Bike Week kicks off in Massachusetts - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Bike Week kicks off in Massachusetts

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(Image Courtesy: MGN Online) (Image Courtesy: MGN Online)

It's bike week in Massachusetts.  The Bay State is the only state in the nation with a week dedicated to bicycle awareness

Riders want to make sure drivers are always careful.

"They have a responsibility to watch out for us," said Don Podolski.

Podolski is an avid cyclist and owns a bike shop in Westfield. He was part of the group that took off from city hall Monday morning to promote "Bay State Bike Week."  He said that he wants the week to help raise drivers' awareness.

"We're their neighbors, we're the children in their neighborhood.  We're not some crazy group of riders. We're not racers out there. We're normal people," Podolski added.

Westfield has a long history tied to cycling. The Whip City has been home to the Columbia Bicycle Company for well-over a century and Mayor Brian Sullivan said that the city incorporates bikes when making plans - whether it's the Columbia Rail Trail or local road work.

"We have Stanley Park, Westfield State University, and on the north side, we have the high school, so people can get to place on their bike. I hope they take advantage of it," Sullivan noted.

Local cyclists point to the rail trail as an important step for cyclists.  There's currently 32 miles of uninterrupted trails between Westfield and Farmington, CT.

Those cyclists said that there are numerous reasons people should think about ditching their cars for bikes - even if it's just for a short trip.

"It's health benefits, how it relieves stress. The family and social aspect of it. All of this has just been a tremendous impact," Podolski said.

Organizers said the state adopted Bike Week back in 2012.  However, it's been a regional event here in western Massachusetts for well over a decade. 

You can CLICK HERE for a list of other bike week activities happening around the region.

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