As North Dakota rolls out of a tough April, it welcomes National Bike Month in May! National Bike Month was created to raise awareness of bicycling as a form of recreation and transportation. Is your bicycle quietly sitting in your garage or shed waiting to be dusted off and given some TLC? Now is the time to get your steed out of storage and wipe it down and give it it’s annual maintenance check-up before you hit the roads and shared use paths in North Dakota.
The bicycle is a simple machine that can help alleviate physical, emotional and environmental issues on an everyday basis. Is your body stiff and achy? Maybe a gentle, short ride will help get you loosened up. Roll around your neighborhood and feel your muscles loosen as you gently pedal forward. Stress and anxiety have you tied in a knot? Roll away the stress, give yourself time to think (but pay attention to where you are riding) and quiet your mind. Resolution of your stressors may come to mind as you roll along your way.
Quiet and clean the bicycle is a green machine! Is there a short trip (two miles or less) that you could make with a bicycle? An errand maybe or visiting a friend? Short trips are the most polluting trips for motor vehicles. Engines and pollution control systems are not running at peak efficiency when cold. Maybe you need to drop off some mail at the post office or surprise a friend with a small gift. Let your bicycle be your means of transportation.
Employers, are you looking for ways to encourage healthy activities for your employees? The bicycle is a prescription for better attendance, as well as healthier and more attentive employees. Bicycle rides can be great employee community building activities. Save money and create happier employees!
As we get our bicycles out and about throughout North Dakota, please remember some basic tips before getting on your bike. ABC Quick Check: Make sure there is enough air in your tires; Check your brakes to make sure they work properly; check your chain to make sure it is working properly by spinning your pedals; check the tightness of your quick releases; and finally do a final check of all other parts of your bike to make sure seats, handlebars etc. are tight and positioned correctly. Also, check to make sure your clothing is appropriate for the weather you are riding in and roll up your pant leg or put a leg strap on the right leg to keep it out of your chain. Make sure you have food and water with you if you are taking a longer ride and let someone know where you are going as a safety precaution.
The North Dakota Active Transportation Alliance wishes you a safe and enjoyable National Bike Month! For more resources related to National Bike Month please visit National Bike Monhttps://bikeleague.org/bikemonthth | League https://bikeleague.org/bikemonthof American Bicyclists (bikeleague.org)
Justin Kristan, NDATA Director
League Cycling Instructor 1147