Bike Month Iowa shifts into high gear this weekend, with a saddlebag full of events around Greater Des Moines throughout May.

 

The festivities start with Handlebar Happy Hour at Angelo's on 8th in West Des Moines this evening from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

 

Bike enthusiasts can also check out cool rides at the 8th Annual Coolest Bike in Town and Bike Swap at Principal Park on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m. Bob Tyler and the Wreckless Hearts will provide entertainment, featuring Iowa craft beers.

 

Or, bike to the Downtown Farmers Market, where the Des Moines Bicycle Collective will offer free valet parking throughout the 26-week market season in the parking ramp at Second and Court avenues. A free family fun ride on the trails to the Farmers Market begins at 8 a.m. from the Metro Ice Sports Facility, 5110 72nd St. in Urbandale. 

 

The Greater Des Moines Volksport Ride begins at Gray's Lake Park at 8 a.m. Saturday.  To see the full list of Bike Month Iowa events, visit www.bikemonthiowa.com.

 

New Trail App

Riders also have a new tool to help them find their way on Iowa's trails. On Thursday, the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation announced the rollout of the "Iowa by Trail" smartphone app and website. The interactive map, which the foundation created in partnership with West Des Moines-based Shift Interactive, enables users to use their phones to find the closest trail, find points of interest, interact with friends, log their rides and more.

 

Bike to Work Challenge

The Bicycle Collective is also encouraging Greater Des Moines residents to participate in the Bike to Work Challenge during May. Last year, 323 workplaces participated, with more than 1,100 bike commuters logging nearly 44,000 miles. As of this morning, 63 workplace teams have already signed up, with 159 overachievers already logging more than 1,600 miles within the first two days.  For more information or to register for the Bike Challenge, visithttp://challenge.bikemonthiowa.com.