It’s time to stop those engines and hop on a bike! May brings sunnier days which are perfect for bike rides, and since it’s National Bike Month, take that bike out for a spin. Whether you ride on the daily or only for fun, cycling is a great cardio workout that strengthens muscles and even your core.
I first hopped on a bike when I was 5 years old. I spent a few years riding in circles around the driveway, and then, around the age of 10, my banana seat bike and I were inseparable. I’d spend whole afternoons just cruising around the block. It was so fun, I didn’t even think it was exercise.
Now, I don’t quite ride my bike as often as I should. I’m lucky if I take a ride once a week. But believe me, once I’m on and cruising along the coastline, I’m loving every minute of it. My heart’s pumping, the breeze is blowing through my hair, and I’m just feeling so free, like a kid again.
This month, I encourage you to go for a ride or two. Some cities even host a Bike to Work day, making it easier to hop on your bicycle. With energizer stations and free giveaways, you’ll want to skip the train and roll into work instead. For the cities that aren’t on that level, set the example and show everyone that bicycling is not only a form of transportation, but also a means to a healthy lifestyle.
Luckily, I live in an area where bikes advocates exist. We have bike trails, bike parties, bike bands, and even ride-in movie nights. We’ve got everything from fixed gears, to cruisers, to lowriders, to scraper bikes. One day, I’ll trick my Tiffany-blue bike out with a basket, but for now, I’m enjoying what I’ve got.
Perhaps you haven’t rode a bike in awhile. Don’t worry, because it’s true that you never forget. You might take a few tries to ride smoothly, but if you already learned before, you’ll always know. If you don’t have a bike, and have no intentions of purchasing one, you can always rent one, borrow one, or even hit the gym. Cycling classes use stationary bikes and you go on a “ride” with everyone else in the room. It helps that the instructors usually play music to match your pace. Although it’s not the same as riding in the open air, but you’ll probably be sweating more than you would if you were to casually cruise the streets.
Always remember, pack plenty of water when going on a ride, and it could also be helpful to have a healthy snack in your backpack. I love bringing trail mix and fruits that come in their own packages, like oranges, apples, and bananas. You’re going to be hungry while you’re riding along, and it’s best to energize yourself with something that’s good for your body.
And, just a warning: once you start riding, you might not want to stop.