People have been riding bikes for well over 100 years, before cars were invented and bike riding is still popular. In the spring, this bike-riding author is thrilled to start seeing bikes out there sharing the road with drivers!
At the YWCA, we have some Cycle classes this winter term which are a great way to get on a bike and get some exercise. The added benefit is that riding indoors, really transfers to riding outdoors once the roads are clear of snow and the weather is nice again. So join a class and start pedaling! Here are some reasons why:
Riding a bike is fun! While you get some exercise, you can ride a trail and see the sights. Even on a hot day, you create a bit of a breeze and seldom are you bothered by pesky mosquitoes! On a bike it is easy to stop when something interesting catches your eye you may not have even seen while driving. You can do it alone or with friends or with your children and grand-children.
Riding gets exercise INTO your day. There is no doubt that riding a bike is great exercise for your muscles and heart. When you ride to work, it is your transportation and your exercise. Like any exercise, start slow and build up. If you are looking into a biking holiday, start increasing your riding time slowly, building up to a long ride once a week.
Bike riding is cheaper than driving. YOU provide the energy and no parking fees. Althought there is initially some expense of purchasing a bike, helmet, and lights, generally, bike riding is free. You don’t need to fill up the gas tank or pay the parking meter! Once you are really into riding regularly, you may think of purchasing more gadgets to make riding more fun, like gloves, and safely vest or bright clothes.
Bike riding is good for the environment. No emissions. No fossil fuels.
Put the bike on a bus. In Hamilton as many cities, our buses are now equiped to take a bike on the front of the bus. This makes it easy to go for a long ride, and take the bus home if needed.
Although there is room for improvement, bikes can go almost anywhere. However, bikes are still vehicles and need to obey the rules of the road.
Hamilton has many bike riding paths and trails, many on-street bike lanes, and a bike master plan. In fact, if you are looking for a long ride, a Hamilton bike rider can go from the East Mountain, or Confederation Park along the Red Hill trail, across the escarpment, along some on-road bike lanes to Bayfront Park into West Hamilton.
Now is the time to join a cycle class and get started! Get ready for spring! Our instructors will help you get started riding and show you how to stretch at the end of the class. During the class we do some fast riding, “climb hills”, and some longer stamina riding.
Join a 30 minute cycle class at MacNab Street on Monday 1:10, Friday at 9:15 or 12:15 (Tabata style), Sunday at 12:45.
At our Ottawa Street location, we have a 60 minute cycle and muscle class on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday and a 30 minute cycle class on Tuesday.