Mt. Juliet, TN – May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to give biking a try. In recognition of National Bike Month the Mt. Juliet Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) will host its fourth annual community ride through the heart of Mt. Juliet. Ride Mt. Julietis a 5.8 mile event intended for riders of all ages and skill levels and will take place on Sunday May 6, 2018 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM. The first 200 riders will receive a value packed goody bag.

Ride Mt. Juliet will start and finish in the Music City Star parking lot at the corner of Mt. Juliet Road and East Division Street. The course will travel north on MJ Road utilizing the bike lane and riders will follow a MJ fire truck to the MJ Police Department near Charlie Daniels Park. The ride will continue through the MJ Middle School parking lot and Woodland Place neighborhood to Golden Bear Parkway on a course back to the Music City Star parking lot.

In addition to the ride, the MJ Police Department will conduct a bicycle rodeo in the train station parking lot. The rodeo is designed to give young riders the skills needed to become safer bicyclists. MJPD Corporal James Christensen will conduct the bicycle rodeo. All cyclists are required to wear a helmet and sign a waiver. Riders under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Biker’s Choice and the Veloteers Bicyle Club are sponsoring a children’s bike giveaway and each participant under the age of 12 is eligible to enter. Sign up will be at the registration table and the drawing will be conducted after the ride. You must be present to win.

Here are some bike stats you might find interesting.

  • Tennessee is one of only 6 states that has seen a 100% increase in bicycle commuting since 2005. The other states are Kentucky, Lousiana, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.
  • New York City with a population of 8.5 million has the largest number of cyclists, 48,601, riding their streets.
  • Davis, California with a population of 68,107 has 5,057 cyclists representing 16.6% of the population. The largest percentage of any city in the U.S.
  • Nashville ranks number 60 nationally of the top 70 largest cities with the highest share of bicycle commuters.
  • Nashville ranks number 39 nationally of large cities where bike commuting is growing the fastest.  

As part of National Bike Month here are 5 easy tips for cyclists and motorists that will improve safety.

Tips for the cyclist

  1. Wear your helmet : Helmets reduce head injury risk by 85%.
  2. Obey the rules of the road : It may only have two wheels but a bicycle is a vehicle and must adhere to the rules.
  3. Be aware of your surroundings : Don’t listen to music or talk on your phone while riding and watch for distracted drivers.
  4. Use hand signals : Letting others know when and where you are turning is an important safety element.
  5. Be visible : Make sure cars and pedestrians can see you by wearing bright and reflective clothing,and consider bicycle lights.

Tips for the motorist

  1. Different but equal : By law bicycles are vehicles and entitled to the same rights as motorists.
  2. Patience, not patients : Especially on the road patience is a virtue and can save lives.
  3. A passing grade : Do not pass a cyclist until you see it is safe to do so and allow 3 feet between you and the rider.
  4. The right behavior : Watch for cyclists when turning right. A cyclist may be to your right and planning to go straight.
  5. Honking your horn: Do not honk unnecessarily at cyclists, if you must honk do so from a respectable distance.

The Mt. Juliet BPAC is comprised of volunteers from the community with the expressed purpose of guiding the city plans for safe walking, running and cycling infrastructure improvements. The BPAC provides a venue for public input on matters related to bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs. The Mt. Juliet BPAC is an advisory committee to the City Commission with no decision or policy making authority.

Join us and Ride Mt. Juliet!

For more information visit www.mjbpac.org .