May has arrived—and that means it’s time to park your car and rev up your cycling muscles because National Bike Month is here! All over California (and across the nation), events are popping up in offices, schools, and cities, encouraging folks to get their bodies in motion by biking their way around town. It’s good for the environment, it’s good for our bodies, and—let’s face it, it’s fun.

If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, a few of these facts should get you going:

1) With more than 2/3 of the United States’ adult population obese and 1 in 4 kids overweight, healthcare costs are in the multi-billions. 2) Bike commuters not only report lower stress levels than their car-commuting counterparts, but they also are (on average) leaner, fitter, and have better triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and insulin levels. 3) Bike commuters help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 4) The Federal Bike Commuter Benefit rewards cyclists for choosing a greener form of transportation.

Feeling motivated now? Here are some Cali Bike Month highlights you should know about!

 

Bay Area Bike Month

Since San Francisco is the greenest city in the nation, it’s no surprise that their annual Bike to Work Day is always a huge success. Every year, hundreds of thousands of bike riders converge on bike lanes and trails throughout the Bay Area’s nine counties and cycle their way to their destinations. To keep people energized as they trek, the event even has “Energizer Stations” set up to provide snacks, drinks, and a little Rah Rah to keep you going. Other Northern Cal events include Sonoma’s Backroad Challenge on May 18th, the Bay-Area Historical ride: Angel Island Mountain Biking also on the 18th, and Santa Cruz’ challenging Surf City 600K on May 25th.

 

Los Angeles Bike Month

L.A. is geared up for cycling and Metro Public Transit is behind bikers every step of the way. Especially on Bike to Work Day (May 16) when Metro and 10 other transits will give free rides to bicyclists all day. On top of that, if you make the pledge to bike to work on May 16, you’ll be in the running to win a brand-new Novaro Transfer One Bike from REI. There are also plenty of fun-ride events going on in the city, including May 18th’s California Classic Ride, which is the only bike event that actually closes down a freeway for 2,000+ riders to do their thing. Also check out Glendale’s  Jewel Fun & Fitness Ride on May 18.

 

San Diego Bike Month

Mark May 17 on your calendars and join in on San Diego’s Bike to Work Day 2013. The city has a bunch of incentives to hop on your bike and all you need to do to reap the rewards (in addition to the health and environmental rewards) is officially register and log your bike treks in the Trip Tracker! Then you’ll not only be able to monitor your cost-savings and carbon-savings, but you’ll also be automatically entered into a drawing for a great prize. Another way to celebrate San Diego Bike Month is to get involved in the 4th Annual Corporate Challenge. Interested companies just need to register, encourage their “team” of bike-loving employees to ride to work, and whichever team earns the highest score in each category wins. It’s a great way to show off how eco-conscious and fit your company is!

Sacramento Bike Month

Our State Capital is definitely blazing the Bike Month trail with great options to show off your cycling skills. The celebration already kicked off at Fremont Park on May 1, where participants witnessed the launch of the region’s first “Bicycle-Friendly Business District” in Midtown and picked up a few skills like fixing a flat tire. The rest of the month is filled with events including Bike to School Day on May 8, Bike to Work Day on May 17 (complete with Energizer Stations along the way), and for avid cyclists: the Davis Double Century 200-mile ride is a can’t miss event. There will also be a “Bike From Work Day” happy hour to commemorate the end of Bike Month from 4:00–7:30 PM at the Golden Bear.

Will you be biking your way through National Bike Month? Let us know your plans!

Lead image courtesy of: Flickr.