As the weather grows warmer and the streets and parks stop being a maze of puddles and mud, now is the perfect time to banish those feelings of cooped-uppness that have been festering all winter. The spring and summer months make green commuting and fun seem easier. The warm sun and gorgeous days make a person feel the need to be outside and enjoying life and the few good days until winter’s inevitable return. After all – there are an ample selection of parks and trails to explore!
Cycling is one of the easier and more enjoyable ways to commute greenly to work or school. It is also a great way to play. But you have to be able to select a bike that is appropriate for you and what you plan to do with it. There are many styles and models of bicycle that can be had. The most common is the standard mountain bike, ranging in price from affordable to everyone and only affordable to the bike snobs. The handle bars are straight and there are usually at least 12 gears to choose from. Mountain bikes are more for the recreational trail riders and hard core mountain bikers than for hitting the city streets, but they are a very versatile bike.
Cruisers are better bikes for city cycling, with comfortable curved handle bars and seat suspension. The tires are thinner, making the cruiser an easier bike to navigate. Unlike mountain bikes, the Cruiser usually has only one speed, but you can find multi-geared cruisers if you know where to look. They often have a small backup motor that can help power you up those tough hills, and a basket and back rack for hauling groceries and picnics around the city.
There are many other styles of bicycle, including BMX bicycles, tricycles and the one-wheeled-wonder, otherwise known as the unicycle. If you are brave enough to cycle on the city streets, there is some additional gear that you should equip before taking off on your cycling excursion. Be sure to check your areas bi-law about helmets. You should always wear a helmet for safety, but if you are determined to go without, don’t get caught with a big fine because of a bi-law. Having lights on your bike help make you more visible to drivers, and offer a safer ride at night. Go and check out your local sporting goods store and see all of the cool cycling gear available for yourself.
Once you’re on your cycling adventure, make sure to check park directories to be sure you are allowed to cycle there. For example, in my city, Whitemud Ravine Park has nice wide trails for cycling or walking, but there are stairs connecting many of the different trails. Most of the dog parks here have wide sweeping and intricate trails, but because of the dogs, you should ride these parks with caution. Trails here are often paved, making them ideal for the summer sport. They also offer amazing views and many wide open meadows and parks for picnics or a friendly game of Frisbee or Tag.
So get your green on, and be sure to experience cycling this summer! Enjoy all the trails and parks your city has to offer. It’s a great way to get some exercise and work on your tan, while arriving at your destination in a quick and fun way.
Check out the short, Beauty And The Bike. We’re going to make cycling cool again!