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.

Bicycle riders set off from the parking lot at Park Central Mall and head toward downtown Phoenix as part of the annual Phoenix/Maricopa Bike to Work Day, which takes place this year from 7-9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 19 (photo courtesy of the city of Phoenix).

Enjoy a Pedal Public Art Ride, presented by Phoenix Spokes People and Bicycle Nomad Café, on Saturday, April 8. Bicycle riders are invited to show up at 8 a.m. at the Bicycle Nomad Café inside The Velo Bike Shop at 828 N. 2nd St. and enjoy coffee and sweets (available for purchase) before setting off at 9 a.m. on an 8-mile tour of the downtown area’s public art, before finishing up back at The Velo. No RSVP needed.

Downtempo Ride celebrates Valley Bike Month with a ride to FilmBar for a special screening of the 1979 classic, “Breaking Away,” on Monday, April 10. 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 http://thefilmbarphx.com. 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. All types of bikes in good working order are welcome.

Valley bike riders also are invited to join in on the 12th-annual Phoenix/Maricopa Bike to Work Day, 7-9 a.m. Wednesday, April 19. 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 to CityScape, 1 E. Washington St. This is a “green” event so all bicyclists are encouraged to bring their own water bottles. Water for refilling bottles will be available at Park Central and CityScape, no disposable bottles will be provided. There will be free T-shirts and a complimentary light breakfast at CityScape for those who pre-register for the ride by April 14. There also will be a free light breakfast for registered participants (while supplies last). Pre-registration for the ride is required at: http://www.maricopa.gov/btw.

The city of Phoenix Fire, Police and Street Transportation departments are teaming up to educate youth about bike safety and promote the use of bike helmets at two special events: 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday, April 15 in the Oxford Square shopping center, 10880 N. 32nd St.; and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, April 28 at Margaret T. Hance Park, 67 W. Culver St. Planned activities include community bike rides and bicycle riding obstacle courses. Children will have the opportunity to actively participate in various activities to improve their riding ability and learn bike safety tips. Children are invited to bring their bikes and helmets to participate in event activities. Parents and guardians are encouraged to attend. No RSVP is needed. For more information about these events, contact Don Cross at 602-534-2020 or donald.cross@phoenix.gov.

The Grand Avenue district will play host to the third-annual DeTour de Grand, beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 29. An hour-long bike ride sets off at Fushicho Daiko Dojo at 925 NW Grand Ave. and returns at 6 p.m., when the beer garden opens featuring local bands, local brands and plenty of brews. For more details, follow them on Facebook at DeTour de Grand.

For more Valley Bike Month information, visit: http://www.valleymetro.org/campaigns_contests/valley_bike_month.


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