Why Bike Now?
Why Bike Now?
As we enter into our third month of collectively responding to COVID-19, we are seeing more and more discussions about how the changes in our community are affecting mental health. Whether it is stress over our physical health or our loved ones' health, over going to work or not being able to work, or staying home in a crowded space or staying home alone, there are more reports about mental health amid the coronavirus pandemic. If you are feeling stressed, restless or anxious, you are not alone.
If you or someone you know is in crisis or emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit their website to chat.
Usually during Bike Month we are celebrating bicycling to work, to movies, on dates and with friends. Cities set up breakfast stops with a party atmosphere to encourage people to bike to work. So many of the things we love about riding and Bike Month won’t be possible this year.
But, wee are already seeing more people out bicycling right now: in Minnesota, bicycling and walking is up 72 percent.
We can’t promise going for a bike ride will solve every mental health concern, but we do know that bicycling can help all of us maintain our physical and mental health. Even short rides have massive benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, and improving happiness, mental focus, and sleep. Whether you are an essential worker biking to get to work, looking for a fun activity with the family, or just need some exercise or some time alone, here’s some are some ideas to help you get started.
I’m not in shape and/or I don’t have time to go on a long bike ride. If I can’t ride for a full 30 minutes how much can it really help?
Short and regular physical activity will go a long way and riding any length of time just, well, feels great! Start with short trips and build your way up to longer rides, if you want to explore farther.
I’d like to go for a ride, but my bike isn’t in great shape. Can I get it tuned up during stay at home orders?
The League and other advocates pushed to ensure bike shops could remain open as essential businesses, if they chose. Learn more about those advocacy efforts and then find a local shop that supports the League on our map. Remember to call or check in with the shop before heading over, many have abbreviated hours or are appointment only.
I haven’t biked for a while. How can I make sure my bike is safe to ride?
Watch this short video to learn how to conduct a basic ABC Bike Check before your ride.
How can I make sure to social distance while I’m biking?
Remember to ride alone, or only with others in your household; to cover your nose and mouth with a mask, bandana, or neck buff; and to pass other people with more than six feet of space plus as much extra room as practical.
Am I wearing their helmet right?
Watch this short video to see how to fit your helmet correctly.
Where is it safe to ride in my community?
Check in with your local advocacy organization by finding them on our map.
There are a lot of people on the trail. What is the right etiquette to sharing a trail with people walking, biking and rollerblading?
Watch this short video on how to gracefully share the trail with other users.