg Knepp

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Bike to Work Week

The League of American Wheelmen was formed in the 1880s at a time when cycling was gaining prominence as a pastime as well as emerging as a form of transportation competitive with the horse and buggy, and the iron horse. Within a few decades though, the growing popularity of the automobile largely ended the transportational usage of bicycles here in the U.S., but the league continued to promote bicycle racing and recreational cycling in general. The resurgence of adult cycling in the mid-sixties brought the near-dormant organization back to life. By the nineties the members had changed the name of their organization to the more politically acceptable League of American Bicyclists, and moved their headquarters to Washington, D.C., where they continue to engage in direct lobbying efforts on behalf of the interests of cyclists everywhere.

One of the more notable events sponsored by the league is the annual Bike to Work Week. This year B2WW is scheduled from May 4 - 15, and anyone even remotely interested in cycling is encouraged to get out and ride – if not to work, then at least to run routine errands. Or perhaps just ride to get some exercise and have some fun.

I spoke to Clintonville cyclist, Austin Kocher. He is helping coordinate local B2WW events and is confident that the sooner more bicycles hit the streets for whatever reason, the sooner society at large will make the legal, institutional and infrastructural adjustments necessary to accommodate cycling as a serious and viable form of everyday transportation. I couldn’t agree more. Kocher is also a charter member of a local seat-of-the-pants cycling outfit called YayBikes. Check out the group’s interactive site on the web at It’s a hoot!

This year B2WW will feature numerous activities and forums of interest to cyclists of all stripes. Among them will be sessions on cycling and the law, bicycle safety, women’s cycling issues and several other salient topics. Events will include group rides as well as luncheons, open houses and the like. Even Mayor Coleman will sponsor a group ride of his own. It’s also noteworthy that TOSRV (Tour of the Scioto River Valley) falls midway through B2WW. The Web site has been set up to provide information and background on the week’s events. It’s one of the easier and more informative sites I’ve seen and will be of great assistance to anyone planning to participate in B2WW. In fact, there are a number of good bicycling activities scheduled throughout the month of May – many of them featured on the site.

So get out the old steed, oil it, pump it up and start pedaling. Remember, every bike on the street means one less car to contend with. Who knows? You may even surprise yourself and make it back and forth to work a time or two!


MAY 4 - 15, 2009
National program culminates in Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 15

Check out Columbus events all month long


Greg Knepp is a Short North cyclist


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