Biking: An Alternative Way to Travel

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Family biking

With today’s gas prices soaring (and we will only expect them to get higher during the summer), there are ways that people are finding different ways to get around. One of which is biking. Not only are bikes good for exercise, both leisurely and for hard-core training, but are also great for transportation as well. Since May is National Bike Month, here is a list of things anyone can do on a bicycle:

1. Bicycle to work

The 16th of this month is National Bike to Work Day. If you live close to work, biking is a great alternative way to get around. Bikers who go to work, stay fit by getting their exercise in for the day when they transport themselves by bike back and forth. Bringing a backpack or even a Camel-back bag with you is never a bad idea for holding necessary, work related items and water. If a company does not have a designated place to put bikes, petition for one. As a precaution though, wear some deodorant or perfume/cologne to mask your sweat. No one likes a co-worker with intense body odor.

Bike to work

2. Going to the store or running errands

I am not recommending to do a huge grocery trip via bicycle, but for little things that one can go to the nearest mart and pick up a few items to take home or to another destination. Many people world-wide go to shops daily and use their bikes to get around. In India, for example, the cycle is used everywhere. Ownership of a bike in 2005 was more than 40% in Indian households, if that gives any perspective on how common they are there. India has many outdoor markets that people shop at, so a bike is a reasonable tool to use as transportation to and from the market to home.  If more Americans could adopt the bicycle as a legitimate way to go to the store, go to the bank or any other reason, it will be a positive change for our environment and our waistlines.

Girl and bike

3. Family quality time

If every member of the family is able to ride a bike, what a better way to spend a nice summer weekend riding around the suburb or down a bike trail. The Comlex City Guide features a list of top 50 bike trails across America that are worth a trip down. One that I have been on myself was the Katy Trail, in Missouri. A must for going on long bike treks is to pack snacks or lunch and plenty of water. The last thing anyone needs is to feel dehydrated and lose energy due to lack of nutrients.

Family biking

4. Rent or buy a tandem bike

A fun date idea is to rent or purchase a tandem bike, a bike that seats two or more people, and go for a leisurely pedal around a park or town. Part of the fun is getting into the groove of working alongside your biking partner to pedal. Tandem bikes can come in two forms: upright and recumbent.

Tandem Bike Family  Couple on Tandem bike

5. Participate in a bike race

Feeling like Lance Armstrong and would like to compete against other cyclists? Follow a schedule to get in shape first. Another good way to train is to go on bike trails to avoid heavy traffic from cars if one doesn’t feel comfortable on busy roads. Keeping a healthy diet helps in performing well.

bike racing

As we are taught by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, keeping ourselves healthy by exercising is extremely important. Biking is just one of those methods of keeping in shape. Your body and spirit will thank you for it.

Have any additional ideas of where biking would be fun? Post in the comments below!

Melissa is a loving wife to her husband, who to her, is also her "muse." She is also a recent college grad from Brigham Young University--Idaho with a degree in English, Creative Writing. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, and current resident of Utah, she luckily finds herself back in her birth state. She has love for cats and enjoys music and sewing/crafting.