Bike Week (Bicycle Week)
Bike Week is a yearly international event that originated in Europe. It is typically a seven day event that advocates the importance of bicycling as a means of transportation. The event has been steadily gaining popularity in North American cities over the past decade. Bike Week takes place during the second week of May or June and is typically an entire week of city-wide cycling supplemented with events. The central aim of the event is to give citizens of a city the opportunity to help the environment and exercise in a fun and social way. Participants include professional cyclists, celebrities and individuals who choose cycling as a chief means of transportation for the week.
Introduced in the 19th century, the bicycle has a host of innovators and inventors. Though specifics of its origin may be hazy, the concept of bicycling as a mode of transportation surely originated in Europe. In 1923, the first preliminary Bike Week was held in the UK and a tradition was born. The annual event is nearly a century old and is religiously observed in Europe and more recently in North America. While the dates of a respective city's Bike Week may differ, conceptually, the event remains the same. Celebrities that have taken part in the past include Fearne Cotton, Fern Britton, James Cracknell, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Jon Snow, Josie Dew, Olivia Williams and Wayne Hemingway.
Bike Week takes place during the third week of June in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
In the United States of America, May is recognized as Bike Month and Bike Week is always either the first or second week of May. Austin, Boston, Pasadena, Portland, Roseville, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Washington are among the US cities that actively participate.
In Canada Bike Week occurs in either May or June because Bike Month is typically from May 25 to June 25. Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Victoria and Halifax are among the cities that participated in 2009. Vancouver participates every year: HUB facilitates the celebration.
Biking is a carbon-neutral, healthy, and cost-effective method of transportation. Though the construction of most bikes causes carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the carbon footprint of the average 2000 model family sedan, driven 12,000 miles (19,000 km) per year is 9,030 lb (4,100 kg) CO2 per year. In addition the car consumes 462 U.S. gallons (1,750 L; 385 imp gal) of gasoline. According to the Clean Air Council, auto emissions currently represent 31% of total carbon dioxide, 81% of carbon monoxide, and 49% of nitrogen oxides released in the U.S. 60% of the pollution resulting from auto emissions is released during the first few minutes of operation of a vehicle. The Federal Highway Administration tells us that 65% of all driving trips are made within two miles of the home. By biking 2 miles, twice a week, you can reduce your CO2 emissions by roughly 5 lb (2 kg).
The popularity of Bike Week has caused cities to do major overhauls in respect to city planning. Things like smooth bicycle lanes and better bicycle laws are being demanded by citizens and the pressure is causing change. Many cities that hold annual Bike Weeks have committees who push for the improvement of city regulation.
Cleveland Bikes has a committee that is about to contact city governments to advocate for better (safer and more fair) local ordinances covering bicycle operation. We have rated the ordinances ... Only one city, Brook Park, has excellent ordinances (rated A). About half (32) are mediocre (rating of C) and the rest are D's and F's (some even F-).
Furthermore the recent Bicycle Commuter Act of 2009  extends transportation benefits to bicycle commuters. Commuters are defined as one who: (I) regularly uses a bicycle for a substantial portion of the travel between his residence and his place of employment, and (II) does not receive any other qualified transportation benefit for such as transit, and parking. The legislation provides a tax benefit to employers who offer cash reimbursements to an employee who commutes by bicycle, while helping defray the costs of commuting for the bicyclist.
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