Write a Bike-Ku for Bike to Work on May 21

BlogHer Original Post

Once you read this haiku, you'll want to two-wheel it to your nearest ice cream shop:

Strawberry ice cream
Is hard to carry by bike
But it makes good paint

That poem -- titled "pink bike" -- is the pedal-fueled creation of Julie Lipson, who's entered Sierra Club's bike-ku contest. The colorful imagery makes hers my favorite of the submissions so far -- and it's not just because my own bike's pink! (Okay, maybe it is.)

Think you can write a better one? May's National Bike Month, so celebrate by entering the contest for a chance to win a Breezer Uptown 8 bicycle -- or Nutcase helmet or Kryptonite lock for your carbon-emissions-free mode of transport. If flexing your poetic muscles isn't your thing, get your leg muscles in gear -- because Bike to Work Day happens Friday, May 21.

The annual event takes place on the third Friday of every May -- unless you live in the San Francisco Bay area, in which case you're so eager to get pedaling that you celebrated a week early. Jaymi Heimbuch at Treehugger reports that because San Francisco's already so bike friendly, the day didn't look all that different:

The only thing marking today as a special day for San Francisco Cyclists was the sidewalk chalk messages scrawled all along the Wiggle Route. But at least these announced that today is a day to join the two-wheeled party!

Many cities, however, celebrate with lots of fun, big events, ranging from snack-filled rest stops for hungry bicyclers, giveaways and raffles, and parties. In San Diego last year, cycling commuters got some yummy snacks and entertainment, according to car-free cyclist Beany who blogs at Brown Girl in the Lane: "They fed me apples and strawberries. They were also very nice."

Bike to Work Day's the day to finally dust off that bike you've meant to ride, but haven't hopped on yet. Dorothy Le, former Planning and Policy Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, wants you to seize the day. In a video about her bike advocacy work (via Grist), Le says:

I would like it for a person who has their bicycle in the garage who's like, "you know, I want to ride this thing," to be able to go out. And this is a push for them to start riding their rusty bike in the garage.

Still scared or anxious about biking to work? Read alyssaroyse's quick guide to Bicycle Commuting For The Corporate Chick. Or, if you work in a hilly area and don't think you've got the leg muscles required to pedal yourself there, consider an electric bicycle -- which Slate's Farhad Manjoo recently waxed lyrical about. And if you're motivated by a financial bottom line, note this: Buying and maintaining a bike's a money-saving proposition.

Then find a Bike to Work Day event near you, and start pedaling.
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BlogHer Contributing Editor Siel works at home and bikes to fun. She also blogs at greenLAgirl.com.

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