National Bike Month Events On Tap

BERLIN – To kick off National Bike Month, a local group is hosting a variety of events to promote the sport.

Members of the Eastern Shore International Mountain Biking Association (ESIMBA) are hoping to raise bicycling awareness with several activities in May.

“One of the things I like to say is the trail starts here,” said Tres Denk, president of ESIMBA.

Denk’s group will host a May 4 event at the OC House of Rock in West Ocean City beginning at 7 p.m. Representatives from five different bicycling groups will be there to share information on biking in Maryland and on the Eastern Shore. Denk hopes to see additional interest in the sport, which he says will benefit the area.

“I hope it inspires more commerce, business and tourism,” he said. “I know it will.”

Next weekend, on May 9, ESIMBA will give local children the chance to get a taste of mountain biking with “Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day” at Bainbridge Park from noon to 2 p.m. The event, Denk explained, will also serve as a ribbon cutting of sorts for the trail he and his fellow biking enthusiasts built in the Ocean Pines park. Though it’s short, the trail goes through the woods and can be ridden in a variety of different ways.

“There’s no traffic and you’re in nature,” he said.

He and other volunteers have spent the past two years cleaning up the park and building the half-mile trail. They removed deteriorating landscaping and made the area safe for bikes. Now that the trail is complete Denk wants area bikers, particularly children, to be aware of it.

“The hard part is building it but if people use the trails on a regular basis they stay in better condition,” Denk said.

As Denk introduces children to the trail May 9, he and other members of ESIMBA will also teach them the ABCs of bicycling — air, brakes and chain. Denk said that just as drivers were instructed to check their vehicle before putting the key in the ignition, bikers were advised to check the level of air in their tires, whether their brakes were working and if their chain was in good condition before getting on their bike. Denk said that this was the ideal time to offer bike safety reminders, as the weather was just warming up.

“It’s spring and kids are going to be getting on their bikes more often,” he said.

Children interested in attending the free event should bring their bikes, helmets, gloves and closed-toe shoes. A limited number of bikes and helmets will also be available for use. Bikes with training wheels are not permitted.

Denk is hoping ESIMBA’s efforts to promote bicycling will lead to more opportunities for bikers in the area.

“We’re behind the ball with being hospitable to those who bicycle,” he said.

He says things like road improvements and new mountain bike trails will take years to become a reality even with local support, which is why he’s trying to start the process now.

“It has to become part of planning,” he said. “We can’t wait any longer to start.”

He said the lack of designated biking areas was the only thing keeping many bicyclists off Delmarva.

“Most people say they would ride bikes if they felt safe,” Denk said.

For more information on ESIMBA visit