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Family Sports & Fitness
Freewheeling Spring Fresh air calls when spring blooms, and little else beats the wind in your face during a bike ride.
May is National Bike Month and everyone can join in the fun. Roads and trails are populated by zealous biking enthusiasts year-round in many areas. And rightfully so. There are bike styles for almost every ability – from skinny-tired racers to three-wheel cruisers – and bike riding is a lower impact exercise than running.
But biking isn’t just recreation and exercise, it’s transportation too. The commute to school and work takes on a healthy glow when you switch from four-wheel gas-powered vehicles to two-wheel human-powered ones.
For teens, a bike is freedom to travel greater distances. It’s also a great way to get a better understanding of the rules of the road before you get behind the wheel of a car.
May is the ideal month for a trial run with commuting to work or school by bike. Have some concerns about getting started? Here are some solutions and answers to the most commonly perceived issues.
It takes too long to get there • The average bike commuter travels at 10 mph; the more you ride, the faster you will get there • Trips of less than 3 miles will be quicker by bike than by car • Trips of 5 – 7 miles in urban areas may take the same time or less as by car • Planning the ride can teach kids time management
I’ll be sweaty when I get there • Ride at an easy pace so you stay cool and dry • Ride faster on the way home if you want a workout – then shower when you get home • Bring an extra shirt just in case you need it
The roads aren’t safe • Wear a helmet every time you ride • Obey traffic signs, ride on the right, signal your turns, and stop at lights • Wear bright clothing • Ride with a friend and watch out for each other • Riding a bike is no greater risk than driving a car • NEVER TEXT AND RIDE
It’s too far • Try riding one way and taking the bus or getting a ride the other way. Then alternate that pattern the next day • Or, combine riding and mass transit to shorten your commute but still benefit from riding your bike
I’m too out of shape • Ride at an easy pace and in just a few months you’ll be in great shape and riding faster • Ride your route on a weekend to find the easiest way to get there. Also determine the toughest route for when you’re in better shape • You’ll see great improvements in your fitness level when you become a regular bike commuter – and soon you’ll be surprised that you had this concern at all!
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