8 great ways to celebrate National Bike Month

Image courtesy of May Is Bike Month

The 2015 Amgen Tour of California is kicking off its big race in Sacramento this month, but for those who’d like to spin their own wheels, we’ve rounded up a list of bike-friendly activities across the region. From a four-wheeled pub tour to a bike-in movie, here are eight ways to participate in National Bike Month.

Afternoon Kick-Off Party at Hot Italian
May 1

Midtown’s Hot Italian will launch the Bike Month’s festivities with a public bash featuring pizza samples, giveaways and bike-themed prizes. The pizza and panini bar will unveil Sacramento’s pedicabs that were redesigned by local artists. Event-goers can also test ride a fleet of electric bikes from San Francisco’s Faraday Bikes and browse a t-shirt collection created in collaboration with Sacramento Republic FC. Free. 4-6 p.m. Hot Italian. 1627 16th St. 444-3000. mayisbikemonth.com

Full Moon Ride
May 3

Take a leisurely, lunar-lit bike ride that departs from midtown at this event, run by Sacramento Social Cycles. Mount your bike at dusk in the alley near Old Soul and Edible Pedal, where cyclists will await the "bat signal"—swarms of bats taking flight at sunset—before commencing on this evening joyride along the Sacramento River, with 15 miles of illuminated waterfront. Upon returning to midtown, bikers can stop at a pub of their choice. Free. 7:15-9:15 p.m. Liestal Alley near Edible Pedal & Old Soul. mayisbikemonth.com

Bike-In Movie
May 8

Roll up to the Sacramento Hostel—better known as the historic Llewellyn Williams Mansion—on two wheels for its Bike-In Movie Night. The restored Victorian estate will host a free outdoor screening of Premium Rush, an action-thriller featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an adrenaline-seeking bike messenger. Pack a blanket or enjoy seating in the picturesque garden patio, where the film will be projected onto a large screen big enough for 100 viewers. Watch the star speed through Manhattan, and savor the company of fellow cyclists and a smattering of world travelers while munching on popcorn. Free. 7 p.m. Sacramento Hostel. 925 H St. 443-1691. norcalhostels.org

Art Mix: Bikes + Blues + Brews
May 14
Cycling, craft beer and music aficionados will find common ground at this cycling trifecta, which will feature local brewers New Helvetia Brewing Company, Oak Park Brewing Company and Two Rivers Cider Company. In addition to bike-centric merchants like the Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen (a DIY repair shop) and bike shop Edible Pedal, Kickstarter-funded MonkeyLetric will light up the evening with digital wheel art while Straight Gauge Studios showcases light fixtures composed entirely of bicycle parts. Go for a ride on Off the Chain’s bike bus for a “Tour de Public Art” outside the Crocker and return to the museum for a blues fix by local bands High Profile Transients and Get Right Church. 5-9 p.m. Crocker Art Museum. 216 O St. 808-7000. crockerartmuseum.org

Apple Blossom Bike Tour
May 17
Pedal through Placerville for a scenic tour of blooming apple orchards, vineyards and mountain views. Routes for every level of rider wind through Apple Hill and the Sierra Nevada Foothills, with stops at Larsen Apple Barn and Pollock Pines. This ride-at-your-leisure day trip allows bikers to take breaks at any roadside stop along the way. Advanced cyclists can take the Metric Century route (open start time from 7 to 8 a.m.), a 62-mile trek through El Dorado County’s vineyards that requires 6,000 feet of climbing. The Metric Half-Century (open start time from 8 to 9 a.m.) features 30 miles of winding country roads with Sacramento Valley views and 3,500 feet of climbing. Beginners can opt to take the kid-friendly Family Route, beginning at 10 to 11 a.m., consisting of a six-mile jaunt through Apple Hill. A post-ride meal of homemade spaghetti and grilled chicken will await riders at the start/finish location in Placerville. $25-$55 ($30-60 after May 10). Start times vary by route. El Dorado Adventist School. 1900 Broadway. Placerville. 530-417-2857. appleblossombiketour.com

Sac Brew Bike
Every month is Bike Month for Sac Brew Bike: a fully pedal-powered cycle fit for 15 riders that hosts pub-crawls and food excursions all around Sacramento. During the Brew and Pub Tour, choose three to four destinations from a list featuring LowBrau, Tank House, Rubicon Brewing Company, Federalist Public House and Der Biergarten (with select discounts at each stop). Or embark on a three-hour Pedal to Plate Culinary Bike Tour that explores Sacramento’s farm-to-fork eateries Kupros Craft House, Golden Bear and Hot Italian (at the latter, you’ll finish your meal with gelato). Get up close and personal with chefs and learn where your meal is sourced while enjoying craft beer or cocktails. $20-$33.50 per person. Times and days vary by reservation. 1519 19th St. 952-7973. sacbrewbike.com

Peak Adventures
Sharpen your cycling skills with roadside repair how-to’s, bike basics and maintenance workshops at Sacramento State’s Peak Adventures program, which is open to the public and provides bike-related activities and free clinics all year long. Beginning or intermediate riders can learn gearing, brake modulation and safety in the Intro to Mountain Biking course (May 2); become an expert at tire repairs with a free Flat Fix clinic (May 7, 21, 28); and gear up for a Basic Bike Maintenance class on May 9 and May 23. Offered exclusively for Bike Month, a free Biking 101 class will be held on May 16, during which beginners can learn hand signals, how to negotiate street traffic,  and more throughout a 7-mile ride from Sacramento State to the American River Parkway Trail and back. Prices vary by event. ASI Peak Adventures. 6000 J St. 278-6321. peakadventures.org

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