The Next Step Resource Center is spreading the word about bicycles and their use during Bike to Work Week, which begins Monday.
The inaugural event is meant to bring bicycle awareness to the community.
The center, which helps individuals in challenging situations by helping them find employment, also includes a bike ministry. This ministry was the inspiration behind Bike to Work Week.
“When we started the job seekers class, we started the bike ministry because we were having so many people get jobs that we couldn’t possibly get everybody taken to work in our cars and on time,” said Next Step’s Executive Director Julie Hadlock.
Since December, Next Step has given away more than 100 bikes to individuals in order to give them effective transportation to work, the store or wherever the need arises.
“A lot of them are for people to go to work with,” said Hadlock. “A few veterans have gotten them to ride to the store and doctor’s appointments and things.”
Several events have been planned throughout the week of May 12-17, ending with a Bike Fest on Saturday, where the community is invited to join in activities that include a blessing of the bikes, a bike parade and a bike obstacle course.
Hadlock said some of the activities are modeled after the Nashville Bike Fest, which is a month-long celebration that is highlighted by the “Tour de Nash,” which sends cyclists across Nashville on its trails and greenways.
Activities for the week include a breakfast on the Square in Lebanon Monday morning, a celebrity bike-to-work ride featuring community leaders on Wednesday and a bicycle-safety poster contest.
Saturday’s Bike Fest, which runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Next Step Resource Center at 216-B Leeville Pike, will include the “Blessing of the Bikes” to start the festivities followed by a bicycle parade for first through third grades at 10:30 a.m. An obstacle course for students in fourth through sixth grades will be held, and the winner of the bicycle safety poster contest will be announced.
Old-fashioned carnival fare, including face painting, ring toss and bobbing for apples will also be available on site for entertainment.
For information about Bike to Work Week or the Next Step Resource Center, call 615-547-9999.