Cycling

Why May is Bike Month is the Best Way to Exercise

It’s May during a pandemic, are we still riding?

In two words, HECK YES! There have been many articles related to the benefits of exercise and getting outside even while we shelter-in-place. (See some of my favorites here and here.)

As with most planned events this spring and summer, the region’s annual bike month is going virtual. I know, I know, it’s not the same thing. But is it really THAT different? We are still the same people riding, we have the same beautiful terrain, the same fun prizes, and the same level of competitiveness.

May Is Bike Month (MIBM) is the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself (and others??) to ride a bike for simple trips, exercise and/or a visual feast along our scenic bike trails. With families spending a little more time together, why not make it a family outing! Children of all ages can practice safe riding habits under the watchful eyes of their guardians and all can become more comfortable navigating busy and not-so-busy roadways. For extra fun, make or participate in a scavenger hunt by bike in your neighborhood, like we did for a family member’s birthday.

A birthday scavenger hunt, on two wheels.

What if the thought of riding on city streets seems a little daunting? Well, here’s a silver lining to shelter-in-place, there are fewer cars on the road right now! This is not to say ride with abandon and throw caution to the wind. Obeying all traffic laws is always important, but how nice is it to ride with space in the bike lane without the extra gusts of wind from cars whizzing by? Certain arterial roads have been out of the question for me because the car traffic was too overwhelming. But just yesterday I went to pick up something on a neighbor’s porch about a mile away, so I hopped on my bike and choose the route with the least traffic. What a surprise when I found myself the only one going my direction at a busy intersection!

Breathe California Development Director Jennifer Finton takes a weekend ride with her family.

The Sacramento Region is one of the best places to ride a bike. We have a temperate climate, many flat route options as well as hilly rides, scenic paved trails and plenty of fellow riders to wave to as we ride by. May Is Bike Month is the perfect time to dust off your helmet, saddle up (even if you’ve taken a winter hiatus) and hit the road for some easy-on-the-joints exercise. From May 1st to now, cyclists participating in MIBM have logged over 230,000 miles and taken almost 2,500 trips by bike this month. Wow!

It’s not too late to join the MIBM fun! Join Breathe’s May Is Bike Month team by signing up here and choosing the Breathe team. We look forward to seeing you out on the road or trail (from a safe distance of course) through the rest of May and beyond.

Want a little extra daily motivation? Download some MIBM phone screen backgrounds here!

Author : Jennifer Finton

Jennifer Finton is the Development Director at Breathe California Sacramento Region.

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