MINNEAPOLIS, MN — One of the nation’s most popular outdoor activities gets its stamp of approval today from the U.S. Postal Service with the issuance of the Bicycling Forever stamps. The four stamps feature a young child just learning to ride with training wheels, a commuter pedaling to work, a road racer intent on the finish line and an airborne BMX rider.
Available nationwide today, the stamps can be purchased online at usps.com/shop, by calling 1-800-STAMP-24 (1-800-782-6724) or by visiting Post Offices.
“Minneapolis is a city that’s universally regarded as one of the most bicycle-friendly in America,” said Michael Amato, vice president, Engineering Systems, in dedicating the stamps. “We’re saluting today a city whose citizens had the perseverance and the foresight to create a bicycle-friendly environment. Moreover, bicycling is a low-impact aerobic activity that just about everyone — from young children to retirees — can enjoy. Riding a bike lowers the risk of obesity, heart disease and breast cancer while improving muscle tone and strength. It also can lower stress. Whether riding along a lakeside path or through the bike lanes of a bustling city, bicycling is therapeutic and just plain fun.”
Joining Amato in dedicating the stamps were Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Angela Keegan Benson, assistant news director, WCCO-TV.
“It’s fitting that the Postal Service has chosen Minneapolis for the national release of new bicycling stamps during Twin Cities Bike Walk Week,” said Mayor Rybak. “Minnesotans use their bikes for every reason imaginable – recreation, making the quick trip to the store, the commute to work and many more. Everyone benefits when people ride bikes, so join your neighbor and hop on yours today.”
Recent surveys indicate that Americans enjoy billions of bike rides a year. Bicycling organizations around the country report increased participation in local biking activities, and nearly half of all Americans say they would like more bicycling resources, such as trails and bike lanes, in their communities.
Bicycling also is an efficient and affordable means of transportation. These days, increasing numbers of people ride their bikes to and from work or use them to run neighborhood errands. Many travel organizations offer cycling tours, from leisurely half-day jaunts to weeks-long excursions. No matter how long the ride, choosing to bike rather than drive cuts down on traffic congestion, fuel consumption and vehicle emissions, which benefits the environment and helps improve air quality.
The types of bikes vary greatly. For ease and comfort, commuters and many recreational riders prefer road or touring bikes, which feature light frames and thin tires designed for riding on pavement. Some road bikes are built primarily for speed and are used by competitive riders in road races around the world. BMX bikes have been popular with recreational and competitive riders since the early 1970s. Originally modeled on motocross motorcycles, they have light frames and knobby tires that make them perfect for all terrain types. Other kinds of bikes include mountain and off-road, tandem and recumbent.
Customers may view the Bicycling stamps, as well as many of this year’s other stamps, indicate which stamps they like and vote for their favorite stamp on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, through Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2012-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for background information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.
How to Obtain the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at a local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop or by calling 1-800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes by mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by Aug. 7, 2012.
How to Order First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic Catalog, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service Catalog Request
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
There are seven philatelic products available for this stamp issue:
469363, First-Day Cover Set of 4 , $3.56.
469368, Digital Color Postmark (DCP) Set of 4, $6.40.
469384, Uncut Press Sheet , $54.00.
469391, Ceremony Program (random single), $6.95.
469392, Stamp Deck Card , $0.95.
469394, Stamp Deck Card w/DCP (random single), $1.95.
469399, Cancellation Keepsake (DCP Set 4 w/Pane), $15.95.