National Bike Month was established to promote the many benefits of bicycling and to encourage more people to give it a try. Bike events in May include Bike to Work Day and Bike to School Day. Here are just a few of the great benefits of bicycling:
- Commuting by bike lets you easily fit a workout into your busy day.
- Hopping on your bike is easier than heading to the gym.
- Cycling is easier on your joints, so it’s a great way to get (and stay) in shape.
- Bicycling is cheaper than driving, and it’s much better for the environment.
Make Sure Your Bike Fits
We all know the importance of shoes that fit properly, but many people don’t realize that their bike needs to fit as well. If your bike is too big you’ll be stretching for the handles and can develop neck and back issues. If the seat is too low it can stress your knees, and cause pain. Not sure your bike fits you? Take it down to your local bike shop and have a pro assess the fit. Sometimes a few small tweaks can make a big difference.
Inspect Your Bike Before You Ride
Here are a few things you should do before every ride:
- Check your tire pressure and fill if needed. If your pressure is too low, you’ll have to work harder and will get flats more easily. The suggested air pressure is listed on the side of your tires.
- Squeeze front and back brake levers to make sure they engage.
- Wear a bike helmet every time you ride.
- Always use lights when riding at night. Your bike should have a headlight and taillight. Reflectors and reflective gear can also help make you more visible to motorists.
- Consider getting a bell or horn to alert pedestrians and other cyclists of your presence.
- A bike is considered a vehicle so you must obey all traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
Want to Learn More?
Many local organizations, bike shops, and outdoor gear stores offer classes on how to ride and maintain your bike. The League of American Bicyclists can help you find bicycling resources in your area, including clubs, organizations, bike shops, classes, and more.