Outdoors

South Sound packs Bike Month with events

The South Sound doesn’t mess around when it comes to Bike Month.

There are so many ways to ride, workout, commute or just celebrate bike culture that the region is getting a head start. Wednesday morning at 7:30, Tacoma’s Urban Grace Church will have a service to bless bikes. And at 5:30 that evening, the city of Tacoma will dedicate a new section of trail.

Then, bike month gets rolling at 11 a.m. Friday, when Gig Harbor dedicate its extended (to 6.2 miles) Cushman Trail.

Bike Month seems to get a little bigger every year in the South Sound. In fact, if you really want to get serious about it, you can find something to do on your bike every day in May.

FRIDAY: COMMUTER CHALLENGES

A little friendly competition and the chance to win prizes could motivate you to spend a little more time on your bike. Pierce Transit and Thurston County’s Intercity Transit both have commuter challenges. And Washington Bikes has a team taking part in the National Bike Challenge. piercetrips.com, intercitytransit.com, wabikes.org.

MAY 2: BIKE SWAP

In its seventh year, the Tacoma Bike Swap at the University of Puget Sound lets you buy a new bike, sell your old ride and meet cyclists and local experts. Starts at 10 a.m. pugetsound.edu.

MAY 3: MAY DAY CLASSIC

Leave from Jersey’s Sports Bar, 35509 21st Ave. SW, Federal Way, on a ride of 50, 72 or 104 miles. The $35 ($40 starting Friday) entry fee includes support, food stops and finish line pie. philsbikeshop.com/mayday.

MAY 4: FIND A CLUB

Bike clubs are a good way to meet cyclists, find new routes and learn more about bikes. The South Sound has many options from the Tacoma Wheelmen’s and Capital City Bicycling clubs to niche groups such as the Puyallup Cyclopaths (think long, uphill rides), VeloFemmes (a club for women) and the Evergreen Tandem Club. twbc.org, capitalbicycleclub.org, puyallupcyclopaths.com, velofemmes.wix.com, meetup.com/EvergreenTandemClub.

MAY 5: BIKE SCHOOL

Lacey’s Joy Ride Bikes, 1225 Ruddell Road, offers regular bike repair courses. The topic on May 5 is flat repairs. Bike school is also in session May 7, 19, and 21. Classes are at 6 p.m. joyridebicycles.com.

MAY 6: BIKE TRIVIA

The Swiss, 1904 S. Jefferson, will host a bike trivia night at 6 p.m. theswisspub.com.

MAY 7: BIKE TO MARKET

The first 50 cyclists to show their bike helmets at the Broadway Tacoma Farmer’s Market get a token good for $2 at the market. Downtown on the Go will be selling helmets at the market. tacomafarmersmarket.com.

MAY 8: WATER FLUME TRAIL

Take a quick ride on the newly completed 1.8-mile section of Tacoma’s Water Flume Trail. cityoftacoma.org.

MAY 9: FIXIE RIDE

On Saturdays for the past eight years, fixed-gear bike riders have gathered at 10 a.m. at the Olympia’s Dancing Goats Coffee Bar, 111 Market St. NE, for a ride of 25-40 miles. The pace is usually 18 mph on the flats.

MAY 10: CYCLOFEMME

CycloFemme is an international Mother’s Day event designed to encourage women to ride. The VeloFemmes host a ride at noon at Old Town Park. cyclofemme.com.

MAY 11: CASUAL MONDAY

The Tacoma Wheelmen’s Bicycle Club has a Casual Monday Ride each week. twbc.org.

MAY 12: CHEHALIS WESTERN

With the Completion of the Chehalis Western Trail’s Pacific Avenue crossing in December, the South Sound’s longest bike path (22 miles) is easier navigate. Not long enough? Connect to the 14.5-mile Yelm-Tenino Trail. co.thurston.wa.us.

MAY 13: PEDALING POLITICIANS

A collection of Pierce County politicians plan to ride from Wapato Park at 5:30 p.m., discussing ways to make the county more bike friendly along the way.

MAY 14: BIKE TO WORK

May 11-15 is national bike to work week. bikeleague.org.

MAY 15: POKER RUN

Tacoma Bike Polo and 2nd Cycle are hosting a poker run at 2 p.m. Participants will bike around town starting at 2nd Cycle, 1205 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, collecting playing cards to build the best poker hand. Prizes go to the best and worst hands. piercetrips.com.

MAY 16: BIKEROBREW

Take a four-brewery bike tour, get a history of Tacoma breweries. The $45 registration also includes 40-50 ounces of beer and, according to the ride website, “some sweet swag.” bikerobrew.com.

MAY 17: KIDICAL MASS

Kidical Mass, led by local cycling advocate Matt Newport, is a monthly family-oriented bike ride. Kids, interesting bikes, play time and post-ride ice cream are common. kidicalmasstacoma.blogspot.com.

MAY 18: GOLDSPRINTS

The Red Hot and Defiance Bicycles are staging a night of stationary bike races. The showdowns start at 6 p.m. at the Red Hot.

MAY 19: BIKES FOR KIDS

Marine View Presbyterian Church has been refurbishing bike for kids since 2000 and is regularly looking for donations and volunteers for its Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning work parties. mvpbikesforkids.webs.com.

MAY 20: BLANCHER TRAIL

Eatonville put in two bridges on the Bud Blancher Trail last fall, and the gravel path now links the town to the dirt roads of Pack Forest.

MAY 21: INKY SPOKES

Check out bike-inspired art at a Tacoma Art Museum exhibit that starts at 5 p.m.

MAY 22: SUMNER LINK TRAIL

Sumner unveiled its flat, scenic trail last year making it easier to link the Foothills and Interurban Trails. ci.sumner.wa.us.

MAY 23: TACOMA BIKE

Tacoma Bike, 2010 Sixth Ave., hosts rides of 35-70 miles at 9 a.m. Saturday mornings. The ride tends to split into three groups based on pace. tacomabike.com.

MAY 24: WORK PARTY

Take a few laps at Swan Creek, the South Sounds’ first designated mountain bike park, then help the volunteers from Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance work on the trails starting at 10 a.m. evergreenmtb.org.

MAY 25: CRUISE CUSHMAN

Gig Harbor’s Cushman Trail runs 6.2 past streams and lush greenery and offers something many community trails don’t: hills with a 10 percent grade. It can be linked to the Scott Pierson Trail (with a short section of road riding) so you can avoid tolls by biking over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. penmetparks.org.

MAY 26: CYCLE TUESDAYS

Cascade Bicycle Club, the nation’s largest bike club, hosts 25-40-mile rides Tuesday evenings in Renton. The May 26 ride leaves at 5:45 p.m. from Coulon Park, 1201 Lake Washington Blvd. N. cascade.org.

MAY 27: HELMET ART

Downtown on the Go will lead a short ride from 11th and Pacific Avenue to King’s Books, 218 St. Helens, at 5:30 p.m. There, the Cartoonist League of Absurd Washingtonians will turn white bike helmets into wearable art. downtownonthego.com.

MAY 28: FITNESS RIDES

The Capital City Bicycling clubs offers a series of fitness rides on Tuesday and Thursday nights. capitalbicycleclub.org.

MAY 29: WEDNESDAY NIGHT WORLDS

Race Mountain bikes at North Sea-Tac Park, 13699 18th Ave. S., starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday nights April 16-Sept.16. nwmtbseries.com/wed-night.

MAY 30: TWEED RIDE

Turn back the clock, throw on some tweed (or other old-timey garb) and meet up for a ride at the Point Defiance Park pagoda at 10:30 a.m. piercetrips.com.

MAY 31: ISLAND GETAWAY

Once again, the South Sound says bon voyage to Bike Month with a short, all-ages bike ride on Anderson Island. Meet up for the 1:45 p.m. ride, then ferry to the island from Steilacoom. Make the short ride to the Ol’ Swimming Hole. For more information, send an email to Pierce County planner Shawn Phelps at sphelps@co.pierce.wa.us.

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