The bicycle is an economical, healthy, convenient, and environmentally sound form of transportation and an excellent tool for recreation and enjoyment of Barton County’s scenic beauty.
That was the message Be Well Barton County member and avid cyclist Brandon Steinert left with the County Commission Monday morning. Commissioners adopted a proclamation marking May as National Bike Month.
“We want to get your knees in the breeze,” Steinert said.
Sunday was National Ride A Bike Day. Other dates include Wednesday as Bike to School Day, and Bike to work Week is May 17 to 23 with Friday, May 21, as Bike to Work Day.
“Throughout the month of May, citizens are urged to experience the joys of bicycling and to be vigilant of bicyclists in our community when driving,” he said. “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, getting outside for exercise is not only good for one’s physical health, but also for one’s mental health as people may be facing added stress and anxiety.”
A lot of benefits
Creating a bicycling-friendly community has been shown to improve citizens’ health, well-being, and quality of life, Steinert said. It can also grow the economy of Barton County, attract tourism dollars, improve traffic safety, support student learning outcomes, and reduce pollution, congestion, and wear and tear on our streets and roads.
“Be Well Barton County, the Barton County Commission, the League of American Bicyclists, schools, parks and recreation departments, police departments, public health districts, hospitals, companies and civic groups will be promoting bicycling during the month of May and throughout the remainder of the year,” he said. “These groups are also promoting greater public awareness of bicycle operation and safety education in an effort to reduce collisions, injuries, and fatalities and improve health and safety for everyone on the road.”
This is near and dear to Steinert. He was seriously injured a year ago after being hit by a car while riding his bike.
Established in 1956 and promoted by the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.
Formed in 2012, Be Well is made up of volunteers from all over Barton County. It is an advisory group dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles countywide, from bicycling to walking to food access.
Be Well Barton County is part of the Central Kansas Partnership, a health advocacy and risk prevention coalition of parents, professionals and concerned citizens from Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Stafford and Rush counties. In addition, the coalition deals with chronic diseases, drug and alcohol prevention, and teen pregnancy and suicide prevention.