This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
Now is the time to get your bike out of the garage, pump up those tires, and make sure everything is in good working order, because June is Bike Month! Bicycling has a lot of health benefits, including increased cardiovascular fitness, increased muscle strength, improved joint mobility, and decreased stress levels. Biking also benefits communities by decreasing air pollution, promoting tourism, and helping the economy. The best part: it’s a lot of fun!
While Bike Month has traditionally been celebrated in May, this year the festivities were held off until June in hopes of better weather and to coincide with the excitement of the Epic Rides Carson City Off-Road mountain biking event coming to Carson City June 17-19.
Whether you’re a hard-core mountain shredder, a dedicated roadie, a cruiser aficionado, or just curious what biking is all about, there’s no shortage of events to get out and ride in Carson City. Right now, we’re halfway through Bike to Work Week, so if you’d like to try bicycle commuting, this is a great time to ride to the office.
One of the most important parts of Bike Month is raising awareness about bicycle safety. This month and always, practice riding safely when you’re on your bike.
Before you ride, make sure your bicycle is in good working order. Check your ABCs: Air in your tires, Brakes working, Chain clean and lubed.
Ride with the flow of traffic — not against it. Ride as far to the right as practicable, and stay single file.
Be predictable. Stay in your lane, don’t dart through intersections, obey traffic signs and signals, and use hand signals to let other road users know when you’re turning.
Make sure you have the proper safety equipment, which includes a front and red rear reflector if riding after dark, according to Nevada law. Even though it’s not required by law, a properly fitting helmet is always a good idea. Helmets are available at Carson City Health and Human Services.
Be visible. Wear bright colors and reflective clothing. Stop at intersections, look left, right, left, and make eye contact with oncoming traffic to ensure drivers see you.
Stay alert. Always be aware of your surroundings. When you’re riding in traffic, make sure you’re riding defensively. Avoid being distracted by electronic devices, just as you would if you were driving a motor vehicle.
Carson City Health and Human Services is proud to be part of a diverse group working to improve bicycling and walking safety in Carson City. Bike Month is an opportunity to improve safety for all road users by educating both cyclists and motorists about the rules and responsibilities of the road, and by improving bicycle facilities around our city to make traffic safer for non-motorized transportation. Please join us in celebrating Bike Month, and do something great for your health — go for a ride!
For more information about Bike Month events in Carson City, check out www.musclepowered.org. To learn more about Epic Rides and the Carson City Off-Road, check out EpicRides.com. To learn more about other Health Department services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org, or visit us at www.facebook.com/cchhs.