Dayton is home to over 330 miles of paved bike trails throughout Southwest Ohio. Here's the best ones nominated in the 2016 Best of Dayton survey. (Video by Tabatha Wharton)

Celebrate cycling with Dayton's National Bike Month events

It’s good for your health, your wallet and your neighborhood — cycling checks all the boxes.

“Cycling is an environmentally friendly, healthy form of transportation, as well as an active way to experience the outdoors and connect with nature,” said Five Rivers MetroParks executive director, Rebecca Benna.  

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Five Rivers MetroParks' Bike to Work Day Pancake Breakfast at RiverScape is set for May 17. CONTRIBUTED

Cycling gets a month-long celebration every year, as May is National Bike Month. Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, Bike Month has been celebrated in communities across the country since it was established in 1956. Dayton is no exception as there is a full slate of events on tap this month from the Miami Valley Cycling Summit to Bike to School and Work events. 

 Ohio is 18th in the most recent rankings of Bicycle Friendly Communities with 19 bicycle friendly communities, five in the Miami Valley — Dayton, Piqua, Springboro, Troy and Yellow Springs. Eleven of the state’s 46 Bicycle Friendly Businesses are also in the region. 

Celebrating cycling is a team effort in the area as Bike Miami Valley, Five Rivers MetroParks and the Dayton Public Schools are just a few of the many organizations that will sponsor events in May. 

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How can you join in the fun? Here are a few of the many local Bike Month activities. For a complete list of events and additional details, visit www.metroparks.org/bike-month/regional-events/

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Five Rivers MetroParks' Bike to Work Day Pancake Breakfast at RiverScape is set for May 17. CONTRIBUTED

BIKE MONTH EVENTS 

May 1-31: The Streak 

Participants will be challenged to ride a Link bike every day in May. To count as a trip, participants can check out a bike from any station for at least 2 minutes. Participants will have one day they are allowed to miss and still be in the competition. T-shirts will be given to riders who complete the whole month and weekly raffles will also be held for all participants. Sign up at www.Linkdayton.org/thestreak

May 3: Family Bike Safety, 6-8 p.m., RiverScape MetroPark 

Get your bike checked, grab a free helmet (while supplies last), try tandem and strider bikes and learn more about cycling in the Miami Valley at the Pickin’ in the Park event. Free for all ages. 

May 7: Try Mountain Biking, MoMBA 

Want to try mountain biking but don’t have a bike? Visit the MetroParks Mountain Bike Area (MoMBA) at Huffman MetroPark and borrow a bike to ride for a lap or two. Bikes are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Riders younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, helmets are required and are provided. 

May 8-10: Dayton Safe Routes to School National Bike to School Day events 

May 8 – Edison School; May 9 – Kemp School; May 10 – Belle Haven School 

May 10: The Miami Valley Cycling Summit, Miamisburg  

Coordinated by Bike Miami Valley, the summit aims to use the power of cycling to drive economic development in communities throughout our region. The event welcomes community leaders, city and parks staff, cycling proponents, and elected officials to utilize bicycling as a tool to grow strong bike-friendly places.  

May 11: Bike for Health Challenge – Ride to Medlar Conservation Area 

Get Out & Bike by participating in the Bike for Health Challenge, a series of self-guided, ride-at-your-own-pace rides. Each week, through September, will be a designated route. Anytime during that week, riders can log the miles. The first 100 people to log 125 miles will receive a 125-Mile Achievement T-shirt. For more information and to download the ride log, visit www.metroparks.org/bikehealth.  

May 13: GO W/THE FLOW Bike Edition, RiverScape MetroPark 

Get your mind, body and soul ready for a week of bike riding with a free GO W/THE FLOW Vinyasa yoga class with live music. Instructor Tori Reynolds and local musician (and yogi) BJSR lead a unique, rhythmic fusion of yoga and music for all levels from 6 to 7 p.m., bring your mat.  

Five Rivers MetroParks' Bike to Work Day Pancake Breakfast at RiverScape is set for May 17. CONTRIBUTED

May 17: Five Rivers MetroParks’ Bike to Work Day Pancake Breakfast, RiverScape MetroPark  

Leave your car in the garage and support National Bike to Work Day. Ride in solo or with a group for a free pancake breakfast then head to work. Live music, cycling related exhibitors and team challenge are also part of the fun.

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