Bath promotes participation in National Bicycle Month

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BATH — This month, the City of Ships becomes the City of Bikes.

The City Council began National Bicycle Month on May 1 with a proclamation advocating “greater public awareness of bicycle operation and safety education in an effort to reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities,” and recognizing the “economic, quality of life, health and recreational benefits of being a bicycle friendly community.”

The two-wheel fervor includes a “Bike-to-Work” week, May 13-17, which is recommended for people who live within three to five miles of their workplace. Robert McChesney, chairman of the Bath Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, can be reached at 443-6154 for advice on the safest route for reaching one’s workplace, or to arrange an on-site bicycle inspection.

The week begins with a five-mile “Tour de Bath” on May 13, starting at City Hall at noon. The ride is open to all ages; participants should wear helmets, and those wishing to have their bicycles checked prior to the ride should arrive at 11:30 a.m.

A three-session course is being offered this month for adults who sometimes bike, but are not certain about bicycle rules of the road, basic repairs, the best riding techniques or the sort of equipment that is useful to carry on a bike. The Tuesday evening course, running from 6-7:30 p.m. May 14, 21 and 28, is offered by the Bath Area Family YMCA with the Bath Recreation Department,

Call the YMCA at 443-4112 to register. The cost is $10, and class size is limited to eight.

A 38-mile ride along the interim route of the proposed Androscoggin to the Kennebec Trail, and the Merrymeeting Trail, is planned for Saturday, May 25. A group capped at 25 riders will meet at noon at the Bath Freight Shed on Commercial Street. It will make rest stops in Brunswick, Topsham, Bowdoinham and Richmond, and join the “Ride into Summer” event hosted by Gardiner. A bicycle parade begins at 5:30 p.m.

Registration is required; email Alicia Heyburn at ahe[email protected].

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.