Bike Month events: 2022

May is Bike Month graphic

May is National Bike Month, and that means there are a lot of events taking place in the Newark area, many of which BikeNewark is either organizing, participating in, or helping promote in some way.

Whatever you choose, you are encouraged to get out on your bike during this month-long observance and try some of the trails and signed routes right here in Newark and/or bike beyond to nearby state or county venues.

Here’s the rundown.

Tuesday, May 3
Bike Delaware’s “Everyone Gets Home” Summit
Legislative Mall, Dover, Del.
See the schedule and learn how to register (free) by clicking on “Register” at BikeDE.org.

Wednesday, May 4 (National Bike to School Day)
Bike to School Day – John R. Downes Elementary School
Casho Mill Road, Newark, Del.
For info, see BikeNewark.org/events/b2sd.

Friday, May 6 (CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN)
First Friday Ride
Hillside Park in Newark, Del.
5:45 p.m.

This 4.4-mile slow ride in and around Newark is meant to be a social ride that showcases some of the city’s most rideable streets and trails. See BikeNewark.org/firstfridayrides for more info, including ride route.

Wednesday, May 18
Ride of Silence – Wilmington
2700 Pennsylvania Avenue, University of Delaware, Wilmington, Del.
7:00 p.m.
For info and to register, see White Clay Bicycle Club group event.

Thursday, May 19
BikeNewark partnership business meeting (virtual)
4:00–5:00 p.m.
If You’re interested in attending, please contact BikeNewark@gmail.com by May 18.

Friday, May 20 (National Bike to Work Day)
Bike to Work Day Celebration in Newark
Mentors’ Circle, University of Delaware, Newark, Del.
7:30–8:30 a.m.
For info on this free event, see BikeNewark.org/events/b2wd.

Saturday, May 21
White Clay Creek State Park Trail Etiquette Day
WCCSP Possum Hill parking lot (off Paper Mill Road), Newark, Del.
For info, please contact Laura.Lee@delaware.gov.

Phase 2 signage completed

photo of signage at the corner of Amstel Ave. and South Main St.
Westbound on Amstel Ave. at South Main St.

Just before the new year, the City of Newark completed installation of wayfinding signage for the West Bikeway segment of the Newark Bikeways low-stress network.

photo of view in the railroad tunnel looking west
Westbound entry to Hillside Park from the railroad tunnel

This work came on the heels of the opening of the long-awaited Hillside Park, built on the former grounds of the University of Delaware’s Rodney residence halls complex.

photo of signage in Hillside Park looking toward Dallam Rd.
Westbound Hillside Park sign looking onto Dallam Rd.

As a result of this work, bicyclists can take a low-stress route from Orchard Road on the Central Loop westward to Casho Mill Road—down Amstel Ave., through the railroad tunnel, Hillside Park, and the Oaklands and Nottingham Green neighborhoods.

photo of signage at end of West Bikeway
Terminus of the West Bikeway at Casho Mill Rd.

On Casho Mill Road, just south of the end of the bikeway segment is John R. Downes Elementary School. This segment should be widely used by elementary school children who can bike to/from school through the neighborhoods it bisects. Buffered bike lanes on Casho Mill Road will help keep young bicyclists safe on the short ride to/from Lafayette Road.

photo of destination signage eastbound on Dallam Rd.
Destination signage eastbound on Dallam Rd.

Eastbound (i.e., toward the city center and Central Loop Bikeway), signage includes directional symbols or destination information.

graphic map of the West Bikeway
Map of the West Bikeway segment

Thanks goes to Delaware Greenways for its generous grant to BikeNewark, which partially funded our “phase 2” signage—for the North, Northwest, and West Bikeways segments—as well as to the White Clay Bicycle Club for its monetary support, and to the City of Newark for installing the signage.

Help us celebrate National Bike Month

May is Bike Month.

For obvious reasons, BikeNewark is not holding its annual May Bike to Work Day event, which typically draws close to 100 people, but we look forward to resuming this popular event in 2022. However, we urge you to help us celebrate on your own and participate in our social media contest as described below.

photo of family with bikes
Example: Family photo at the Newark History Museum, accessed by the James F. Hall Trail
Event Partners: The Newark Partnership, City of Newark, DelDOT, UD, WILMAPCO, Newark Bike Project, Bloom Energy

Celebrate bike month (virtually) in 2021 with a social media photo contest. Whatever your reason for riding, share your favorite destinations and how you get there. Message your photo to us on Facebook, tag us on Twitter with #BikeNewark, or email it to us at BikeNewark@gmail.com. Note, we can only view photos on your personal page if they are marked for public viewing.

Each post earns you a prize entry. Entries must be shared by May 25*.

Bike to Work • Bike to School
Bike to Class • Bike to Shop
Bike to Dine • Bike for Take Out
Bike for Fitness • Bike for Fun

*Note that photos may be used for promotional purposes.



Along with the Bike for Fitness and the Bike for Fitness, join us on Sunday, May 16, to learn about bicycling in Newark. Stop by between noon and 2 p.m. at our tent on the Pomeroy Trail near East Main Street for free bike check-ups, maps, t-shirts, and info.

Suggested Ride 1: “Bike the Trails”

“Bike the Trails” route map

Newark boasts two of the most popular off-road paved trails in the state. On your own or with some friends, take a nice ride around Newark on this 6.5-mile route. We care about your safety. Please wear a helmet. Enjoy bike month in Newark!



> interactive map | text directions

Suggested Ride 2: “Bike for Ice Cream”

Bike for Ice Cream route map

On your own or with some friends, take a mouth-watering outing in Newark to stop at three of its local take-out dessert favorites on this roughly 6-mile route. Compare flavors, but remember, we care about your safety. Please wear a helmet. Enjoy bike month in Newark!



> interactive map | text directions

Suggested Ride 3: “Bike the Neighborhoods”

“Bike the Neighborhoods route map

On your own or with some friends, take a nice ride through several of Newark’s quiet neighborhoods on this just less than 7-mile double loop. Stay in bike lanes where they exist, and please wear a helmet. Enjoy bike month in Newark!



> interactive map | text directions

Suggested Ride 4: “Bike to Public Art”

“Bike to Public Art route map

On your own or with some friends, check out several of Newark’s many locations where you can view public art along this 6-mile loop. Start anywhere you like; however, there is some visitor parking off Discovery Blvd. at the south end of the map near the Tower at STAR. Stay in bike lanes where they exist, be careful when crossing the street (stay in crosswalks and follow crossing signals), and please wear a helmet. Enjoy bike month in Newark!

> GIS map with descriptions | text directions

Accomplishments in 2019

Delaware Greenways logo2019 was another busy year for BikeNewark. Following up on its successful endeavors in 2018, there were many opportunities for interacting with the public and working with our partner organizations. In fact, by the close of the calendar year we had formalized a partner relationship with Delaware Greenways—our seventh and newest partner. This first article of the new decade summarizes the various ways we contributed toward Moving Bicycling Forward in Newark, Delaware, last year. We hope you’ll consider supporting BikeNewark this year as we continue working for the good of the community.

OK, here’s the summary.

With respect to its core mission of bicycle-advocacy work, BikeNewark:

photo of “Central Loop” sign

  • Continued to consult with and provide input to Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson on the Delaware Avenue two-way protected bike-lane project, as engineering plans were finalized.
  • Completed wayfinding signage design work and oversaw production and application of signage, in coordination with the City of Newark and DelDOT, on “phase 1”—the Central Loop Bikeway—of the developing of the low-stress bicycle network—“Newark Bikeways.”
  • Began and completed wayfinding signage design work on “phase 2” of the Newark Bikeways project, which includes a North Bikeway, Northwest Bikeway, and West Bikeway.
  • Formally added Delaware Greenways among its official partner organizations.
  • Advocated on behalf of the bicycling community at various City Council meetings, including supporting 1) the Emerson Bridge (over White Clay Creek) project and 2) the preservation of the bike lane on Delaware Avenue during DelDOT’s Main Street construction project.
  • Submitted two New Castle County Bicycle Plan “priority project” proposals for funding consideration—Newark Bikeways development and protected bike lanes along Wyoming Road.

photo of Christine Schultz and Matt Kinservik and others arrivingBikeNewark-organized and/or -supported events held during 2019 included

  • The annual Bike to Work Day event (co-organized with the City of Newark) on the University of Delaware campus on May 17. More than 80 participants came to the event, which was sponsored by Bloom Energy and four in-kind contributing organizations. The event featured coordinated rides to the venue, free breakfast, speakers from the University of Delaware community and city and state government, the annual Bicycle Friendly Community Leader Award presentation, and random prizes (including a Trek hybrid bike).
  • Community Fun Ride logoA weeklong series of events called “Community Bike Days” from Sept. 3–7, culminating in a Saturday morning Community Fun Ride comprising a 2.25-mile “Family Fun Ride” and a 8.25-mile “Newark Loop Ride.” This signature ride event included 97 participants and raised more than $4,000 from sponsorships, which will be used to improve bicycling in Newark. The weeklong series included 17 in-kind contributing organizations.
  • Two Community Nights—June 22 at Handloff Park and October 26 at Wooden Wheels—to familiarize the public with BikeNewark and highlight its ongoing projects. Each included free food and drink.
  • Two Bike Central events in cooperation with the University of Delaware, Newark Bike Project, and DelDOT, one in the spring and one in the fall. The fall event was particularly successful, during which more than 20 sets of lights were installed and 5 helmets were given out free of charge.
  • Nine First Friday Ride events (March through November). These social slow rides through Newark averaged about 15 participants.

4 bike safety tips in Mandarin ChineseOur public service work involved:

  • Executing and posting results of a City Council and Mayoral candidates survey in advance of the April municipal election.
  • Redistribution of bike-safety flyers in four non-English languages—Spanish, French, Chinese, and Arabic—to the English Language Institute. These were based on the “4 Safety Tips for Bicyclists” cards that had been printed in English in 2018 for use by partner organizations.
  • Volunteering at and helping sponsor the Walkable/Bikeable Delaware Summit in May, which was organized by Bike Delaware, one of BikeNewark’s partners.
  • Hosting an information table during Newark Community Day (September 15).
  • Developing a budding relationship with The Newark Partnership.
  • Participating on the city’s new Transportation Improvement District (TID) committee.

Bike to Work Day 2019

 

photo of most of the attendees of the 2019 Bike to Work Day in Newark

Bike to Work Day event sponsors: Bloom Energy, City of Newark Dept. of Parks & Recreation, Trek Bicycle Newark, STAR Health, and WILMAPCONewark celebrated National Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 17. This beautiful sunny day brought more than 80 riders to Mentors’ Circle on the University of Delaware campus for the early morning event.

photo of Christine Schultz and Matt Kinservik
Christine Schultz and Matt Kinservik arrive at Mentors’ Circle.

Thought ridership was perhaps not what it should have been on such a nice day, the event enjoyed great support in terms of sponsorships, led by Bloom Energy, which allowed us to this year to include a “grand prize” of a new Trek FX-1 bicycle.

Speakers and attendees alike rode in, each in one of six area “bike trains.” Attendees enjoyed light breakfast fare and coffee and garnered free “Bike Month Delaware 2019” T-shirts, courtesy of DelDOT in cooperation with the Delaware Bicycle Council.

photo of Lou Rossi
Lou Rossi talks about why he commutes to work.

Having ridden in early because of his busy schedule, last year’s keynote speaker New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer kicked off the list of speakers at this year’s event.

University of Delaware Vice Provost Matt Kinservik followed up with an official welcome on behalf of the host institution, giving some personal testimony to the positive changes that are occurring in Newark while confessing that he may not have been worthy of his image being used on the event publicity this year.

Kinservik introduced UD mathematics professor and stalwart bike commuter Lou Rossi, who spoke about why he commutes to work, logging in some 13 miles roundtrip every weekday.

photo of Mayor Jerry Clifton
Newark Mayor Jerry Clifton addresses the morning’s attendees.

Newark-area State Representative Paul Baumbach then spoke to the gathered attendees. He was followed by new Newark City Manager Tom Coleman, who spoke about the current construction challenges facing the city but the many bicycle-infrastructure improvements on the horizon. New Mayor Jerry Clifton, who showed up early and helped set up, talked about his family’s experience bicycling.

On behalf of the City of Newark and BikeNewark, BikeNewark Chair and event emcee, Bob McBride, helped event coordinator Mike Fortner present this year’s Bicycle Friendly Community Leader Award to Susan Grasso. She was chosen because she had spent a good portion of the past three years working behind the scenes, both as a concerned citizen and as a member of BikeNewark, to advocate for bicycling as a normal and viable mode of transportation.

photo of Bob McBride, Caitlin Grasso, and Mike Fortner
Flanked by BikeNewark Chair Bob McBride and event coordinator Mike Fortner, Caitlin Grasso accepts the Bicycle Friendly Community Leader Award for her mother, Susan Grasso.

McBride ran down a list of projects and efforts which Grasso either initiated and/or she was directly involved in and concluded, “[Susan] always has been helping encourage people to bicycle more and advocate for better conditions for bicycling. Most recently, she has been serving on a city Sustainability Committee, which completely fits her desire to see more and more bicyclists—i.e., cleaner transportation—on the road here in Newark.”

Though Grasso could not be present to accept the award, her daughter, Caitlin, accepted on her behalf and read words of gratitude that her mom had composed and sent her via cellphone.

Fortner, one of BikeNewark’s liaisons from the City of Newark, joined McBride to make the morning fun by giving away several gift certificates to local businesses. Then, to cap off the event, the Trek bicycle winner’s name—Rayanne Luke—was drawn by Trek Bicycle Newark manager Dave Schindler, and the bicycle was presented to her.

A large group photo was organized to close the event, and afterward lead sponsor Bloom Energy shot its own group photo before everyone headed off to work for the day.

photo of Bloom Energy group
Lead event sponsor Bloom Energy sent a strong contingent of riders.

2020’s Bike to Work Day event in Newark will take place on Friday, May 15. BikeNewark looks forward to seeing you there.

Photographs by WILMAPCO’s Heather Dunigan.