Have you heard the term “it’s like riding a bike” when someone refers to something you can easily remember how to do once you start to do it again? Did you know there is a study that has actually proven that you never do forget how to ride a bike? Researchers at the University of Aberdeen have discovered a key nerve cell in your brain that controls the formation of memories for such skills as bike riding and skiing. So the skill, once learned, is stored in your procedural memory bank. Pretty cool, huh?
The physical benefits of bike riding are well-documented. Regular bicycling increases cardiovascular fitness, improves joint mobility, increases muscular strength and flexibility, and decreases stress levels. And thanks to all the accouterments available to customize your bike, bicycling can be enjoyed at any age (the Dutch think it’s safe for newborns to ride along in an appropriate carrier). Electric bikes even make bicycling possible for people with certain health conditions that might prohibit them from enjoying a ride on a standard pedal-powered bike.
May is National Bicycle Month so make it all about pedal power. Whether you haven’t ridden a bike in years or you are an avid cyclist, get out the old two-wheeler and take a spin this month.
The nice thing about a bike ride is you decide how long and how vigorous you want it to be. Trails across the US range from a short, scenic jaunt to a lengthy, rough terrain trek. Traillink.com is a great website that allows you to search for trails by state and includes trail riders reviews. Here are some to check out on your next bicycle adventure!
California (near Thousand Trails Rancho Oso RV Campground): Self-guided environmental tours and the Andree Clark Bird Refuge are part of the beauty of the Santa Barbara Beach Trail, a concrete and asphalt 4.5-mile path in Santa Barbara.
Indiana (near Twin Mills Camping Resort): The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail runs 17 miles from Goshen to Shipshewana and provides scenic views of horses, rustic barns, and the Amish country and lifestyle.
Kentucky (near Thousand Trails Diamond Caverns RV Campground): The Louisville Riverwalk in Louisville has a paved, 8-mile trail that runs along the Ohio River.
Massachusetts (near Old Chatham Road RV Campground): The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a 27-mile asphalt path that follows a 19th-century rail line with the opportunity to take breaks and visit the charming towns dotted along the path.
North Carolina (near Scenic RV Resort): The French Broad River Greenway is a two-mile ride that links three of Asheville’s park as well as takes riders through wooded and residential areas.
Washington (near Thousand Trails Grandy Creek RV Campground): The Cascade Trail is a 22.5-mile crushed gravel path that follows the Skagit River with 23 trestles and two bridges.
There’s really no excuse – you don’t have to train, you don’t have to be a certain height or weight, or even age. Just get out there and enjoy the wind on your face and the sun on your back.
Tell us about your favorite bike paths in the comments!