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Bicycles are Good for You and Good
for Public Health

Technology has made it possible for men and women, and even children, to go through an entire day and attain virtually no physical activity. Two generations ago, lots of people walked to work and when they got there they did physical labor. If they worked at home, housework included beating rugs and hoeing a garden. Now, because of computers, office work is mostly sedentary and while housework is still a lot of work, we have many more household machines. And leisure time has also changed for both children and adults. Video games and watching TV have displaced running around the neighborhood or taking an evening walk.

This change from an active to a sedentary lifestyle has contributed to rising rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other infirmities. But we can make lifestyle changes.

Regular use of a bicycle is a great way to build that activity level into your day. To start using a bicycle regularly, look at your errands. Most people use a car even for errands that are less than a mile. Consider riding a bike to the bank, the pharmacy, or the library. While it’s hard to carry gallons of laundry detergent and milk on a bike, you can easily carry a few days’ worth of groceries. And consider commuting to work or school by bicycle. In northwest Ohio, the average commute is less than nine miles. That is a 45-minute bike ride at a very moderate pace.

Studies show that the biggest impediment to regular cycling is roads that feel dangerous. Rather than riding a bike on the same roads that you drive, look for parallel side streets with less traffic. Or take a slightly longer trip but use an existing bike path. See our area’s bike paths at http://www.tmacog.org/Bike_Ped.htm.

You can also support building safer walking and biking infrastructure. Studies show that when a community builds infrastructure that encourages walking and biking, people respond. In northwest Ohio, we recently preserved the Westside Corridor - 11 miles of abandoned rail line - for future development as a multi-use trail.


May is the month to learn more about bicycling for fun and for personal transportation. There are dozens of activities planned for Bike Month. See the complete calendar at http://tmacog.org/bikemonth.htm . See the highlights here.

Thanks to Karen Gallagher, MA, ATC, University of Toledo, for her research papers and recommendations.

Highlights of Bike Month Activities

May 13-19 - TARTA bus fare is only 25 cents for bike riders

Monday, May 7 - Bike Rodeo (5 p.m.)and Family Bike Ride(6:30 p.m.); Pearson Metropark

Wednesday, May 9 - Bike to School Day

Wednesday, May 16 - Ride of Silence; UT; Bancroft St. entrance, 6:45 pm,
a ride of remembrance for those cyclists killed or injured on the road

Friday, May 18 - Bike to Work Day

Saturday, May 19 - Bike Day at downtown Toledo Farmer’s Market

Sunday, May 20 - Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo, Birds, Blooms and Bikes,
4 pm

Thursday, May 31 - Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo, Bicycle History Tour,
6 pm

Bike Safety, Safe Kids Coalition
Wednesday, May 9, 6-8 pm; Bike Rodeo; Fairfield Park; 1313 Eastfield, Maumee

Tuesday, May 15 , Morning; Bike Rodeo; Elizabeth Wayne Preschool, Maumee

Saturday, May 19, 11 am-2 pm; Bike Rodeo; Larc Lane School, Toledo

Wednesday, May 30, 6 pm; Mercy Children’s Hospital; Bike Safety Poster Contest Awards Ceremony

Every Week
Call for the details of the club rides. Some rides require membership in the club, all require helmets.

Mondays, May 7, 14, 21, 28
-Whitehouse Ride; General’s Ice Cream Depot, 6751 Providence Rd., Whitehouse, OH; TAB
-Bedford Ride; Bedford Junior High School, 8405 Jackman Rd.,
Temperance, MI; TAB

Tuesdays, May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
-Paceline Practice Ride; Oak Openings Metropark; TAB
-Speedtrap Ride; 310 East Main Street, Woodville, OH; TAB

Wednesdays May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
-University Parks Trail on University of Toledo campus; 6 pm; Tom Garey, 419.530.1082
-Cycle Werks in Bowling Green, 6 pm; BSBS
-Ride to Berkey; University Parks Trail Metropark; TAB

Thursdays, May 3, 10, 24, 31
-Various recreational rides sponsored by Hostelling International
-Thursday 4Fer; Sidecut Metropark, Silver Lake Side, Maumee, OH; TAB
-Road Races, various locations; 6:30 pm; MVW

Saturdays , May 5, 12, 19, 25
-Morning Ride; various locations; TAB
-Bowling Green City Park, 8 am; three groups; BSBS

Sundays, May 6, 13, 20, 27
-Breakfast Ride; Wildwood Metropark; TAB
-Bowling Green City Park, 8 am; three groups; BSBS

Bike Club Key:
TAB= Toledo Area Bicyclists | www.toledoareabicyclists.org

BSBS = Black Swamp Bicycling Society | www.bgfryes.com/bsbs

HI = Hostelling International | www.hitoledo.org

MVW = Maumee Valley Wheelmen www.freewheel.com/mvw

 


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