Why There’s Never Been a Better Time to Get On Your Bike

Post Date: June 30th, 2013

By Melissa Hathaway

There are approximately 250 million cars on America’s roads today, and while many enjoy the speed and comfort of zipping about in an air-conditioned cocoon, we’re being urged to take to the roads not on four wheels – but on two.

Although May is National Bike Month, all over America, pedal power is gaining attention. So what are you waiting for?

Fun for Everyone

Getting on your bike isn’t reserved purely for children, or the young and sporty – it’s a healthy activity available to everyone who is capable of steering in a straight line.

In fact, it’s one of the ideal ways for the over-fifties to get in shape and can help menopausal women, even if you’re a relative novice. Imagine pedaling around your town or city, the sun on your back and the wind in your hair, and at a speed which allows you to stop and smell the flowers – it doesn’t get much better for body and soul. It all depends on what you’re planning to do.

For those looking to trundle along at a sedate pace, then the chances are you won’t require a top-of-the-range mountain bike. That said, if you are buying your first cycle for a few years, it pays to talk to an in-store advisor so you sit properly in your saddle. Anyone who fancies a bit more of a physical challenge should not only get the right machinery, but also make a few other preparations in advance.

Stay Sensible, Stay Safe

It’s always a sensible precaution to visit a medical professional before embarking on any period of exercise, to ensure your body will actually be able to cope with the demands you’re going to be putting on it, and if you do have any pre-existing conditions, then it’s as well to also ensure they’re not going to affect your enjoyment of a new and potentially exciting sport.

Taking care of yourself is the name of this particular game, and being a part of National Bike Month is an ideal opportunity to take a good look at your body, especially if you’re not as fit as you could be, to find out what you can do to help get back in shape. However, taking on a new physical challenge such as biking, is always a good thing, but don’t ignore the possible problems you may encounter afterward – no matter how wise you are! Choosing the right bike for your needs and getting a proper health check before you start won’t stop any overzealous folk from doing too much, so be careful. Overdoing it with a new fitness regimen, even in a bid to become healthier, can lead to other, more complex medical problems, which is the last thing anyone wants. Be enthusiastic, by all means, but be aware of the changes you may be making to your body. Sometimes slow and steady wins the race, remember?

Wheel-y Good for the Environment and the Economy Too

It goes without saying that getting out and about on a bike is far cheaper than using a car, but don’t underestimate its impact on the economy. It is so considerable that some big firms are actively promoting the use of cycles, and rewarding staff who use them to get to and from work using them, rather than their cars. Plus, cycling to work means employees don’t have to get their exercise at an expensive gym – giving them more quality time away from work!

As well as all the financial benefits, cycling also helps improve peoples’ mood and mentalwellbeing. Anyone who has previously enjoyed the rush of biking to work knows they arrive at their desk with their blood pumping and are definitely bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The same can’t always be said of the poor soul who has been stuck in traffic for 40 minutes, and made it to the office at a crawl.

Then there’s the environment. Cycling helps reduce pollution, and as well as cutting the costs of traveling and parking, there is also a positive impact on smaller businesses too, as bikes can be bought and maintained locally.

Plenty to Look Forward To

All this means it’s not just younger office workers who benefit from the two-wheeled revolution. Even better, those looking to participate in this year’s National Bike Month can not only hit the road, but also enjoy crowd-pleasing events such as a commuter race between a car, a bus and a bike, community bike rides and a whole host of local challenges taking place all over America.

There will be no escaping it, so there really is no excuse for not saddling up and tagging along.


Melissa Hathaway is a freelance writer and full-time mother of two. She made the brave decision to give up a full-time job in order to care for her children and has not regretted a second of it.When not working, she dreams of that graduate degree she never got round to and enjoys taking her dogs for a walk, although most of the time it feels like the other way around.

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