Updated: Jul 5
Demand for bicycles has exploded in the last year, as people looked for ways to exercise safely during the pandemic. Bloomberg City Lab reported a 138 percent increase in bike trips from May 2019 to May 2020 in Houston, while trips in Los Angeles during the same period went up 93 percent. Bicycling has a lot to offer besides safety. According to Harvard Health, these are the top five benefits:
It's easy on the joints
It's an aerobic workout
It builds muscle
It builds bone
It makes other activities easier
We are fortunate to live in the #1 trail state in the country, according to the Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance. Michigan has over 2500 miles of rail-trails and other multi-use pathways, including the Mike Levine Lakelands Trail State Park that goes through Stock Bridge and the popular Lansing River Trail. Organized rides such as the Bike & Brew tour in Detroit and the Habitat for Humanity Bike to Build ride in Dewitt add variety and fun to cycling.
With the summer biking season upon us, it's a good idea to start building muscle and heart health by walking and doing mat-based exercises like yoga. Capital Area District Libraries offer yoga and other movement resources through streaming videos, DVDs, and books such
as The Athlete's Pocket Guide to Yoga by Sage Rountree. These are available free to members at CADL's website
For me, cycling is about more than health benefits. I enjoy exploring city streets and country roads, noticing scents and sounds that I would not experience from a car. I meet people that I would not encounter any other way. This summer I'm going to explore more of Michigan's many trails and begin preparing for a ride on South Dakota's George Mickelson Trail that I've been dreaming about since last summer.
Mickelson Trail Map
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sherri McConnell is the Head Librarian at the Stockbridge branch of Capital Area District Libraries.