Bike Month!

April is Bike Month in the lovely Valley of the Sun, and you know what this means!

There will be tons of biking events and bike enthusiasts everywhere. Now is the perfect time to become active in the community and at the same time become active physically!

Happy Bike Month, Phoenix!

Happy Bike Month, Phoenix!

So what do you need to know for Bike Month? Well, a lot.

You already know the health benefits behind biking, as discussed in a previous post. But, to recap, biking is one of the best ways to promote health. Not only does it tone muscles and burn fat, it makes you a happier person with a better sleep cycle. Haha. Cycle.

There are a lot of events throughout the month of April that you should become aware of. That way, you can plan ahead and hopefully attend them!

Some of the events that you should mark on your calendar are the following events happening in downtown Phoenix:

April 12 – Co+Hoots Grid Bike Share demo and Phoenix Spokes People neighborhood bike ride
This event is essentially a neighborhood bike ride off of Washington Street that goes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be a free Grid Bike Share demonstration and test rides as well.

April 18 – Official Bike to School/Work Day
Be sure to bike to school or work on April 18 in tribute to this Valley-wide bike day! Skip your cardio workout and get out in the fresh air.

April 22 – Phoenix/Maricopa County Bike to Work Day
Phoenix City Council is putting on a cool event where the police will escort a 3-mile ride to CityScape. Everyone will meet at Central Avenue and Earll Drive at 7 a.m., and T-shirts, prizes and more will be available — including free breakfast for the first 300 registered participants! Sign up soon!

More information on biking events that are going on around the Valley can be found here.

I urge all of you to take advantage of these great events that will be happening in the next 28 days! A lot of the events are free and there are lots of giveaways. But the most important thing you’ll gain from going to any of these events is a greater sense of community and a healthier you!

Stay healthy, my friends.

Biking in Downtown Phoenix

Have you ever considered reducing your travel time if you walk between two places, toning the muscles you have without any extra effort or increasing your stamina and, in turn, making your heart healthier?

Urban biking has a bright future in downtown Phoenix.

Urban biking has a bright future in downtown Phoenix.

If not, you should consider taking to two wheels as your source of urban transportation. Biking is an activity that enhances your health and the health of your community!

Urban biking is especially something downtown Phoenix residents should consider. Commuting by car or by foot in downtown can sometimes be a challenge. That’s where biking can make your life so much easier.

If you bike, you don’t have to worry about long commutes or traffic jams. On a healthier note, biking is good for you in many ways.

Biking helps burn fat, promotes healthy sleeping habits, encourages healthy digestion and even increases the endorphins in your brain, which makes you a happier, more confident person.

ASU exercise physiologist Christopher Berger is an avid biker and takes a personal interest in biking issues.

“Of course biking is healthy. We’ve got pretty dry air and nice sunshine, so it’s nice to be outside. Our roads are pretty well-kept, you know, there are no potholes or anything like that … and they’re flat, so biking isn’t very strenuous. Logistically, biking is a good idea — it saves you so much time. Health- and fitness-wise, it’s a good idea. It’s just nice to be outside.”

Berger said he thinks biking has more of a future in downtown Phoenix compared to Tempe simply because enforcement is a little bit different.

“People would be more proactive about putting bike lanes in around downtown Phoenix. There are already colored biking lanes on some downtown streets, so I’m pretty optimistic.”

So what exactly makes biking so healthy, and how do you ensure to make the most of your biking experience?

Berger said it’s a combination of things.

“Depending on how you set your gears up, biking can be a very aerobic exercise. If you set your gears really high, it become anaerobic for a little while, because you have to increase the amount of force you generate to move the bike. If you have a lightweight bike, you can bike for a long period of time. I think there’s a lot to be said for a really strong-frame mountain bike because in urban biking you have to have something that’s pretty durable.”

Another source that really promotes urban biking is the organization BikeForce.

BikeForce Phoenix is a collaboration of courier cyclists in downtown Phoenix who serve the business community.

BikeForce aims to help businesses reduce the operating costs of sending packages, documents and parcels all while promoting green energy, environmental awareness and physical fitness.

Could this get any better?

Thomas Johnston, office manager of BikeForce Phoenix, explained why biking is so beneficial to the downtown community.

“We deliver packages from business to business via bike. We are all for urban cycling here at BikeForce. I’m a big believer in biking — the more bikes on the road, the better. It’s healthier and better for the economy. Studies have shown that when there’s more biking, the economy’s better, because people don’t have to worry about parking. I bike almost 100 miles a week. I’ve been a courier for 16 years, and it’s just how I move around.”

Now that you’ve heard testimonials from two passionate sources about the benefits of urban biking, it’s up to you to broaden those horizons and perhaps try breaking biking into your schedule.

Not only will it help the environment, it will help keep you healthier! So get out there and cycle away toward a healthier you.

Stay healthy, my friends!