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Ballard Street Party marks grand finale for Bike Month

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As the sun sets Friday, 2014 Bike Month and the Commute Challenge draws to a close for most Bike Month enthusiasts. Saturday, May 31 will see those Saturday bike commuting workers logging their final miles.

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The 2014 Bike Month and Commute Challenge have continued to draw bicyclists. National Bike Month has become an institution since its founding in 1956. True to its goal to encourage bicycling as initiated by the League of American Bicyclists, the embrace of Bike Month throughout the country by municipalities, the bicycle industry and bicycle advocacy organizations continues to attract more participants, introducing more and more people young and old to bicycling while energizing communities.

Bike Month and bicycling do energize communities. Local recognition of Bike Month’s impact can be found both in King County’s Bike Month webpage and WSDOT’s as well. In this year’s Commute Challenge, Cascade Bicycle Club (CBC) has registered over 2000 teams, more than 1200 organizations, and according to CBC, 12,445 riders are actively logging their commute miles.

Bike Month’s celebrated ending was held on Thursday in Ballard. As has been the tradition, 22nd Ave NW from Bergen Place to Marvin’s Garden was closed to traffic. However, this year the street party stretched around the corner beyond Marvin’s Garden continuing on Ballard Ave NW. Bicyclists reveled to music by the Swearengens from the mainstage at the intersection of Ballard Ave and NW 22nd, while trick riders astonished with adroitness and finesse. Children delighted themselves with art, a parade and even a bike rodeo. In addition, adults enjoyed quaffing Peddler brews at a beer garden.

Though Bike Month comes to a close, it is the heralding of more bicycling to come. The month arrives sparking enthusiasm after a winter of chill, gray and drizzle. Many riders unearthed their bikes from storage while many had been riding through winter’s gloom. As May and Bike Month recede, many days of warm and sunny bicycling beacon. The activities of Bike Month are just a prelude of what’s to come.

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