So May is officially Bike Month! If you’re like me every month is bike month.
What is Bike Month you may ask?
So Bike Month is not actually a national official thing, it is more of a public health promotion program where you are encouraged to bike to work, school, and any destination really. If you go on mayisbikemonth.com you can see the official website where it has all of the official events and challenges for cyclist all over Sacramento. It also helps with your health and the environment, and as you all may be aware now, obesity and Heart Disease are among the top in the charts of cause of death.
Why should I ride my bike?
Well here in Sacramento we are lucky enough to have a bike friendly town! According to the Bicycle Magazine, Sacramento ranks 32 in the nation for bike friendly cities. So we should all really take advantage of the fact that we have the green bike lanes and the American River Bike Trail. Another plus is that Sacramento’s Midtown is a great area for you to bike to, you can actually take a look at all of the local restaurants, cafes, and much more. I find it a lot harder to enjoy all of what Sacramento has to offer while driving and getting upset at the person behind you for driving to close.
What if I don’t have a bike or don’t know what type of bike to buy?
Well the great thing is that there are a lot of options. Sacramento has many bike shops, and you can always take the easy way out and order a bike online. There are many websites out there where you can type in your height and it will give you a proper size for your bike frame. Believe it or not bikes actually have sizes, almost like small medium and large. So what type of bike? It really is your choice, I pride myself with my bikes and it has become one of my passions. I have a Fixed Gear bike that I built and a fully restored 1974 Schwinn track bike. Each type of bike has its pros and cons so here ya go!
Fixed Gear: This is what is “in” right now. Almost everywhere you look you’ll see a “fixie”. Most people are actually riding their bike on single speed which in a way is just a normal bike. I on the other hand actually ride “fixed” which means that the chain is constantly locked with the wheel and pedals. So you slow down by slowing down your pedaling speed and you could even ride your bike in reverse if you wanted to. This type of riding beneficial at times because you can really control the bike even at extremely slow speeds. In a way your feet always have control of where and what your bike does. The con is basically that you don’t have any brakes so you have to make sure your feet are on the pedals at all times because as long as the bike is moving so are the pedals. Also watch out for potholes and bumps as your tires are usually thin.
Track/Road: These are more “sporty”, you might see them all time while walking through campus. Usually it is the people who are in the bike suits that ride these but track bikes are some of the best that you could get. These bikes are built for long distance and speeding, they are light and aerodynamic and can also be used for everyday riding. Again watch out for potholes and bumps because the tires are also thin on these types of bikes.
Mountain: These types of bikes are meant for off-roading and rough terrains. Many people use these for everyday which is ok but not ideal. The great thing about mountain bikes is that you can ride off the curb, purposely go into potholes and still be fine. The bad is that they’re usually a heavier type of bike and not so aerodynamic so you’ll expend a lot of energy going to places that are farther away.
Cruiser: These are more for style and statements. They are usually the heaviest kind of bike that you could own and are meant for short rides on the beach. This makes riding long distance extremely tiring, and they are also usually pretty slow.
Bikes have so much to offer if you know what size and type best fits you, and Bike Month is an excuse to try to get everyone to ride their bikes more often because hey! Taking it slow always makes your day better.