May is National Bike Month!

Bicycling is a popular pastime for all ages, from preschoolers to seniors. Bikes are fun to ride, whether traveling around town, touring the countryside, participating in races, performing bike motocross stunts, or simply using them for exercise. Bicycling is a sport the whole family can enjoy together. For youth, biking is the way to adventure; for older folks, it keeps them young in heart. Bicycles also have an interesting history dating back to the 1700s. Read all about the history of bicycles at KnowledgeHouse.info.

Bicycling is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that works different muscles than walking or running. Going for an outdoor bike ride also has some advantages over indoor stationery cycling. Indoor bikes have a heavy flywheel, which means that once you get the momentum going, you’re getting more help from the bike and burning fewer overall calories. When you’re outdoors, you’re pedaling against the friction of road and wind resistance, and this motion requires more work on your part. Livestrong.com has some great outdoor bike exercise ideas.

Bikes can be used as transportation, and many people ride their bikes to work or school. All you need is a bike and a helmet, and you’re good to go! Biking is also an enjoyable way to explore your community by cycling to different neighborhoods or in parks, on bike paths, or along trails. Even a 15-minute bike ride around the block is a great way to clear your head and get some focus.  When you have more time and a way to transport your bikes if necessary, plan an afternoon’s excursion once a month or so. Lots of cities have fantastic bike trails. Check out Rails to Trails to see what’s near you.

Both children and adults should wear a helmet when bike riding. A properly fitted helmet will greatly reduce the risk of serious head injury, brain trauma, and death in the event of an accident. Be sure that the helmet fits your child now, rather than expecting them to “grow into” it. A loose helmet cannot protect the head as well as one that fits properly. Amazon.com has a helpful Bike Helmet Buying Guide. You might also like to get some cycling gloves, which have palm padding to absorb vibration and cushion your hands in a spill. And if you’re going to be riding very often or for a long distance, it would be a good idea to learn basic bike repair and maintenance.

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