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Chicago’s first protected bike lane on Kinzie St. increased ridership by 55 percent without increasing traffic congestion for cars.

Bike Palatine Club joins forces to celebrate National Bike Month

Teamwork is a key ingredient when it comes to encouraging more people to take up biking.

The Bike Palatine Club discovered that firsthand when it collaborated with a variety of community groups to celebrate National Bike Month in May.

Together they organized activities and public displays that promoted the benefits of cycling.

Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz kicked off the celebration with a proclamation declaring May as National Bike Month in the community at the May 3 Village Council meeting.

With League of American Bicyclists posters printed by the Palatine Park District, Palatine and Rolling Meadows Libraries highlighted bike books for circulation.

The Palatine Library also included the mayor’s framed proclamation as well as bike trail maps, brochures for the Bike Palatine Club, and Bike Safety Quiz promotional cards provided by Ride Illinois, the statewide nonprofit bike advocacy organization (Ride Illinois Executive Director Dave Simmons even rode his bike to Palatine to drop them off).

Besides the displays, the club revived its weekly evening casual rides — all canceled in the 2020 shutdown — from the Palatine Public Library. The club welcomed any helmeted bike riders on its 6:30 p.m. hour-long slow-rolls on local trails and residential streets.

This is the seventh summer that Tom Lucas, trained ride leader and ex-club treasurer, has led the popular casual rides along with other club members. The club has added its Tuesday evening casual rides in June.

On May 1, the club also launched the Go By Bike Bingo, inviting community riders to bike to local sites and businesses in Palatine.

Riders redeemed their simple bingos at Mikes Bike Shop and SamCycle Electric Bikes in Palatine or at the Crank Revolution bike shop in Hoffman Estates for $10 discounts on purchases. The Bike Palatine Club reimbursed the three shops for any bingo cards they collected.

Bike Palatine Club concludes its National Bike Month celebration with an “ABC Quick Check” demo at the Palatine Library bike corral, also led by Lucas, on Saturday morning, June 12. The free bike safety clinic focuses on the basics — air, brakes, and chains — for the purpose of getting people on their bikes as early as possible for the riding season.

National Bike Month PosterCRUCIAL COLLABORATIONS

As a small volunteer group, Bike Palatine Club found that working with the Palatine Park District, Palatine Library, Rolling Meadows Library, the Palatine Mayor’s Office, and Ride Illinois proved to be invaluable in successfully coordinating the National Bike Month activities.

Bike Palatine Club has done a small-scale bike month display at the Palatine Library before. This year we felt we needed to make up for lost pandemic time and go big, and doing that required cooperation across a wide spectrum of groups. 

I contacted Palatine librarians Xiang Li and Gayle Weyland in January to begin planning the May celebration. Bike Palatine Club Secretary Sue Montgomery coordinated the bike-related display at the Rolling Meadows Library.

“Palatine Library is always happy to collaborate with the community,” Li says. “When Ralph reached out about a National Bike Month display, it seemed a natural fit. The folks at Bike Palatine Club were easy to work with. I am very pleased with the cool-looking display we were able to put together. Hopefully, it will encourage Palatine residents to enjoy biking as a fun and healthy activity.”

The club’s park district liaison, Colleen Palmer, took charge of the poster printing. “Palatine Park District recognizes the importance of wellness, conservation, and physical activity — all of which biking provides for people of all ages,” she notes. “It is our pleasure to partner with the club and help it promote National Bike Month and biking in the community year round!”

 

This guest blog post was written by Ralph Banasiak, a Bike Palatine Club volunteer for special projects and a cycling columnist for the Daily Herald.

Top photo: As part of National Bike Month, Bike Palatine Club worked with Palatine and Rolling Meadows Libraries to highlight bike books for circulation.

Bottom photo: Palatine Park District printed the League of American Bicyclists posters that highlight the benefits of cycling.