Cheryl Burnette, the assistant director of Decatur Active Living, said the city began celebrating the event last year, but has been going on around the country for about 56 years. They have added a few more activities to the lineup they had last year, with events going on throughout the entire month of May.
“It was great,” said Burnette of last year’s first offering of the event. “We’re hoping to have more [participation] this year. We added some more classes this year as well.”
Burnette said having the events is a good way to get to know people in the community, especially for those who are new to the area. She added she began to ride seriously about three years ago, and has learned plenty from the free group rides that are offered in the city of Decatur.
The city has been designated as a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Cities have to apply to be given a level of certification based on five E’s: engineering, enforcement, education, encouragement and evaluation. Burnette said they can reapply every three years and would hope to move up to silver and one day gold.
New this year is the Mobile Social, which Burnette said she is particularly excited about. The event is a short five-mile ride around Decatur, beginning at the Church Street MARTA Station. Burnette said it is an event for everyone to enjoy.
“It’s laid back and sometimes we stop and talk to people,” she said. “To me that’s a lot of fun and it’s for everybody.”
The city is also advertising its new bike shelter at the newly-renovated recreation center, which features a covered bike rack.
Burnette said being a walkable, bikeable community is helpful for downtown Decatur.
“We have a great place for people to walk and bike, and more people who like to walk and bike will come to Decatur,” she said. “I’ve lived here since 1988 and you didn’t see many people riding their bikes around Ponce de Leon. I think the whole nation is more bike riders now. It’s become more accessible to everyone rather than cyclists.”
Every Saturday: Sam’s Freight Room Ride, 2 p.m. Meet at 415 E. Howard Ave. for an easy 11-mile ride through Avondale Estates, Oakhurst and Decatur. No drop ride.
Saturday: Introduction to Cycling, 9 to 10 a.m. Spend an hour, for free, with certified instructors learning about the ins and outs of owning and using bicycles as day to day transportation. Register at Decatur Recreation Center.
Saturday: Introduction to Group riding Skills, a free event from 1 to 3 p.m. Meet at the Glennwood Elementary School parking lot. All levels are welcome, but must be able to ride a bicycle.
May 8: Bike to School Day. Decatur City Schools will participate by encouraging students to ride their bicycles to school. Parents will form “bike trains” for the younger students to ride to school together with the adults.
May 10: Mobile Social, 6:30 p.m. Meet at Church Street MARTA Station for a short five mile ride around Decatur.
May 13 to 17: Bike to Work Week. Ride a bicycle to work. More information at www.bikeleague.org.
May 17: Bike to Work Day: Riders are invited to stop by Decatur Recreation Center between 7 and 10 a.m. for coffee and pastries before a bike commute to work. Decatur Bikes is also offering a refreshment stop for Bike to Work Day.
May 18: Beginner Group Riding Skills, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Class includes one hour of self study and is at Decatur Recreation Center. Registration required.
May 19: Bicycle South offers an easy no-drop ride to Stone Mountain Park, beginning from the store at 9 a.m. Refreshments at Bicycle South after the ride. Information : www.bicyclesouth.com.
May 25: Bike Valet parking is offered at the Decatur Arts Festival so be sure to ride your bicycle to the event. Sponsored by Bicycle South and the city of Decatur. Information: www.decaturartsalliance.org.