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!

Bike to Work Week!

It’s Bike to Work Week!  Check out what’s happening this week in your community to celebrate, as many local businesses will have perks for commuters. Here are some weblinks for events in Helena, Missoula, and Bozeman for events this week and all month long for National Bike Month. If you live in another community, check your local news or businesses for more events!

National Bike to Work Week 2015! from Montana University Sys. Wellness on Vimeo.

Challenge of the Month: May!

MM Split Logo

Montana Meals May Challenge: Fruitopia & Veggilicious!

MyPlate dietary guidelines recommend that half of our meal plates are filled with vegetables and/or fruit. With springtime here, it’s easier to make that guideline a reality as delicious, in-season, fresh produce is becoming more available.

The May Challenge of the Month is to eat 3 servings of fruit or 3 servings of vegetables each day. If it’s simple for you to get your recommended daily amount of fruit, but vegetables are a little tougher to include in your diet, challenge yourself and track your vegetable intake (or vice versa). Or, if you really want to go above and beyond this month, track both fruits and vegetables. You’ll earn two entries into the May prize drawing; plus your body will thank you for providing it with the fruits and vegetables it needs!

Download the Fruit Log and/or Veggie Log and get started tracking. Must meet 3 servings/day for 25 out of 31 days to be eligible for the drawing. And sorry, but juice won’t count for this challenge.

Email or fax in your logs by Monday, June 2nd to be eligible for our end of month drawing! Fax is 994-2391.

Montana Moves May Challenge: National Bike Month/Bike Bingo and National Bike Challenge

May is National Bike Month, and there are several ways to get involved!

First, play Bike Bingo from MUS Wellness—a great way to have fun while riding this month. Email, tweet, or fax your Bingo sheet back to us by Monday, June 2nd to be eligible for our end of month drawing.  Email to wellness@montana.edu, @montanamoves (Twitter), or 994-2391 (fax).

Second, Bike to Work Week is May 12-16.  Most communities have a plethora of events for commuters, most of which involve coffee. Free coffee every day!  It’s the best week of the year!

Bike Week or Bike Month not enough? Looking for a bigger challenge? Go to http://www.nationalbikechallenge.org and sign up to log your miles all summer log. Join one of our Wellness Teams and let the competition begin!  Once you register, search for your appropriate team, either MUS Wellness East or MUS Wellness West.  Here are how the teams break down:

  • MUS Wellness East: Billings, Bozeman, Glendive, Great Falls, Havre, Miles City (and any satellites associated with these locations).
  •  MUS Wellness West:  Butte, Dillon, Helena, Kalispell, Missoula (and any satellites associated with these locations).

Recruit for your side! Get your coworkers and family members involved!

Game On!
Game On!

 

You must be a Montana University System insured plan member  to participate.

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