Wednesday, April 29, 2009

May is "National Bike Month"

Many people around the world are joining in on the fun of biking! What could be more fun than rekindling an old pastime like bicycling, that most of us enjoyed as a child or young adult? Kick-off your May with biking activities as a part of “National Bike Month”. All you have to do is dust off those bikes and visit a local trail or park, like the Fieldale Trail, Uptown Rail Trail, Jack Dalton Park, and Frank J. Wilson Park or perhaps even go in your own neighborhood. Wherever you ride you will be sure to have a great time as you get back on your bike.

“National Bike Month provides an opportunity to increase public awareness of the many benefits of bicycling. It also gives us the opportunity to promote bicycle safety and to encourage bike riding through organized activities including the physical education program Bike Smart Basics, city cycling confidence, ChainGanG “Earn-A-Bike” club, club rides, family rides and bike rodeos for children,” said Jeannie Frisco, Program Director for Activate Martinsville Henry County (Activate). In observance of “National Bike Month”, both Martinsville and Henry County have approved proclamations supporting the efforts of Activate and partnering organizations working together to promote biking.

Bicycling is a great activity that is enjoyed by kids, adults, seniors and families alike. It is a fantastic workout that goes a long way in ensuring your overall fitness. The best part about biking is that you will find riding a bike an enjoyable experience, without even realizing that it can have astonishing effects on your body. Bicycling proves to be one of the most effective exercises. Even a small amount of cycling can boost your metabolism. Bicycling also reduces the risk of serious conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

Bikers should remember safety first by following the rules of the road; wearing safety helmets to protect their heads; using the proper hand signals when riding on roadways; obeying all traffic signs and signals; and making sure other motorists see them. The most important thing bikers should remember is to not put themselves in unsafe situations.

If you haven’t been on a bicycle in years or just want to brush up on your skills, Activate, Henry County Parks and Recreation and Martinsville Leisure Services offer a new recreational program, Bike Basics 101, which is a hands on biking class. “Bike Basics 101 is a great way to get re-introduced to biking. If someone is interested but does not have a bicycle or helmet we will provide them with one,” said Melissa Gravely, Education/Outreach Coordinator for Activate.

Whether you choose to ride alone, with a friend, in a group or with your family; whether you are a recreational rider or a biking enthusiast; everyone can enjoy safe bicycling experiences and there is no better time than the present to start.

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