Bike Ready

May is National Bike Month, and even though winter was still in full force on the last day of April, May looks promising for some more spring-like weather, so if you haven’t already, this weekend could be a great time to knock the off-season dust of your family’s bikes and make sure they’re ready to roll!

Basic bicycle maintenance you can do at home

  • Get air in the tires and make sure they are holding air pressure.
  • Check tires for any wear or damage that would warrant replacing.
  • Clean the chain, gears, and derailleurs, and give them some fresh lube.
  • Check the seat and seat post to make sure they are tight and in the right position. Clean any dirt/dust from seat and seat post.
  • Test the brakes to make sure they are working properly, and that the brake pads aren’t rubbing on the rims of the wheels.
  • Just give your bike a general cleaning so it looks shiny and ready to roll!

If your bike is in need of a more major overhaul, you can always head to your local bike shop for a spring tuneup!

Bike month resources/events

  • National Bike to Work Week is May 13-17. National Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 17th. Check out your local community calendar for special events!
  • Bozeman is celebrating Bike to Work Week on June 3-7, Bozemanites, stay tuned for a list of coffee and brewery stops for that week. MUS Wellness will host a tent on the MSU Centennial Mall on Friday, June 7th for our MSU commuters!
  • Missoula has events all month long! Check them out here with this awesome Bike Month Calendar.
  • FVCC in Kalispell is starting weekly rides on Wednesdays from May 7 to August 21. The group will meet between 5:15 and 5:30. For more info contact
    dgrabowski@fvcc.edu

Have fun and be safe!

Wellchat Episode XVII: The Commuter Episode

Episode 17: After catching up since the previous Wellchat, Neal and Cristin share several interviews from MSU Bike to Work Day in June, and discuss how commuters of all types can arrive at work safe and happy. Recorded 7/10/18

The Montana Moves & Meals Wellchat is available on Itunes podcasts! Subscribe and take us with you for a walk, run, or drive!

Bike to Work (in Comfort)

Happy National Bike to Work Week! Although Bozeman chose to delay our Bike to Work Week Festivities (June 4-8), I still rode into the office this morning in solidarity with the rest of the state and nation! Everything is so green and the air is crisp—it’s an outstanding time to ride!

To kick off this special week of riding, we wanted to re-share a video we produced a couple of years back on bicycle comfort, in case you missed it or need a refresher. If you’re comfortable on your bike, your riding will become much more enjoyable and unlimited! Enjoy, and stay safe out there!

 

The Daily Commute

One of our new challenges this summer for the MUS Wellness Incentive Program involves commuting. There are many reasons to be conscious of how we get ourselves from place to place. Using alternative transportation including biking, walking, public transportation or carpooling has a number of positive benefits including:

  • Saving money
  • Lowering emissions
  • Easing campus parking burdens
  • Decreasing stress levels
  • Biking and walking have numerous health/well-being benefits

Here’s a story from Bryan Grove from MSU Billings. Bryan and several of his colleagues participated in the Montana Commuter Challenge this May.

I really enjoy participating in the Montana Commuter Challenge.  The Montana Commuter Challenge provides an opportunity for people to think about alternative transportation to save money, get some exercise, and reduce carbon emissions.  For me, it provides the catalyst to get my bike out after a long winter and commute not only to work, but running errands as well.  With kids at home and a long work day, I don’t get much exercise.  The Challenge encourages me to think about how I can get exercise by biking to work or other errands.  The Challenge also gives me an opportunity to promote healthy living and challenge people to think about Earth friendly modes of transportation.

The team aspect of the Challenge allows me to meet new co-workers, connect over a shared interest and motivate each other to live healthier lives.  Last year, 11 people from MSU Billings participated in the Challenge.  It was motivating to be part of a team endeavoring to live a healthier lifestyle.  Jessica mentions that walking or biking to work gave her a jump-start to being more active through running, long road rides, and mountain biking.  She also said “commuting by walking or biking gives me time to clear my head after work.”  Rita, who uses the bus to get to work, appreciates the ride because “it reduces stress because I don’t have to drive home in rush-hour traffic after I’ve worked all day and I’m tired!”  Derrick likes biking to work because “[he] is more aware of what [he] is eating throughout the day because [he] wants to have ‘good’ energy by the time [he] rides home.”  This year, our team increased by over 50%.  My hope for next year is to have over 20 people exercising more, eating better, and reducing stress after a long day at work. 

It was a great feeling to know we were part of a Challenge encompassing almost 200 teams from across the state, all making an effort to live healthier lives.  If you did not participate in the Challenge this year, I encourage you to find a team or start one of your own.  Enjoy the sunny weather as you bike, walk, or use mass transit to get to work!

Bryan Grove, MSU Billings

You don’t even have to wait till next May to make healthy commuting part of your routine! If you participate in our Incentive Program, the challenge is to use a form of alternative transportation at least twice a week.

Enjoy the summer and the ride!

National Bike Challenge Update

Such a tight race!
Such a tight race!

Our Montana Bikes/MUS Wellness Team just wrapped up month two of the 5-month National Bike Challenge.  With 29 riders on the team, and over 5000 miles logged, we’re currently the second place team in Montana by a very narrow margin!  We’ve also moved up to 150th place nationally out of 2082 teams.  MUS riders have logged over half of our miles commuting: saving gas, emissions, and money, while also getting some great exercise.  5000 miles is the equivalent of a ride from Anchorage, Alaska to Miami, Florida. Excellent job everyone! 

Remember, if you’d like to participate in this challenge, it’s not too late!  There are still three great summer months to get out and ride, log miles, and have fun tracking your progress.   Just go to www.nationalbikechallenge.org, sign-up (it’s free), join our team ‘Montana University System Wellness–Montana Bikes!’, and start logging.  If you have any trouble joining, just shoot us an email at wellness@montana.edu and we’ll help you out.  Happy Riding!

alaska to miami
Anchorage to Miami. Now that’s a long ride!

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Top 10 Reasons to Commute by Bike!

May is National Bicycle Month, and this week has been National Bike to Work Week.  Blessed with super-nice Montana May weather, Cristin and I are a perfect 4 for 4 in commuting to work via bicycle this week.  Going to go for five in a row tomorrow!  I was inspired this morning during my commute to come up with a “Top 10” list.  So here it is:

The Top 10 Reasons to Commute to Work via Bicycle.

10.  For one week a year, I get free coffee.

coffee
Many local businesses participate in National Bike Month and National Bike to Work week. Here I am enjoying a free ‘Cup of Joe’ at the Sola Cafe.

9.  Time

  • In some cases, depending on how far you live from work, traffic patterns, and your parking situation, it’s often quicker to ride.  I love it when I get to bypass traffic, not  have to search for a parking spot, and roll right up to my building.

8.  Money

  • The U.S. could save 462 million gallons of gasoline per year by increasing cycling from 1% to 1.5% of all trips (Source:  Trek Bicycles).  Multiply that by $3.40 per gallon.  That’s a lot of coin!  What will you do with all that money you’re not spending on gas?

7.  You get to be outside, in Montana

  • I don’t feel like I need to elaborate much on this one.  (At least from May-September!)

6.  Emissions

  • 60% of the pollution created by automobile emissions happens in the first few minutes of operation, before pollution control devices can work effectively, and 40% of all automobile trips are within two miles of the home. (Source:  Trek Bicycles).  The only thing that bicycling burns is fat.  26,000 people across the country taking part in the National Bike Challenge have already saved 631,000 pounds of CO2 emissions in just two weeks of riding.  Our MUS Wellness Team is responsible for saving 455 pounds of auto emissions so far!  Way to go Team!

5.  It gives you a great excuse to roll your pant legs up to reveal your super cool socks

Rockin' my Space Invader socks for the morning commute.
Rockin’ my Space Invader socks for the morning commute.

4.  It’s good for your brain

  • More and more research links exercise to improved cognitive function.  If you want to think better, move more.  Case-in-point:  I thought of this blog post on my ride in.

3.  Weight Loss

  • The average person loses 13 pounds their first year of commuting by bike. Wow! (Source:  Trek Bicycles)  That’s because riding at a moderate pace burns around 500 calories per hour.

bike-lanes-1

2.  Better Overall Health/Reduced Health Risks

  • Just three hours of bicycling per week can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%.  (Source:  Trek Bicycles).  Reminder:  Heart Disease is the Number 1 killer in the U.S.

And the Number 1 reason to commute by Bicycle:  It’s Fun!

  • Remember when you learned to ride as a kid?  Remember the thrill of movement and the freedom to go anywhere?  It’s still there!  Biking is Fun!

Montana Moves wishes you Happy Bike Month and safe travels!  Ride aware, wear your helmet, and have fun!

Happy riding,

NA