Bike to Work Day is Friday: How to participate

Bike to Work Day Breakfast at RiverScape MetroPark set for May 17.

A leisurely weekend ride with the family or a tightly-timed trip to the office, a short journey or a cross country adventure — length and pace aside, May is the ideal time to celebrate cycling.

May is National Bike Month, established in 1956 to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and encourage people to give biking a try. And whether it’s observing National Ride a Bike Day (May 5), Bike to Work Day (May 17) or just heading out on your own two-wheeled adventure, the Miami Valley is an ideal place to celebrate cycling.

Credit: Jordan Hart

Credit: Jordan Hart

“The Dayton region is home to 350 miles of paved trails, the nation’s largest paved trail network,” said Jordan Hart, Five Rivers MetroParks outdoor recreation coordinator. “Our community has a rich history of being a bike friendly region, which is beneficial for residents and an economic driver.”

The Miami Valley is home to several League of American Bicyclists Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Communities including Piqua, Troy, Dayton, Yellow Springs, Kettering, Lima, Springboro and Beavercreek.

“These communities have all incorporated cycling infrastructure into their communities and welcome bicyclists by providing safe accommodations for bicycling and encouraging people to bike for transportation and recreation,” said Chris Buck, MetroParks special events coordinator.

Ready to get pedaling? If your bike has spent the cold-weather months in hibernation, a pre-ride check-up might be in order.

“We suggest that before you head out for your first ride, you check your bike to make sure it is in good working order, this includes doing an ABC Quick Check — checking the air in your tires, also inspecting your tires for cracking, your brakes to make sure they function properly, and the chain to make sure it is free from rust,” Buck said. “Also check to make sure the wheels are installed properly, and any quick releases are closed before you ride.”

Bike to Work Day

Fun and fitness, pancakes and a party — the Bike to Work Day Breakfast at RiverScape MetroPark will be the place to be on May 17.

About 350 registered riders logged more than 5,100 miles last year, followed by a morning of live music, informative cycling-related vendors, and flying pancakes at this annual celebration of human-powered transportation.

“Biking is the most environmentally friendly, inclusive, healthy, and cost-efficient mode of vehicle transportation there is,” said Kelly Bohrer, MetroParks sustainability manager. “Biking, instead of driving, leads to reduced carbon emissions, improved air quality, resource conservation, creates jobs and promotes local community development, and reduces stress and improves mental and physical health. Overall, biking advances our work towards healthier, more resilient communities.”

The first 400 cyclists to check in at the Bike to Work Day Pancake Breakfast will receive a gift from Five Rivers MetroParks. Participants can pre-register at but registration is not required.

DIY cycling adventures

For those who are ready to embark on a cycling adventure, there are local bicycle touring routes for riders of all experience levels.

“The Miami Valley is a great place for cyclists because of all the paved trails in the area,” Hart said. “They are a wonderful asset for off-street riding and offer a network of trails for travel and transportation.”

Hart has compiled several bicycle touring routes of varying lengths to help get you started on your own cycling journey. The routes begin at RiverScape MetroPark and predominantly utilize off-road trails.

“Starting in downtown Dayton, cyclists can ride in several directions on the paved trails for a variety of options for overnights,” he said. “There are also several options for lodging, from camping to staying in a hotel, or renting a room or cabin for the night.”

Shorter routes

  • To Eastwood MetroPark (4 miles) on the Mad River Trail and pitch a tent for trailside camping (
  • To Taylorsville MetroPark (10 miles) along the Great Miami River Trail and stay in trailside camping site.
  • To Possum Creek MetroPark (12 miles) down the Great Miami River Trail and then the community paved trail in Moraine.

Longer Routes

  • Ride north to Troy (23 miles) on the Great Miami River Trail, where you can choose to stay downtown or camp on the river (
  • From Downtown to Yellow Springs (26 miles) on the Mad River, Creekside, and Little Miami Scenic trails with a few roads to get to your final destination. Enjoy camping at John Bryan State Park or stay in town at a B&B.
  • From Downtown to Springfield (40 miles) on the Mad River, Creekside, Little Miami Scenic, and Buck Creek Scenic trails. Camp at Buck Creek State Park or rent a cabin.
  • From Downtown to London, Ohio (47 miles) on the Mad River, Creekside, Ohio to Erie trails and enjoy trailside camping (

More online

For more information on bicycle touring routes, visit

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