Courtesy of Bicycle Coalition of Maine

PORTLAND – The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has planned a variety of free events to honor and celebrate Global Road Safety Week from May 15-21.

“Keeping cyclists and pedestrians safe is the cornerstone of the BCM’s mission,” said BCM Executive Director Jean Sideris. “This is a chance for Mainers across the state to learn something new, attend a ride, honor fallen cyclists, and celebrate the joy of biking.”

The week kicks off on Sunday, May 15, with a free “Fix-A-Bike” workshop at Maine Beer Company that will cover routine maintenance, roadside repairs, and how to perform a basic tuneup. 

Sunday’s schedule also includes a free bike rodeo in Augusta that teaches kids how to ride in a closed, mock traffic course. Additional free rodeos are scheduled on Saturday, May 21 in Lincoln and Naples.

The first virtual event — a free spring biking webinar entitled “We’re Bringing Safety Back” — will be held on Monday at noon.

Global Road Safety Week will also mark the return of the BCM’s Urban Riding Classes, which help cyclists feel more comfortable riding in traffic in a city setting. This on-bike education opportunity will include how to safely take the lane, make left turns on busy streets, and avoid being “right-hooked” by drivers. These free classes will be held in Portland and Lewiston on Tuesday, May 17, as well as Portland and Orono on Thursday, May 19.

The annual Ride of Silence is held around the world on the third Wednesday of May to honor those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways. The BCM is once again the statewide coordinator for this silent slow ride. The Coalition will be holding their own free event in Portland on May 19, but also encourages folks in Andover, Lewiston, Saco, and Yarmouth to join rides being held locally. 

Mainers looking to become local bicycle and pedestrian advocates can sign up for a “Community Spokes” training, which will be a two-part virtual session on Wednesday, May 18 and Thursday, May 19. Through training, education, and ongoing technical support, Spokes across the state can help improve biking and walking conditions in their communities, the BCM says.

The final weekday event will be a Bike to Work Day extravaganza. The Portland Public Library; Friends of Congress Square Park; Portland Gear Hub; Portland Bike Party; City of Portland Maine Parks, Recreation & Facilities Department; Portland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee; CyclingSavvy; and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine are all teaming up to throw one big celebration in Congress Square Park on Friday, May 20 from 8-10 a.m. People who bike to work on Friday are encouraged to stop by the park for free coffee, donuts, and bagels donated by Tandem Coffee Roasters, HiFi Donuts, and Rose Foods, as well as bike mechanic demos, safe-cycling tips, safety gear giveaways, music, and more.

More information about the BCM’s Global Road Safety Week plans can be found at bikemaine.org/global-road-safety-week-events/ or bikemaine.org/events

Global Road Safety Week and its campaigns are coordinated by the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration and chaired by the World Health Organization. All stakeholders — national and local governments, international agencies, civil society organizations, private companies, and the public generally — are invited to plan and host events.

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine works to make Maine a better and safer place to bike and walk. Founded in 1992, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine has grown into the leading bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group in the state. The Coalition believes all Mainers should have access to bikes and bike education, and we envision a future where Maine’s roads, public ways, and trails are safe and accessible, resulting in cleaner travel options, improved health, and stronger economic benefits for Maine communities.