Wausau bike route signBicycling in the Wausau Area? This subject always brings mixed emotions and criticisms from the cycling community and non-cyclists. Wausau may not be the easiest cities to get around in via bike. We’re located in a valley so hills become our nemesis. Plus the river bisects the city, and with only three bridges; cyclists and motorists have to share those busy thoroughfares to get to the other side of town.

I’ve been bicycling in the city for almost 20 years and progress has been and is still being made. We have a vibrant bicycle community that is working with City and County government. Bike routes are being marked again, new road construction projects include space for alternative transportation, and trails have been added along both sides of the river. The one thing that still needs to change is motorists attitudes towards bicyclists.

While I don’t get cursed at near as much as I used to while on the road, motorists need to understand that they must share the road with bicycles, give them adequate space, and watch for them when starting, stopping, and turning. Cyclists need to observe the rules of the road, stay to the right, signal their intentions, and be properly lit when riding at night. Motorists and cyclists can coexist if both sides follow the rules and watch out for each other.

This post wasn’t intended to turn into a screed, but instead alert you to some great cycling and pedestrian activities happening this week.  The month of May is National Bicycle and Pedestrian awareness month, with the bulk of the activities centering around May 14-18 which is National Bike Week. The weather should be beautiful much of the week, so get on your bike and burn some calories instead of gas.

Wausau Bike and Pedestrian Week events:

Bike/Walk to School Day –  Thursday May 17
The  Wausau School District encourages elementary age students to bike or walk to their neighborhood school on Thursday.

Kronenwetter Community Bike & Walk – Thursday May 17, 6:00pm
Meet at the Soccer Field & Recreation Park for a family friendly Bike & Walk to promote safety. Food, Drinks and door prizes. Free to the public, participants are required to wear helmets and encouraged to wear bright colored clothing. No pets please.

National Bike to Work Day – Friday May 18
Ditch the car and take your bike. Commutes less than three miles often can be biked is as much or less time than by car. Show your support of cycling by biking to work.

Stine Eye Center: Eye Bike for Kids – Saturday May 19, 9:30am
Head over to Kennedy Park in Weston for a fun family bike ride. Details at Facebook.com/EyeBike. Sponsored by Stine Eye Center and Sprocketz Bike Shop.

Rib Mountain Children’s Bike Rodeo – Saturday May 19, 10:00am
Sponsored by Rib Mountain Lions Club. For children 6-12, meet at Rib Mountain Elementary School for bicycle safety lessons and a bike rodeo course. Bring your bike, helmets are required.

These are more events can be found at Healthy Marathon County.