Pedal to the Petals

Bike enthusiasts leave the car keys at home to save Cleveland's green space.

Chew on this tidbit of trivia for today's start of Cleveland Bicycle Week: Because 40 percent of car trips last no more than two miles, you can easily peddle the route in less than 15 minutes. If you keep it up for a year, you can shed as much as 13 pounds. "It's healthy for the individual," says Lois Moss, who runs the local bike group Walk+Roll. "Plus, it makes cleaner air and plays into the whole green- and sustainable-city idea."The week of activities to clean up Cleveland starts with this morning's sweep of the Cuyahoga River's banks, where bikers will haul trash away before hopping on their 10-speeds for a pizza lunch at the Nautica Stage (9 a.m., 2014 Sycamore Street on the West Bank of the Flats; free). Ohio City Bicycle Co-op will then lead its regular Saturday social ride through the Flats and downtown, while occasionally stopping to chat up passersby about the benefits of bicycling (10 a.m., 1823 Columbus Avenue; free).This afternoon, amateur athletes meet at the West Side Market for a spirited game of Burning River bike polo (1 p.m., 1979 West 25th Street; free). And the day winds down with a bike-themed art show at Lake Erie Artists Gallery in Tower City (6 to 8 p.m., 230 Huron Road; free). The push to promote bicycling also includes an offer to commuters to park their two-wheelers for free at the YMCA of Greater Cleveland's downtown lot and take a shuttle to work. The Y will also let you use its locker rooms and showers beforehand or afterward (2200 Prospect Avenue; free). And at the Cleveland Public Library's main branch on Thursday, a conference of civic and government leaders will pump up bicycling in Northeast Ohio's parks and trails (9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 525 Superior Avenue; free). "We just need to promote our Emerald Necklace trail more. And there's a lakefront bike path from Edgewater Park to Euclid Beach that few people know about," says Moss. "Bicycling is not a silver bullet for everything, but it sure can help." Cleveland Bicycle Weeks starts at 9 a.m. today through Saturday, May 17, throughout Cleveland. For event fees and times, visit
May 10-17, 2008