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- Why uou ought to be riding in the rain! (9/18/2020)
Have you ever seen someone riding their bike in the rain and thought to yourself that the person must be crazy. Maybe they just didn’t plan very well and ended up far from home when the rain started.
What you might not have thought is that they wanted to be out in the rain. They might enjoy rainy weather biking, and you can too. Here are some of the best reasons to pull out your bike and go for a ride when the weather looks awful. Remember to always warm up before you go biking.
Experience Clearer Roads
What kind of crazy person would be biking out on the roads when the rain is coming down? That’s exactly the thought many people would have, and it’s the very reason why you should ride when the weather is poor. You out to have fairly clear roads. Even the cars will be scarcer at that time, making for roads that are easier to navigate and giving you a greater sense of freedom. This is the perfect time to hit paved bike trails. Dirt trails probably aren’t a good choice when it rains, due to the muddy, difficult conditions, but paved roads should be just fine for an experienced rider.
Enjoy the freedom of having the roads mostly to yourself when you take advantage of rainy weather biking.
Gain Riding Confidence
This is also a great way to gain some experience as a bike rider and to grow your confidence. You might be scared right now to go out the rain and ride your bike. You could be fearful that you will fall down and slip in the wet weather, but once you give it a try, you might be surprised at how well you do. Instead of wondering how you would be able to deal with a situation where the rain is coming down as you are riding your bike, you can be confident about how you would do.
This is great for boosting your confidence and helping you feel better about not just riding in the rain but also about riding in a variety of adverse conditions. If you can handle riding in the rain, then you can probably handle other tough riding environments, so if you are feeling your confidence level sink when you think about some tough riding conditions, you may want to give rain cycling a try. It may just surprise you at how you perform and how easy it is to ride in wet weather. Just be sure you have good quality tires with plenty of traction before you attempt this.
Have Lots of Fun
Riding through puddles is a blast, and it can make you feel immature and excited like few other cycling experiences. Taking a ride in wet conditions is often a ton of fun, and once you just roll with it, you will probably find yourself enjoying the experience way more than you thought. It might seem miserable at first, but once you are completely soaked, you won’t worry so much about what parts of you are wet and what are not. You can just enjoy the sensation of riding through puddles, splashing down the roads and taking your bike through the pouring rain.
Prepare for Adverse Conditions
The best reason to ride in the rain is probably to prepare yourself for those times when you are simply not prepared and you find yourself caught in bad weather. Would you just try to wait it out or would you brave the bad weather?
If you decide to ride in the rain as a matter of choice rather than circumstance, then you can take the matter into your own hands and face it head on. You will be more confident and prepared to deal with rainy weather conditions this way. Rainy weather riding allows you to get comfortable and to know what kind of dangers await you for the next time you get caught unexpectedly in the rain. It allows you to be prepared and to ensure that you have the right equipment should you find yourself needing to ride in the rain.
If you’re not properly prepared, then you could end up injuring yourself or someone else. When that happens, then you’ll need to get a personal injury lawyer to help deal with the situation, especially if there is another person involved says Mikel who is the manager attorney at Car Accident Lawyer Toronto.
This also lets you determine if you have the right equipment for adverse weather riding. You may need to update or upgrade some of your equipment, improving shocks, tires, your seat or even your helmet to deal with wet weather. You can take an inventory of how your equipment fared and perhaps get some suggestions from other riders who like to ride their bike in the rain. That way, when wet weather hits, you can be ready for it.
An obvious benefit to riding in the rain is that you aren’t likely to overheat, suffer from heat exhaustion or sunstroke, experience a sunburn or feel sweaty. The rain can keep you cool and the clouds overhead will provide shade. Once you can deal with the dampness, you may find that wet weather riding is quite pleasant. A lot of people will take every opportunity to ride their bike in the rain because of how cool and pleasant the entire experience is for them.
You won’t have to worry about wearing sunscreen. You also don’t have to worry about wiping perspiration off your head. You will have rainwater on your head to deal with, but that’s actually easier to handle, as you can just wear a hood or a hat with a bill. Unless the rain is flying directly into your face, you should not have to worry about water obscuring your vision.
Of course, you may decide that you don’t like riding in the rain after you give it a try, but you should at least attempt it. If nothing else, you will look pretty awesome speeding down the road on your bike while everyone else is trying to stay dry.
- Cyclists Are Coming Out in Record Numbers Following Covid-19 (9/3/2020)
Where have all the cyclists been hiding? Since the lockdown started in Philly for coronavirus, we have seen a massive spike in the number of riders out and about.
Figures taken from the Kelly Drive Trail alone are staggering, and that is probably where the highest numbers are being seen. There, riders are using the trail at numbers that are 491% over what they were in the past. These numbers are taken from the beginning of March and being compared to last year at the same time, and they speak volumes about how important biking is to this town.
These numbers have been gathered by automated biker counters that were established on the trail. These counters are picking up record numbers of cyclists on the trail, but the Kelly Drive Trail isn’t the only place we are seeing a massive influx of rides.
Other trails are seeing fantastic numbers as well, and riders are up 151% across all the trials in Philadelphia. This means great things for the future of the city and its invites to push for more cycling and fewer motorists on the roads. There is plenty of speculation about why these numbers are occurring in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The most common suggested reason is that the citizens don’t have anywhere they need to take their cars, since most stores are closed down and nonessential services are no longer available. People are at home, away from work and have more time to cycle. They can start to go after some of their fitness goals and put their bikes to good use, even if they haven’t used their bikes in while.
Another reason we are seeing these surges is because of the health initiatives being pushed all across the world. People want to build up immunity and strength against a viral outbreak. Having healthier bodies helps them to fight off infection from this outbreak and from future outbreaks. Many people are exercising for their long-term health these days and making use of their extra free time to strengthen themselves and protect against all manner of infections and viruses.
Petitions are underway to close some of the streets in Philly to accommodate the large than normal cycling traffic. This gives riders the chance to stay six feet apart as they ride and makes streets safer for cyclists, as they would not have to worry about cars.
While it may sound odd to say anything positive about the coronavirus and its impact on society, it is certainly helpful to look at the bright side when possible. The coronavirus may have much of Philly shut down, but it is helping some people realize the joy of cycling. Perhaps when the city opens fully back up, the numbers for cyclists on the roads and trails will continue to stay high as people remember how much fun they had taking a ride instead of driving their car.
- Do You Need to Warm-Up before You Cycle (8/1/2020)
One of the most common questions bike experts get is whether it is necessary to warm up before riding a bike. There is a lot of conflicting information out there because of personal accounts that may be different and because some of the expert advice will sound different based on the situation. For Philly Free Streets, we want to make sure you are fully prepared for the fun!
It all comes down to the kind of bike riding that you plan to do. If you are doing a short, intense biking session, then a warmup needs to be longer and more strenuous. This allows the body to properly stretch before being exerted. You don’t want to pull a muscle or overexert yourself.
So, if you are going to do a long bike ride, then you only need a short warmup period. You can just do a five minute warmup session if you are going to ride your bike for an hour or more. The reasoning behind that is because you will get your warmup on your bike, in most instances. The longer bike rides tend to be slower paced and drawn out, so there isn’t much of a need for a strenuous, lengthy warmup period.
Shorter biking sessions call for more rigorous and longer warmup periods. You may want to warm up for as long as you plan to be biking, or even longer in some cases. A 20-minutes begin session may need to be bookended by 20-minute warmup and cooldown sessions. This protects your muscles and helps you to avoid strains.
What kind of exercises should you be doing? You definitely want to get some stretches in. This helps with circulation and gets blood pumping to the muscles, particularly to the extremities. This means that those muscles will be ready and primed for when they are needed.
Leg swings and heel-to-toe walking are great warmup exercises that you can do anywhere. Most cyclists will simply do this while standing next to their bike. These exercises limber up your legs and send blood flowing where it needs to go. They reduce the risk of foot cramps, which are one of the most common kinds of cramps that cyclists experience. They also help with mobility and performance.
If you have exercised properly before your biking session, then your muscles should not feel stiff. They should feel primed for action and your blood should be circulating freely.
Lunges are another good exercise you can do to work your back and abdomen. You might not even realize how much strain you put into these parts of your body when you bike, so you definitely want to get them limbered up and stretched out ahead of time.
Is a workout necessary for every biking session you do? Not necessarily, but it is a great preventative measure. You help to protect yourself from a muscle soreness and other issues that you might not have problem with during the session that can come back to bite you afterwards. Who wants to feel miserable the day after their biking trip? If you don’t, then be sure to spend a little time warming up ahead of time.
- What Philly Can Learn from Copenhagen about Cycling (7/2/2020)
Every morning, close to half of the population of Copenhagen, Denmark will cycle to work and school. Cycling is a way of life for this city, and it is known as the most bike-friendly city on earth. It didn’t get that reputation by accident, and while Philly is quickly moving up the same list, if it wants to get on the same level as Copenhagen, Philly will have to follow Copenhagen’s example. Not everything that works in the Danish city will work for the American city, but some of the same principles can apply.
A Culture of Biking
One of the biggest ways that Copenhagen makes its streets accessible and safe for bikes is because of the visibility of cycling within the city. Everyone in Copenhagen knows that cycling is a big part of daily life, so motorists know to watch out for cyclists, to give way and to make sure they are driving carefully. People understand the repercussions of breaking the traffic laws and know how to treat each other well on the roads thanks to plenty of signage, educational initiatives and public awareness.
Less Car Friendly
The initiatives in place to make Copenhagen into the city is today didn’t come about accidentally. They were established over time and designed to make the city less car friendly. This means that the way energy was consumed had to happen, so fuel prices skyrocketed and the plan for energy conservation was started. This helped to drive down car ownership while boosting bike ownership. It is not uncommon for state governors in the US to set gas prices, and a move like that from the mayor could happen and may be necessary if Philly is serious about being bike friendly.
Show the Cost Benefits
One of the big reasons that cycling took off in Copenhagen and stayed popular there is because the residents understood the cost benefits involved. The government and local activists made sure the people were well aware of how cost effective it would be to ride a bike instead of own a car. The limited repairs, lower ownership costs, no need for fuel, and lower repair costs mean that cycling is saving people thousands of dollars a year and thus saving the residents more money for local spending of goods and services. Copenhagen is flourishing and its residents have more money in their pockets than they did in the days when cars were found everywhere.
These are just a few ways that Copenhagen has managed to stand out in the world cycling community and how its innovations may be able to be carried over to other places like Philadelphia. There is still a lot of work to be done in Philly as the residents there adjust to more and more bikes on the street.
It would be wise of the city to look toward its Danish counterpart to see how some new ideas could be implemented or how current initiatives could be improved.