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Join the OPL in National Bike Month activities throughout May

With the weather warming up, it’s about time to get outside and don’t forget to grab a bike because the month of May is National Bike Month. The Oakland Public Library’s various branches are also gearing up for National Bike Month with a smorgasbord of exciting activities for all different age groups.

The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) and curators of National Nike Month were established in 1880. With a vision to see a “bicycle-friendly” America in the near future, LAB sponsors a numerous events throughout the year, spreading awareness to pave the way to bicycling being recognized as legitimate means of transportation and recreation by engaging communities, businesses and government bodies through its Bicycle Friendly American (BFA) program.

The Oakland Public Library is doing its part in employing LAB’s vision and mission by encouraging Oakland locals to get outside and get involved in National Bike Month activities. Below is a list of ways to participate in National Bike Month via the Oakland Public Library:

Event: Bicycle Shop Discounts for OPL Patrons
When/Where: May 1 through May 31
Description: The Oakland Public Library is partnering with local bike shops to ensure library users have access to bike safety gear. Library users can present their library cards at selected stores and receive 10% off parts and accessories. The confirmed participants are Bay Area Bikes, Manifesto Bicycles, Lakeview Bicycle, and Montano Velo.

Event: The Man Who Biked Across America
When/Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Branch, 6833 International Blvd., Saturday, May 3 at 3:00 p.m.; Temescal Branch, 5205 Telegraph Ave., Tuesday, May 6 at 6:00 p.m.; Main Library, 125 14th St., Saturday, May 17, 1:00 p.m.
Description: Listen to Michael Woods talk about his amazing 2013 bike ride from the Bay Area to Boston. He’ll discuss his touring bike, the 50 pounds of gear he brought along and how you don’t need to be an athlete to tour long distances.

Event: Kamishibai Stories on the Back of a Bicycle
When/Where: Rockridge Branch, 5366 College Ave., Tuesday, May 6, at 7:00 p.m.; Frog Park (a few blocks from Rockridge Branch), Tuesday, May 13, at 7:00 p.m.; Rockridge Branch, Tuesday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m.
Description: Discover storytelling through the eyes of ancient Japanese culture. On three Tuesday nights in May, watch and listen to a Kamishibai picture scroll hoisted on the rear of a bicycle and enjoy complementary Japanese snacks as well.

Event: Energizer Stations for Bike to Work Day
When/Where: Thursday, May 8
Description: There will be over 300 total Energizer Stations in every Bay Area county offering free drinks, treats and plenty of cheer for the 2014 Bike to Work Day bicyclists. The Oakland Public Library will be based at the BART’s Lake Merritt Station to manage this Energizer Station while the Bike Library will host City Hall’s Energizer Station. For an easier experience planning bike commutes and locating Energizer Stations for Bike to Work Day, click here.

Event: Meet and Ride with Author Elly Blue
When/Where: Saturday, May 10, 12th Street at 10:15 a.m.; finishing at 81st Avenue Branch, 1021 81st Avenue at 12:00 p.m.
Description: Starting at the César E. Chávez Branch, 3301 E, listen to Elly Blue will read from her book, Everyday Bicycling, which details on the green revolutionary movement. Ms. Blue’s reading begins at the Chávez branch and ends at 81stAvenue Branch, with an exciting bike ride in between. A basic lunch will be given, complements of the Friends of the Oakland Public Library.

Event: One-Hour Bike Mechanics Workshop
When/Where: 81st Avenue Branch, 1021 81st Avenue, Saturday, May 17 at 1:00 p.m.
Description: Facilitated by a certified Bike East Bay instructor, this useful workshop teaches entry level bicycle mechanics such as how to fix a flat and the correct ways to make adjustments to gears and brakes. Attendees will also learn bike cleaning tips and was to keep it cycling normally. Adults and teens only. Having a bike is not necessary to join the workshop.

Event: Bike Drive with Cycles of Change
When/Where: Main Library, 125 14th Street (Oak Street side), Saturday, May 24 at 10:00 a.m.
Description: The OPL is teaming up with Cycles of Change which repairs donated bikes and gives them to others in need through a series of educational and job training programs. Donate a bike that is at least somewhat working. The bike donations are tax-deductible and are coupled with a 20% off coupon for the Friends’ Bookmark Bookstore. Donate at the Main Library or at the Bikery on 1246 23rd Avenue. Or help by volunteer to help with the donated bikes. Email Mana Tominaga at to get involved.

Event: Decorate Your Bike with “Baybe Champ”
When/Where: Main Library, 125 14th St., Saturday, May 3 at 11:00 a.m.
Description: Kids are invited to personalize and decorate their own bikes with the Scraper King, Tyrone “Baybe Champ.” A variety of materials will be handed out to dazzle the bikes; kids are also welcome to bring their own supplies.

With so many events and to choose from, there’s no reason to miss out. Become a part of the movement, grab a bike, and pave the way to a Bicycle Friendly America this May.

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