May is National Bike Month, which means everyone who can should take up riding a bike. To kick the month off, Cascade Bicycle Club launched a new fundraising campaign that comes with a super optimistic and fun animated video: Will You Ride With Sophie?
The best way to encourage new people to try riding a bike varies heavily from person-to-person. Some just need a good push, others need gentle, patient urging. I have found that riding with someone along a route they do regularly (say, to their work or to the grocery store) at a time other than rush hour (say, a weekend or evening time) is fairly effective. Being familiar with where they are going helps people who are nervous, and they can see how much more fun it is to make that boring old trip if they do it on two wheels.
It is also important to communicate often, explaining each step as you go (for example: “We’re gonna go right at this light, then down a steep hill”). Make sure you ride at a pace that seems comfortable for your companion. Be patient and have fun.
For all you regular riders out there, what ideas/strategies/advice have you found to be most successful at convincing a friend to bicycling a shot?
For more Bike Month events, check out Cascade’s schedule. This year’s Bike to Work Day is May 20. You can also join the Group Health Commute Challenge if you need a little motivation to start commuting by bike.