Whether you use your bicycle for transportation, fun or fitness, here are some handy tips in honor of National Bike Month.
Benefits of Biking
How many calories you burn biking depends on your weight and speed; however, at a rate of 10 mph, you could burn anywhere from 215–500 calories per half hour.
In addition, cycling is a low-impact exercise, so it can be a good choice for people with issues such as osteoarthritis. Don’t’ forget to check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise regime.
Biking around parks, nature trails and mountain biking are also great ways to enjoy nature.
Bike Safety Tips
If you plan on biking regularly, make sure you have the right bike for the job and the right bike for you. Visit a bike store and speak with an expert staffer about what you plan to use your bike for, the correct adjustments and the various models. Then, make sure to take a few test spins before committing.
To stay safe and comfortable while biking, follow these biking tips from National Highway Safety Administration:
- Always wear a helmet. Traumatic brain injury is the primary cause of death and disabling injuries resulting from cycling crashes. Purchase a helmet that meets Consumer Product Safety Commission standards, as identified by a label, and make sure the helmet is correctly adjusted and buckled.
- Obey road rules. If you’re riding on roads, remember that bicyclists are vehicles and must follow traffic laws, including riding with traffic, obeying lights and signs, using hand signals to turn, etc. Consult your state drivers’ licensing handbook to learn more.
- Be visible. Wear bright colors, such as neon or fluorescent when riding near traffic. In addition, if you’re riding between dusk and dawn, consider reflective materials, and make sure your bike has reflectors and lights.
Packing a small backpack or saddleback with some essential items is a good idea for any ride, no matter the distance. Necessary items include: tire repair gear (spare tube, a patch kit, levers, pump), a multi-purpose tool, water, a snack, your wallet (or some money, identification and your health insurance card), and, of course, your cell phone.
Last but not least, make sure to wear proper attire, clothing that won’t get caught in the bike chain is most important. Watch this YouTube video to learn how to tie shoelaces to avoid laces becoming caught in chains.
Armed with this knowledge, bicycling can become a favorite, healthy hobby for all ages.