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Monday, May 25, 2015

Two Wheels, Endless Fun: 9 Ways to Celebrate National Bike Month

Photo by Paul L Dineen (Flickr)

May is National Bike Month! I know my girls and I love the endless fun and the health benefits like better cardiovascular health and reduced obesity risk that our bikes provide. Will your family join us by celebrating biking in nine fun ways?

1. Learn Basic Bike Tuning Skills

While a bike tune-up preps your ride for summer fun, it also teaches your kids mechanical skills. And don't forget that a tuned bike promotes safety! Find videos online or ask your local bike shop for bicycle tuning tips and advice as you:

  • Check the brakes
  • Inflate the tires
  • Inspect the drive train
  • Replace worn cables
  • Adjust the seat height

2. Map Out an All-day Bike Trip

Is there a local trail you want to explore, or have you heard about a fun tourist sight in a nearby town? Plan a day trip and ride there on your bikes. Remember to pack a picnic, plenty of water and your cameras as you enjoy family fun and exercise.

3. Share Outgrown Bikes

Do you have outgrown bikes collecting dust in your garage? We like to clean them up and share them with neighbors or friends. You could also donate your wheels to a local thrift store or homeless or abuse shelter where other people can use and love your family's outgrown bikes.

4. Build a Bike Obstacle Course

Turn your driveway into a fun and safe bike obstacle course with common items. A maze of traffic cones, small sticks, kitchen stools, flower containers, and figure eights drawn with chalk test your bike riding agility and give your family hours of fun together.

5. Assemble Awesome Streamers

My girls collect beads, ribbon, and other craft supplies that we're going to use to create streamers for our bicycle handlebars. What random supplies do you have lying around your home? Spend an afternoon creating customized streamers that decorate your bikes in style.

6. Buy New Helmets

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that you replace your bike helmet every five years. Have you done that? Take time this month to buy new helmets for you and your growing kids.

7. Ride on a New Terrain

Do you always ride on pavement? Test your bike skills on rocks, grass, or cobblestones. You might just find your new favorite riding spot.

8. Paint Your Bikes

Nothing says "celebrate" like color! Grab spray paint, masking tape, and newspaper, and give your bikes a makeover. Whether you create a rainbow design on your bike or cover your son's boring black bike in bright orange, paint goes a long way toward adding fun to your next bike ride.

9. Trick Out Your Bike With Arts and Crafts

Want to build a basket out of paint sticks or crochet a seat cover? Maybe you need a new bike rack in your garage or back yard. Use your imagination as you create works of art and trick out your bike with everything from paint color sample cards to wooden pallets.

Do these ideas inspire you to dust off your bikes and take a ride? I know my family can't wait to have fun on two wheels. Maybe we'll see you on the trail!

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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