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May 1, 2019

The Somerville Times: Bike Month kicks-off in Somerville

May is National Bike Month, which is intended to help spread the health and environmental benefits of riding a bike. The Somerville Bike Committee hosted a Bike Month Kick-Off celebration.

The Kick-Off was held on April 28 at Aeronaut Brewing Company and was part of Somerville’s SustainaVille Week, a week-long event dedicated to promoting a sustainable lifestyle and climate change activism. The event included a panel discussion on biking, valet bike parking, and live music.

The Kick-off was meant for anyone interested in the biking community, one of Boston’s longest-running bicycle gang, Skul was represented. Skul transforms bikes into “space ships” and rides them all throughout the Boston area.

At the Kick-Off, many bike enthusiasts gathered to inform the public about why riding a bike is the right choice in the City of Somerville. Oliver Sellers-Garcia, the Director of Somerville’s Office of Sustainability and Environment says it’s important to show people that bike lanes in Somerville are safe for travel. He says that safety is a big concern, so when people feel safe they are more willing to ride instead of drive.

U.S. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass), who represents the 7th district of Massachusetts and is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Bike Caucus, spoke at the Kick-Off and detailed why a sustainable lifestyle is important. She knows just how important biking can be to a community and plans to fight to make the roads safer for bicyclists.

Even though Pressley is a big supporter of making bike travel as safe as possible, she doesn’t ride a bike due to a knee injury. “I have chronic knee problems. I was sent to Washington to kick butt, took it seriously, tore my MCL so my limbs are compromised but not my voice,” said Pressley.

Pressley says that her work on making sure biking is a safe form of travel, is so important because having a sustainable way to help people travel, will help multiple areas in society improve. “I care about [biking because this is at the nucleus of the intersectionality of climate justice, of transit justice, of health justice. This is about fostering peace, building community, and sharing the roadways,” said Pressley.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone also spoke at the Kick-Off and highlighted how well the Somerville community has reacted towards fighting climate change. “I am so proud and privileged to be the mayor of a community that gets it,” said Curtatone. “We’re leading the charge and setting the standard on taking on climate change and transit equity.”

Curtatone says that while Somerville has made some great strides they are far from done and will keep pushing forward to help the city become as sustainable and environmentally-friendly as possible.

The Kick-Off was hosted at the Aeronaut Brewery Company. The SustainaVille week started on April 27 and will end on May 4.