PORTLAND — The Bicycle Coalition of Maine plans to honor and celebrate Global Road Safety Week with a full slate of events — both virtual and in-person — from May 17-23.

“Road safety for pedestrians and people on bikes is at the heart of our mission,” says BCM Executive Director Jean Sideris. “We invite people all across Maine and of all skill levels to attend a ride, learn more, raise awareness, and join the movement for safer streets.”

Global Road Safety Week (GRSW) kicks off on Monday, May 17, with a temporary infrastructure installation — part of the BCM’s “Imagine People Here” program — in front of the non-profit’s offices at 38 Diamond Street in Portland. 

Tuesday, May 18, will see a series of free urban-riding classes in Bangor, Orono, and Portland aimed at getting inexperienced riders more comfortable with biking in traffic. Five of these small group rides are scheduled for Tuesday, with two additional classes in Portland on Thursday, May 20.

Wednesday is an even busier day, as May 19 begins with a virtual Wednesday Webinar that will discuss bias and victim-blaming in crash reporting and the real-life repercussions of this language. This free webinar will begin at 8 a.m. and feature the presentation of a crash report study by the BCM, as well as special guest speakers from BikeLaw and Streetsblog.

May 19 is the International Ride of Silence, a slow ride held annually on the third Wednesday of May to honor vulnerable road users who have been injured or killed by traffic violence while bicycling. The BCM is the statewide coordinator for the Ride of Silence and host of the Portland ride, and is supporting additional rides hosted by local groups in Augusta, Lewiston, Rockland, Saco, and Yarmouth.

On both May 19 and May 20, the BCM will also be virtually training the newest group of Community Spokes, the name given to the non-profit’s statewide network of bicycle and pedestrian advocates. The Spokes receive training and support from the BCM as they work to improve biking and walking in their local communities.

On Friday, May 21 — which is also Bike to Work Day — you can find the BCM celebrating the City of Portland’s installation of three new bike mechanic workstations, which the public will soon be able to use for various repairs while biking through downtown. To commemorate the Congress Square Park workstation, the BCM will be on-hand to provide demos and answer questions.

And finally, on Saturday, May 22, the BCM is teaming up with the local events and tourism committee and local police department to hold a free bike rodeo for kids in Lincoln. In addition to an obstacle course for children ages 4-10, helmets will be handed out and bikes will be raffled off.

More information about the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s plans for Global Road Safety Week, visit bikemaine.org/global-road-safety-week-events/ or bikemaine.org/events

The sixth annual United Nations Global Road Safety Weeks and its campaigns are coordinated by the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) and chaired by the World Health Organization. All stakeholders — national and local governments, international agencies, civil society organizations, private companies, and the public generally — are invited to plan and host events.

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is the statewide voice of cyclists and pedestrians. Since 1992, the BCM has led the effort to make Maine better for bicycling and walking by protecting the rights and safety of cyclists and pedestrians through education, advocacy, legislation and encouragement. We support biking and walking for health, transportation, and recreation. For more information, visit bikemaine.org.