If you notice a surge in bike usage in town during the next 17 days, you can likely point to the 2018 BIKE! Charlotte campaign. The City of Charlotte Department of Transportation, Charlotte Area Transit System and Start 2 Finish are rolling out a wave of events and promotions under the 14th annual campaign today, April 27, through Sunday, May 13.
The point: To prompt Charlotteans to dust off their bikes and slip them into their daily routines. This year’s theme, “Riding for a Better Community,” is meant to inspire people to use a non-polluting mode of travel that garners health benefits physically and mentally.
Bonus: CATS is offering free rides May 6-12 to anyone who racks and rides on a CATS service, the LYNX Blue Line included.
By the time you read this, the first event, the Mayors Bike to Breakfast in Uptown, will have passed.
But fear not, there are plenty of events left to unfold. Most of them are actually free. Here are a few of the more than 50 events to get you started:
For the socializers
Open Streets 704
Belmont, NoDa, Villa Heights, Commonwealth, Optimist Park Neighborhoods
April 29, 1 p.m.
Relish the freedom of streets blocked off from automotive traffic, hang with neighbors, ride your bike, take part in various events in each neighborhood and try the collaboration beer brewed by five of our local breweries.
The Spoke Easy, We Love Bicycles, Party!
The Spoke Easy, 1530 Elizabeth Ave., Suite 100
May 12, 7 p.m.
Check out cool bikes (The Spoke Easy designs and custom builds them), sip on a beer and meet fun people.
For the joyriders
JoyRideCLT to Open Streets
NoDa Amelie’s Bike Stand, 2424 N. Davidson St.
April 29, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Enjoy a “social-paced,” 10-15 mile bike cruise around NoDa, Plaza Midwood and Belmont before you settle in at Open Streets 704.
Sunday Slow Riders
Gumbo the Store, 1916 Commonwealth Ave.
April 29, 2 p.m.
A laid-back 15-mile ride awaits.
For the beer lovers
Advent Bike Benefits Ride:
933 Louise Ave., Ste. 101
April 27, 3:30 p.m.
Get moving for a total of 10 miles, starting at the Advent Coworking Bike Library, traveling to Catawba Brewing for a beverage, and back.
R3 (Recreational Recharge Ride)
Charlotte Cycles, 337 Baldwin Ave.
April 29, 4 p.m.
Make some new friends and cruise on to a brewery.
For the yogis
The Spoke Easy “Easy Yoga” 2018 Kickoff
1530 Elizabeth Ave., Suite 100
May 3, 6:30 p.m.
Zen out with Easy Yoga for Cyclists to boost your cycling performance. There IS a $5 suggested donation to benefit the business’ Haiti Clinic Project. Enjoy more Easy Yoga on May 10.
For the kids
Healthy Kids Day Bike Rodeo
Keith Family YMCA, 8100 Old Mallard Creek Road
April 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Get the kids moving as Giant University City and CMPD-University wrangle in a bike rodeo for kids ages 10 and under. Games, crafts and more are included as well.
For the foodies
Bike Shop Social and Cookout
QueenCity Bicycles, 128 E Park Ave
April 28, 3-7 p.m.
Chat about bikes, grill hot dogs (or BYOM) and hang out.
TFKC Dine and Donate Night
Pizza Peel, 1600 Commonwealth Ave.
May 1, 5-9 p.m.
Support Trips for Kids Charlotte by eating at The Pizza Peel, as 10 percent of food sales will benefit the nonprofit.
See the complete schedule of more than 50 events here.
Photo: Courtesy of City of Charlotte