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Staying on the bike-wagon

Did you know riding a bicycle is good for you? Well, in case you weren't aware, cycling is very good for your body and your mind. Even a short, non-strenuous cruise can change how you feel about yourself and your circumstances.

Some of us are riding more today than in the past. Others find it harder than ever to sneak in a bike ride. Whatever the case, we suspect this year has been stressful and you could use some bicycle therapy. Here are some ideas to get you in the saddle again or keep you riding no matter what life throws at you...

Have you seen your bicycle lately? If you have not been riding much lately perhaps the first step is putting your bike where you can see it. If it's tucked away in the basement or garage, it's easy to forget. Bring it into the house and put it the kitchen, living room, or another place of prominence. If that's not feasible, how about placing your bike helmet on your desk or dresser? The visual reminder may be enough to get you riding. You can also take some time to look it over and make sure everything's working properly.

Treat yo'self. Who doesn't love to shop? Getting something new and shiny for your bike is always fun. Maybe it's a new tires or a performance part you've been wanting, or some comfy riding clothes, or a cute bell. If you can afford it, you should treat yo'self. Having a bicycle that you're proud of and love to ride makes it all the more fun to ride.

Phone a friend. Call, text, DM, send a postcard, whatever... just reach out to someone you like to ride with and see how they are doing. Ask if they have been riding and if you feel comfortable, set up some time to ride together. Sometimes just talking to our bike friends can get us motivated and riding with someone can be lots of fun. Just be sure to follow social distancing guidance.

Bike Picnic. There's nothing like a bike ride and outdoor picnic on a nice day. You can pick up something from a local restaurant or bring food from home. Just grab a blanket and go. This is really fun with the whole family. You can ride directly from home or pick a spot with greenway or park and do some riding while you're there. It's just nice to get a change of scenery and enjoy the outdoors and some tasty food.

Run an errand. If you've got a short-distance errand to run like grabbing a loaf of bread from the store, getting stamps from the post office, or picking up a book at the library, consider doing it by bike. Not only is it good to go for a ride, it's great to reduce our dependence on driving!

Discover your city. Take a ride to a new place or along a new route. There is lots to discover, in our city... greenways, parks, museums, places to eat!

Set a goal. Maybe it's riding 100 miles in a month or completing a lap of MTB trail in under 30 minutes, or doing any overnight bikepacking trip. Just dream up something you'd like to do and start working on it. It feels so good to accomplish something we set out do. You can even publish your goal so family and friends can help keep you accountable and motivated.

Make it a date. Take your special someone on a bike ride, maybe even stop for dinner or a drink. Whether you're both avid riders or not, it can be fun to do something out of the ordinary or just out of the house!

Sleep. Eat. Stretch. In between bicycling, we need to take care of ourselves. This means getting as much rest as we can, eating healthy, and stretching before and after riding.

We believe in the power of bicycling to positively impact individuals, our community, and the environment. During these unprecedented times, we need our bicycles... to get us out of the house and out of our heads... to keep us physically fit and emotionally well.. to connect with others and ourselves.

Please do yourself a favor and ride a bicycle! Get on and stay on the "bike-wagon."

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