“Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live.” -Mark Twain
“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.” -H. G. Wells
What is it about bicycling that instantly transports us back to child hood? The wind in our hair, a smile on our face as we excitedly still the pedals and let gravity coast us down the next hill. There's nothing quite like it.
With spring in the air and summer around the corner, now's the perfect time to break out the bicycle. The ol' two wheeler is gaining popularity, and rightly so! With rising gas prices and increasing concern over our nation's lack of exercise, why not do yourself, your wallet, and your car a favor and take your bike for a spin? It's an easy form of exercise that never loses its fun-flair. This is also a great activity to do with your family. Kids going out for a spin? Why not join? Have a race to the end of the street: Loser does the dishes!
If you don't have wheels of your own, consider purchasing one. For the best experience, avoid the department store and head to an actual bike shop. (Google Maps should help you find one in your area, or ask a friend who bikes.) The employees will provide you with tips and advice. They help you choose one based on your bicycling needs and, very important, your physical build. When The Spouse and I visited a bike shop, they not only helped us choose bikes that best suited us (The Spouse for covering the longer distance to his job, while I wanted one with more stability and comfort) but they also provide yearly tune-ups for free! We were even able to take out various bikes to the back and take a test ride.
Once you've got your wheels, go for a few easy spins. Down to the cafe for a latte, or to the park for a leisurely ride. If you're ready to take the big leap, try biking to work or to an errand a couple times a week. You'll soon become addicted to the feel of the wind and the freedom to avoid traffic. Always practice safe riding and don't forget your helmet. Check out the site for The League of American Bicyclists. They've got great tips from from to safety and more information on National Bike Month and Bike to Work Week.