Sacramento area cyclists may find the roads a little different this year in Bike Month 2015.
Charlie Neuman rides his bike everyday. He works in Downtown Sacramento and cycles home to Woodland on a 16-speed bike wearing a silver helmet.
"Every month is Bike Month for me," says Neuman. "Get some exercise. When I get home I'm done, I've done my workout for the day."
Neuman points out that a lot has changed since last year's Bike Month, including new bike lanes downtown. 10th Street used to have three car lanes. Now it's down to two car lanes to accommodate bikes on both sides of the street.
"I like that," says Neuman. "There's a lot of those around town, that's a plus."
Sacramento State has new green bike lanes too.
This will also be the first Bike Month since California's Three Feet for Safety Act was put into effect requiring drivers to give at least three feet of clearance when passing cyclists. Although Neuman says not much has changed.
"I think it's still about the samem," says Neuman. "In fact, I saw somebody the other day, they came pretty close."
Close calls can also come between bicyclists and pedestrians. The City of Sacramento has yet to act on a push to ban bikes on sidewalks.
AJ Tendick is with SACOG - the "Sacramento Area Council of Governments" - an agency that plans and pays for transportation projects, and one of the organizers of local Bike Month activities. He says obeying rules of the road must go both ways.
"That's the same with pedestrians and bicyclists on the sidewalk," says Tendick. "It's the same with drivers and cyclists on the street."
National Bike Month is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists. For the past 11 years, SACOG has organized the event here. Tendick says this year's goal is for local cyclists to log two-million miles.
"Last year we got within 3,000 miles of that so we're really pushing for 2 million miles logged this year. We had about 10,000 people participate last year. So we're hoping with just a little bit more we'll be able to reach that mark."
If you're taking part in Bike Month and put a lot of mileage in, you could wind up with more badges than an Eagle Scout.
"This year we've got thousands and thousands of patches coming that are the bike month logo," says Tendick. More than 50 badges will be available.
"If you're the top mileage person at your employer, if you've logged more than 20 trips that month, etc.," says Tendick, "so you get a great little badge. It's folks having fun on their bike and it's just another way for them to kind of share it and have fun with it."
Kickoff events will be held in Downtown Sacramento tomorrow morning from 7 to 9 o'clock near the rose garden in Capital Park. And tomorrow afternoon from 4 to 6 at Hot Italian restaurant at 16th and Q streets.
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