North Central News

Events highlight Valley Bike Month

April is the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful spring weather on two wheels. This month is Valley Bike Month, and whether you are a regular bike commuter or just an occasional rider, there are several events and specials that cyclists can take advantage of. You can find the full list of events here.

Phoenix Police officers from the Bike Squad will lead member of the community on a 5-mile bike ride as part of the annual Tour de Slope, set for April 6 (submitted photo).

The Phoenix Police Department’s Bike Patrol officers will host their annual Tour de Sunnyslope, a police-led, 5-mile bike ride around the area on Saturday, April 6. No prior registration required, just show up at 8:30 a.m. at the south side of Palma Park, 12th Street and Dunlap Avenue. The ride will start and end at the park and is open to all ages. Bring a bike in good working order, and since the police are leading the ride, it’s best to wear a helmet! Stay after the ride and enjoy ’Slope Fest in the park, with food trucks, games, information booths and more.

Valley bike riders are invited to join in on the 14th-annual Phoenix/Maricopa Bike to Work Day, 7-9 a.m. Wednesday, April 17. Check-in begins at 6:30 a.m. Join Phoenix City Council and Maricopa County officials, as well as other dignitaries at Park Central Mall, 3100 N. Central Ave., for a police escorted 3-mile ride through historic neighborhoods to CityScape, 1 E. Washington St. Everyone is welcome to join the ride regardless of their bike-riding experience and fitness level. There will be a Valley Metro T-shirt, a complimentary light breakfast at CityScape and a raffle ticket for those who pre-register for the ride by April 12 at: http://www.maricopa.gov/btw.

While at CityScape, enjoy information tables promoting health, fitness, safety, the bicycle community, as well as guest speakers and more. There will be temporary bike racks available for this event. Parking will be limited at the mall, so if you can’t bike there, take the light rail with stops at Osborn or Thomas Roads. Although state law does not require bicycle riders to wear a helmet, it is highly encouraged.

Downtempo Ride and Phoenix Spokes People celebrate Valley Bike Month with a ride to FilmBar for a special screening of the “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” on Monday, April 22. Meet at Civic Space Park, 424 N. Central Ave., at 7 p.m. for a leisurely ride to FilmBar, 815 N. 2nd St. The movie starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $10, advance purchase is recommended at https://bit.ly/2SPQC1z. The routes are designed to be accessible, although they may include short ramps (e.g. pedestrian bridges over the freeway). If you are nervous about riding on the streets, this is great introduction. Temporary bike parking will be available at FilmBar.

For those of you interested in finding a group to bike with, there are many opportunities. Phoenix Spokes People holds several events each month, including a “Rise & Grind” morning meet up, 7-8 a.m. Fridays at various coffee shops and cafes around central and downtown Phoenix. You can check them out at Facebook.com/PhoenixSpokesPeople.

The Granada Chapter of Arizona Bicycle Club (ABC) meets 6:30 a.m. every Sunday at Granada Park, 20th Street and Maryland Avenue. Helmets are required, and there’s a group for every rider’s speed. Visit https://www.azbikeclub.com and under “Chapters” scroll down to Granada.

You also can find The Ladies Group, an all-women’s cycling group, under the ABC chapters list. The Ladies Group hosts weekend rides from October through May around the Valley. The number of rides or type may vary depending on availability of ride leaders. Follow the link to their meet-up page with a list of upcoming rides.

If you are looking for a less athletic, more social version, check out The BABES (Bicycle and Beer Evening Social). BABES is a group social ride just for women. They ride to restaurants, bars and other fun events the first Saturday and third Sunday of the month; new riders of all levels of experience are welcome. Rides are slow to medium pace and alternate between Tempe and Phoenix. Visit Facebook.com/groups/bikebabestempe/.

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