National Bicycle Safety Month is celebrated every year in May. During National Bicycle Safety Month, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A.) urges bicyclists and motorists to share the roadways by obeying the traffic laws and respecting each other’s rights. National Bicycle Safety Month was created to remind the public to put “safety first.” Whether you are a beginner, a regular biker, a day-tripper, or an athlete, cycling is good for you. It is a healthy, low-impact exercise that people of all ages can enjoy. It is also fun, cheap, and good for the environment.
History of National Bicycle Safety Month
National Bicycle Awareness Month was first celebrated in 1956. The League of American Bicyclists proposed encouraging healthy exercise by riding bikes. The first bicycle was built in 1839 by a Scottish blacksmith, Kirkpatrick Macmillan. After his invention, various European inventors added elements familiar to today’s bike, such as the rear-wheel-drive and hand-operated brakes. This invention helped to ease transportation then and is still doing so now. It is the most efficient human-powered means of transportation regarding the energy a person must expend to travel a given distance.
National Bicycle Awareness Month campaigns have focused on bicycle safety in recent years. Many states in America have taken up this initiative to encourage cycling. For example, Florida encourages its residents to ride bicycles to work for one week in a “Bike To Work” initiative. The other states that show frequent participation in National Bicycle Safety Month include Austin, Boston, Pasadena, and Portland. In addition, several events are sponsored all over the country in local communities to encourage bicycle riding and promote safety awareness.
Bicycles influence humanity as they are used by people from all walks of life – from mailmen to sales assistants, police officers, paramedics, and others. They also help reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and noise pollution. Therefore, motorists and cyclists are encouraged to celebrate National Bicycle Safety Month, which is good for healthy living and society.
National Bicycle Safety Month timeline
1839: Bicycles are Created. Scottish blacksmith, Kirkpatrick Macmillan, invents the first bicycle.
1890s: Bikes are Used as Transportation To Work. People start using bicycles as a means of transportation everywhere, and there is a spike in usage.
1920s: Bike Usage Experiences a Huge Drop. As cars are invented and gain popularity, the usage of bicycles, especially by the elite, drops.
1956: National Bike Month is Established. The League of American Bicyclists establishes National Bicycle Safety Month.
National Bicycle Safety Month FAQs
How did the invention of the car impact society?
Cars gave people more personal freedom and access to jobs and services.
How did Kirkpatrick Macmillan make the bicycle?
Macmillan saw someone riding a “Velocipede” and decided to build one for himself.
What was the original bicycle called?
It was called the “Penny-Farthing.”
How to Observe National Bicycle Safety Month
Generate more awareness
Spread the word on National Bicycle Safety Month as it approaches. This gets more people involved and helps people remember to keep safe while a motorist or cyclist is on the road.
Ride a Bike
Celebrate the day by riding a bike. It is not only fun but helps with your overall well-being.
Join a campaign or event
Join a biking event on National Bicycle Safety Month. This would introduce you to other bikers in your vicinity to celebrate the day together.
5 Checks You Should Do Before Riding
Adjust your seat
Make sure to adjust the seat to the proper height and lock it in place.
Check the tires
Ensure that the tires are inflated properly.
Check warning parts
Ensure the bike is equipped with reflectors on the rear, front, pedals, and spokes to alert motorists.
Check alert devices
Ensure that the horn or bell, rear-view mirror, and headlight are in good working condition.
Wear protective clothing
Ensure you have a helmet and other protective clothing before going out on your bike.
Why National Bicycle Safety Month is Important
It promotes healthy living
Using bicycles promotes healthy living by strengthening your cardiovascular system and muscles. It also reduces the risk of obesity. The world would be healthier if everyone took up biking once in a while.
It gives us a safer world
With the number of vehicles on the road, the ozone layer continues to be depleted, contributing to global warming. However, if bicycles are used more often, depletion is reduced. This is because the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the environment is reduced.
It builds finances
Biking is one of the cheapest means of transportation as it does not require fuel. Therefore, it can help save money that would have been spent on other means of transportation.