It’s Bike Month in Iowa and that means it’s time to break out the bicycle, helmet, reflective wear, and fanny pack people! The week of May 13 is BIke to Work Week so if you can, find a way to get to work on two wheels instead of four. What’s that you say? Oh, you can’t bike to Ames every day this week? Well biking is a great way to exercise and especially great for people who don’t like running and are tired of walking in the park. Biking is a no-impact form of recreation which means it’s quite kind on your body unless you’re biking across the country like my friend Emily did last summer. I’d say that probably takes it to a different level.
When I had my foot injury and stopped running, I got in the habit of biking for recreation instead of strictly for transportation. Now don’t get me wrong, I doubt I’ll ever join a RAGBRAI team or even bike as my main form of cardio exercise but it’s fun to do a couple of times a week to mix things up and get a change of scenery. Speaking from experience, as a runner I would always run in the same neighborhoods, past the same houses, and up and down the same hills. As a bicyclist I am able to go places I hadn’t previously explored and also make activities like going to the pool or park more adventurous as I now bike instead of drive.
If you live in Des Moines, here are some upcoming events you could get to on your bike!
- May 17 Handlebar Happy Hour at Gray’s Lake! Ride down to Gray’s and join the fun between 4:30 and 7 PM.
- May 19 Community Bike Picnic at one of Des Moines’ best BBQ places, Woody’s Smoke Shack (4-7 PM)
- May 25 Yoga in the Park at Gray’s Lake (9 AM). This is session will help kick off the annual Yoga in the Park!
So if my article inspired you to start biking, remember to always wear a helmet and make sure you’re not wearing it like a ball cap. It needs to sit lower so your forehead is protected. In addition to a helmet, lather yourself in sunscreen, bring a water bottle, make sure you have lights and reflectors for night riding, and consider a fanny pack. Yes, that’s right I said fanny pack. I recently went out with some friends and we dressed all 80’s and I rocked a neon fanny. I think this could come in handy for my phone, wallet, and keys. Or maybe I just want another excuse to use it.