Cycling is a source for social, economic and environmental benefits, and it is bringing people together.Dr. Berhhard Ensink, WCA and ECF Secretary General
June 3, 2019 is World Bicycle Day! According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in addition to being great for the environment and cost-effective, cycling can also reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, certain kinds of cancer, and diabetes. In addition, WHO reports that there’s a certain kind of camaraderie and awareness that grows between fellow cyclists. Which makes June 3 a great day to pull out your Schwinn and take it for a spin around town!
But My Allergies!
While it’s true that early June is a fantastic time of year
to get out and enjoy the sunshine and warm weather on a bike, it’s also the
dreaded allergy season. For many people, biking in June isn’t quite the same
experience because of the high levels of pollen in the air.
Still others have physical limitations to riding a bike,
such as vertigo or injury. However, there are movements, such as Berkeley’s Adaptive
Cycling Center, focused on re-inventing the bicycle for riders who require
something outside of the classic diamond frame.
I’m Worried About the Road!
And for many people who live in dense urban areas, biking
can be tricky, even dangerous. Inclement weather is another deterrent for
many when it comes to getting on a bike. There’s not much that’s fun about
dodging speeding cars on busy city streets, navigating broken pavement, or
riding on sidewalks without cut curbs. Navigating these obstacles when it’s
raining adds another level of risk. This in turn becomes even more dangerous if
the biker is inexperienced or anxious, which can lead to overcorrections,
crashes, and injury.
For many people, outdoor cycling just isn’t a convenient
option—and that’s okay! Everyone moves through this world (on or off a bike) at
their own pace. If you’re part of the 54%
of Americans who wish they could get on a bike more than they do, great
news: you have alternatives!
Most gyms and fitness centers have stationary and recumbent bikes available. And while it’s true that it’s not quite the same as taking a spin through the park, it’s also better for folks with seasonal allergies to ride indoors, where pollen isn’t as pervasive. Likewise, the stationary bike allows you to focus on the exercise, without having to worry about pedestrians, traffic, rain, or the quality of the road you’re riding.
To say nothing of the convenience offered by the indoor stationary bike! Let’s face it—sometimes at the end of the day you just don’t have the energy to go back out into the loud, fast world. With a stationary bike, you can enjoy the health benefits of cycling and decompress from your day at the same time.
Long for the companionship of group cycling, or looking for
a serious workout that’s more intense than a standard indoor bike? Look no
further than spin cycling, which is offered by most gyms and fitness centers,
as well as dedicated spin cycle studios. Not only will you have the camaraderie
of a group cycling together, you’ll also have the added benefit of an
instructor to motivate you. And while notably different from an outdoor ride,
spin cycling is a great
low-impact cardio workout that improves your circulation, builds stamina,
and works to prevent the same chronic conditions as outdoor cycling, such as
heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Likewise, virtual cycling is another indoor option that
helps people for whom outdoor cycling isn’t a comfortable or convenient option.
Programs like CycleOps,
Zwift, and Peloton are allowing indoor cyclists
to take classes whenever and wherever it’s convenient. Many gyms and fitness
centers (especially 24-hour fitness clubs) now offer virtual cycling so members
can fit in a spin session, no matter the demands of their schedule. Digital
cycling applications offer everything from live-streamed classes to social
group rides that feel more like a multi-player video game than a workout.
I Want to Ride My Bicycle
Whether you’re a dedicated outdoor cyclist, a serious spinner, or you’re just looking for a fun, easy way to keep in shape, there’s a bicycle built for you! In fact, both indoor and out-door cycling are proven mood-boosters, so wherever you hop on, you’re sure to feel better than you did before. Use Vagaro to book a spin class at your local gym or visit your favorite fitness center to see what kinds of virtual cycling they have available.
Will you be spending World Bicycle Day indoors or outdoors? We’d love to see what kind of cycling you’ll be doing—especially if we helped you book a spin class! Tag us in, we’re here for the ride! #June3WorldBicycleDay #WorldBicycleDay #WorldBicycleDay2019
Header Image: @CirceD via Twenty20
Icon Images via Icon8