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Get out that bike and prepare to pedal! The season for outdoor activity is finally here, and what better time to tune-up your bike and get moving? Whether you’re looking for a family adventure or transportation to work, biking can be a great exercise option. Before you hit the trail, ensure the best ride by planning to prepare, pace and follow safety precautions.
Before beginning your ride, you’ll want to make sure you have your bike in working order with pumped-up tires and your helmet on snug. You will also want to bring a few other essentials with you. In case of an emergency, or if you get stranded somewhere, it’s always a good idea to bring your cell phone, an ID, and some cash. If your plans include a longer ride or biking on rough terrain, you might also want to consider bringing along a tire patch kit.
Fueling up and staying fueled is an important part of your ride. Good hydration, a nutritious meal, and adequate time to digest beforehand will give you the energy needed. Plan on cycling for longer than an hour? You will want to bring a nutritious snack to keep up your energy levels. Check the weather and plan out your course. If it’s a hot day or if you plan on a longer ride, then you’ll want to have plenty of water for the entire trip.
After being cooped-up inside, it is finally time to shed the walls of winter and get outside. In your excitement, plan to start gradually. Trying to accomplish too much too fast can increase your risk of fatigue and injury. Plan out your trip and start with some easy rides. As your cycling endurance increases throughout the season, you will be ready to add on more distance.
Stay alert, wear a helmet, and while planning your trip, brush-up on hand signals. Proper safety precautions go a long way when it comes to biking. Protect your noggin and wear a helmet that fits properly. Be aware of your surroundings! Missing sights and sounds can lead to problems so leave the headphones at home. When planning your trip, make sure you know the rules of the road, busy intersections, and know who has the right of way. Make sure you know how to use proper cycling hand signals. This will allow drivers to be aware of you and your intentions. If you’re riding on a trail, take caution when passing other cyclists or pedestrians. Give others plenty of space and keep an eye out for obstacles like potholes.
With a little bit of planning, you and your family can enjoy the great outdoors while exploring on two wheels. Just remember the 3 P’s when you plan: Prepare, Pace and safety Precautions. Let’s get biking!
Next article in May 2021 Newsletter: Gluten: Sensitivity or Celiac
Written by BWS Lead Health Coach- Kelly Schlather, BS, ASCM – CEP