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WHEREAS, for more than a century, bicycling has been an important part of the lives of many Americans, and today, residents of all ages throughout our great Commonwealth engage in bicycling for transportation, recreation, fitness, and fun; and
WHEREAS, bicycling is an efficient form of transportation and offers independent mobility for many Virginians traveling between work, school, and home; and
WHEREAS, the use of bicycles for transportation benefits all residents of Virginia as it eases traffic congestion, produces no air pollution, and lowers public funding of highway maintenance and construction; and
WHEREAS, bicycling is recognized as an activity that can delay the onset of chronic disease and childhood obesity, and consideration of bicycling in public planning, as in programs such as Safe Routes to School, will help create healthier and more active communities in Virginia; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth, through the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School Program, has awarded more than $25 million to 600 elementary and middle schools for projects and programs to encourage students to bicycle and walk to school; and
WHEREAS, bicycling offers a unique perspective from which residents and visitors may discover Virginia’s natural beauty, history, and culture, and a vast network of scenic rural roads and pleasant weather conditions make the Old Dominion a favorite tourist destination for bicycling enthusiasts; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth contains 858 miles of the U.S. Numbered Bicycle Route System; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is fortunate to have hosted the 2015 World Road Cycling Championships in the Richmond region, and many other organized recreational, charitable, and competitive bicycling events, each of which contributes much to Virginia’s economy; and
WHEREAS, Bike Month provides an opportunity to increase public awareness of the many benefits of bicycling, promote bicycle safety, and encourage bike riding through organized activities such as Bike-to-Work events, club rides, family rides, and bike rodeos for children;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 2019 as BIKE MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.