Bill, LaVona, and Robin Groff at Rim Cyclery in 1991. Bill and Robin Groff opened Rim Cyclrey in 1983 and promoted mountain biking in Moab as it became a popular sport. [Norm Shrewsbury / Photo courtesy Museum of Moab]

Friday, May 17, is Bike to Work Day. And when you get off work, you can start the weekend celebration by joining the Bike Prom.

Participants are invited to wear taffeta and tuxedos, but no dress code is required.

“Moab loves to dress up, you know,” said Michelle Hill, who sits on the Museum of Moab board.

The bicycle promenade will begin at 2:30 p.m. the Helen M. Knight Elementary. The line will head down 400 North, then turn right on 500 West. From there participants will cross Hwy 191 to ride the city’s bike path to Moab Springs Resort.

“There will be dancing to a live band, a historic photograph exhibit. a silent auction and ample water to fill your water bottle,” Hill said.

The event ends in time for cyclists who will be participating in the Moonshadows Ride to Dead Horse Point State Park with Skinny Tire Events.

The Bike Prom is one of several activities to celebrate Moab’s biking culture throughout the month of May, which is nationally recognized as Bike Month by the League of American Bicycles.

“It seemed like the right year to begin celebrating,” Hill said. “Rim Cyclery turned 30 years old this year and the city has applied for a Bicycle Friendly designation.”

Rim Cyclery was the first bike shop opened in Moab and promoted mountain biking when it first became a popular sport in California.

Bike Month began a few days early with the second annual Bike Rodeo held at Helen M. Knight Elementary on Monday, April 29. Western Spirit Cycling has hosted the event, which included bike tuneups, lessons on bicycle care as well as bicycles and bikes for children who had none.

Between the two years, Western Spirit Cycling was able to hand out 40 bikes to Moab-area children in 2012. This year they distributed 30 bikes, 42 helmets and fixed 56 flats.

“It’s terrible for kids in Moab not to have bikes when there are so many bikes around,” said Ashley Korenblat, owner of Western Spirit Cycling. “This is an easy way to pass it on.”

Each year, volunteers at the rodeo have found that there weren’t enough adult-sized bikes needed by children who growing quickly.

“By the time you’re in sixth grade, you need an adult bike,” she said.

Korenblat hopes that by next year, people who have bikes sitting around unused will donate the bikes for a child to ride.

On May 8 volunteers assisted children on Bike to School Day.

And this week, beginning on Monday, local businesses have been donating free coffee to those riding their bikes to work. To get fresh brewed coffee, bicycling commuters need to bring their own cup between 7:30 and 9 a.m. To either Wicked Brew or Brewed Awakenings on Wednesday; the Love Muffin or Chevron convenience store on Thursday; and Peace Tree or Moab Coffee Roasters in Lost River on Friday.

Western Spirit Cycling will be hosting a Bike Park Fun Day at the Anonymous Bike Park on 500 West.

Robin Groff, who founded Rim Cyclery with his brother Bill, feels that it is about time for Moab to celebrating its biking history.

“It’s way overdue,” Groff said.

He and his brother had both worked in the mining industry, but as the uranium mines and mill shut down, the two were unemployed.

“We didn’t want to leave. We both had small children,” Groff said. “We twiddled our thumbs. We rode bikes and we pondered opening a little repair shop out of my brother’s garage.”

He and his brother pooled their savings together, and with the help of their parents, opened a shop in 1983.

It was strictly road bikes in the beginning.

“But the mountain biking thing took a hold and we tried to promote it,” Groff said. “We were somewhat successful at it.”

Groff said he felt celebrating bike month in Moab was long overdue.

“It is because of bikes this community was pulled out of quite a slump,” Groff said.