I Want to Ride my Bicycle
By Julianne Simpson
Each year as May and Bike Month arrive, I am so excited to see more cyclists out on my morning and evening commutes. I love seeing their new clothing, new bikes and encouraging them to overcome their nervousness on their first bike commutes of the year.
I’ve been communing to and from work on a bicycle year-round for the last 15 years or so and people often ask me about what you might need to start commuting. I used to say that you really just need a bike and a helmet, but now thanks to bike share services like Lime and Jump, you don’t even need a bike!
If you have your own bike, having a proper fit is critical to keeping your knees, back, neck, etc happy and healthy. Terri Sullivan, PT, DPT, OCS offers bike fittings at our Seattle location. Give us a call to schedule one!
For the basics beyond a bike and helmet, keeping the water off you and off your stuff is an important consideration. For keeping water off my stuff, I love waterproof panniers, bags that you attach to a rack on your bike. A waterproof messenger bag or backpack is also great but they will give you a sweaty back. As to keeping yourself dry, there are two ways to go. One is with rain gear that goes over your clothes, the other is with warm clothes that can get wet and dry clothes to change into at work.
Being visible to other road users is also critical. I have always loved to have double lights, that way if one light loses power, you’ve got another to cover you. That means I have two front lights and two back lights. A lot of cyclists wear safety vests, some of them even flash.
Even if you are not participating on a bike month team through Cascade Bike Club, it’s fun to get out and explore Seattle’s bike trails and growing collection of Neighborhood Greenways and Protected Bike Lanes (City of Seattle Bike Map). Venturing out of Seattle is also fun. King County has maps of their trails. Washington Bikes has a large collection of maps as well.
City biking skills are also critical to learn and practice to stay safe on city streets. Classes are available for both adults and kids through Cascade Bike club. If you are feeling unsure about how to ride safely in an urban setting, Cascade Bike Club even offers an Urban Commuting Class for adults. Pedalheads and Cascade both offer classes and camps for kids.
Bike Month is great time to get (back) on a bike. Come say hi today, May 17, 2019 at our Bike Day station in front of our new location, 1200 Westlake from 4p-6p. We will have snacks, tunes and fun stuff!
Julianne Simpson, DPT, holds a BA from Oberlin College and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Eastern Washington University. A general orthopedic and pelvic health therapist, she is passionate about helping people move more and empowering her patients to live healthier lives. She dreams of raising kind children, cycling over the Alps and surfing in Alaska.