Celebrate National Bike Month this May by biking to work, school, the store, park, pool and anywhere in between. Whether you ride to save money, time, improve your health, preserve the environment, explore your community or just for fun, jump on your bicycle and enjoy the great outdoors!
5 Benefits of Cycling
- It’s easy on the joints. When you sit on a bike, you put your weight on a pair of bones in the pelvis called the ischial tuberosities, unlike walking, when you put your weight on your legs. Making it good for anyone with joint pain or age-related stiffness.
- Pushing pedals provides an aerobic workout. That’s great for your heart, brain and blood vessels. Aerobic exercise also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals—which may make you feel young at heart.
- Cycling builds muscle. In the power phase of pedaling, you use muscles in the buttocks, thighs and calves. In the recovery phase, you use the hamstrings in the back of the thighs and the muscles in the front of the hips. Cycling works other muscles, too. You use abdominal muscles to balance and stay upright, and you use your arm and shoulder muscles to hold the handlebars and steer.
- It helps with everyday activities. Benefits carry over to balance, walking, standing, endurance and stair climbing.
- Pedaling builds bone. Resistance activities, such as pushing pedals, pull on the muscles, and then the muscles pull on the bone, which increases bone density.
5 Rules of the Road
- Follow the Law. Obey traffic signals and stop signs. Ride with traffic; use the rightmost lane headed in the direction you are going.
- Be Predictable. Make your intentions clear to everyone on the road. Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between parked cars. Signal turns, and check behind you well before turning or changing lanes.
- Be Conspicuous. Ride where people can see you and wear bright clothing. Use a front white light, red rear light and reflectors when visibility is poor.
- Think Ahead. Anticipate what drivers, pedestrians, and other people on bikes will do next. Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone of parked cars. Look out for debris, potholes, and other road hazards. Cross railroad tracks at an angles.
- Ride Ready. Check that your tires have air, brakes are working and chain runs smoothly. Wear a helmet.