In addition to acting as the gatekeeper between Oregon's temperamental spring and equally temperamental summer, May marks the observance of National Bike Month, a celebration of pedaling that culminates this Friday, May 20, with National Bike to Work Day, an event that promotes exactly what it sounds like. While Portlanders needn't a special month, week, or day to trade four-wheels for two, this weekend boasts a handful of events that will spark the interest of even the most neophyte cyclists.

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance will host "Bikes Mean Business" on Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the US Bancorp Tower Plaza (SW 6th Avenue and Oak Street) downtown; the event will feature talks from leaders within the Portland community, local businesses, and snacks. Riders are encouraged to come by and learn about why biking is not only the most environmental, but economical option for Portland (visit the BTA blog for more information on the event).

A few blocks away, two-wheeled commuters can also stop by the Hotel Monaco (Southwest 5th Avenue and Washington Street) Friday between 8-10 am and 3-6 pm for a free safety check and adjustments. Hungry bikers can also grab a take-along breakfast of yogurt and granola during the morning hours and snacks in the afternoon, served by the Red Star Tavern & Roast House.

Those looking to take their bicycle adventures into the weekend can enjoy perusing some of Portland's most formidable real-estate by cycling their way through the 2011 Ultimate Open House tour. From May 20-22, cyclists can follow any one of these bike routes to take a look at the open houses. Cyclists who attend an open house via bike can also enter to win a 1975-era Fuji Dynamic 10 road bike by dropping their name in the entry boxes provided at the open house or posing for a photo, bike included, in front of the house (more information about prizes and cycling routes can be found here) .

Finally, cyclists can round out a bike-filled weekend with East Portland Sunday Parkways, a 7-mile traffic free slice of East Portland that encompasses Ed Benedict Park, Gilbert Heights Park, Bloomington Park, and Lents Park (with a 2-mile section of Springwater Corridor trail). Between the traffic-free paths, participants can take part in a number of activities stationed at each park, from free bike repairs to disc golf to Zumba and fitness classes from Portland Parks and Rec. The event will take place this Sunday, May 22, from 11 am-4 pm (visit the Portland Bureau of Transportation's event page for a route map and details on specific park events).