The City of Milford is kicking off a Bike Milford initiative, and Mayor Ben Blake has declared May 2015 Bike Month in the city.
In an effort to mitigate traffic congestion and parking, while improving the environment and health of the community, various cycling events are planned for the month of May, city officials said in a press release sent to the local media.
Milford was recently ranked #11 in the BikeWalk CT survey of the friendliest “bike walk” cities and towns in Connecticut.
The city boasts 17 miles of bikeable shoreline and the annual Folks on Spokes charity ride for Bridges. The event attracts hundreds of participants to raise awareness and funds for people on the road to recovery from the challenges of mental illness or addiction.
This year's Folks on Spokes ride will take place Sept. 27. However, Bike Milford promoters said cyclists of all levels can enjoy the scenic, well-mapped routes around the Connecticut shoreline for a 5, 10, 20, 40, 50 or 66 mile ride all year round.  Visit http://folksonspokes.bridgesct.org/ for more information.
The City of Milford is part of the nation's long-distance urban trail, the East Coast Greenway. By connecting existing and planned shared-use trails, a continuous, traffic-free route is being developed. At 2,900 miles long, the East Coast Greenway links Calais, Maine, at the Canadian border, with Key West, Florida. The greenway runs approximately 11 miles through Milford, traveling along the coastline, the state park and Milford center. In 2014, as part of a route enhancement project, the East Coast Greenway Alliance partnered with the City of Milford to complete a bike lane along Wilcox Park's Shipyard Lane.
The East Coast Greenway Alliance and the City of Milford will celebrate the opening of the bike lane on May 30.
Schedule of events:
May 1
Bike Milford Kickoff
Noon at City Hall
Ride over and join Mayor Blake for the kick-off of the Bike Milford Initiative on the steps of City Hall.
May 2
Ride to Rack
10 a.m. beginning behind Colony Grill
Follow the new bike rack route and get stamped at each rack for a discount at Colony Grill pizza at the end of the ride. Meet members of Connecticut Young Professionals who will be volunteering along the route. The ride begins at the new bike parking racks behind Colony Grill across from the Green.
Find rack locations at milfordrecreation.org.
May 9
Professional Helmet Check
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Tony's Bikes and Sports
Head to Tony's for a complimentary helmet check. Bicyclists can hook their bikes to new racks and walk the Spring Arts & Crafts Show on the Green.
May 15
Ride to Work Day
Mayor Blake, Milford police, friends, family and local officials will ride to work on May 15, and others are encouraged to do the same.
May 16
Bike Rodeo
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Harborside Middle School
The Milford Police and the Milford Recreation Department will host a bike rodeo at Harborside Middle School. Bike rodeo events include: Bike safety check; stopping at a line; obstacle cone course; riding bikes in a large circle and a small circle; and using hand signals. The importance of a properly fitted bike safety helmet will also be covered.
May 30
Bike Month Finale
5 p.m. Wilcox Park at the entrance of Shipyard Lane and Harborside Drive
Join the East Coast Greenway Alliance and the City of Milford for a ribbon cutting at the new bike lane at Wilcox Park.
6 p.m. at City Hall
Colleen Kelly Alexander, a motivational speaker and biking enthusiast, will speak at City Hall at 6 p.m.
To register RSVP to BikeMilford@ci.milford.ct.us. Space is limited and seats will only be available that evening on a first come, first served basis.
To learn more about the speaker, go to colleenkellyalexander.com.