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  Biking

1

WHY BIKE?

 
It's fun! Riding your bike gives you the chance to get out of the enclosed confines of your car and outside where you can enjoy the sites and sounds of nature. You can make biking an activity to enjoy by yourself or with your friends on the weekend or you can enjoy a peaceful commute into work or school and you can circumvent most traffic jams that you would usually have to deal with in your car.

It's inexpensive! Some initial costs are involved with biking such as purchasing the bike, safety gear, etc., but compared with the cost of purchasing a car, paying for parking on campus, keeping the vehicle fueled, etc, biking will save you hundreds of dollars a year!

 - The cost of operating a car for one year is approximately $5,170 (AAA Mid-Atlantic, www.bicyclinginfo.org )
  -The cost of operating a bicycle for a year is only $120 (League of American Bicyclists, www.bicyclinginfo.org).

 

You don't have to search for a parking spot! There are plenty of bike racks on campus where you can park your bike. So instead of parking your car half a mile away and walking to class, you can park your bike a couple hundred feet from your classroom!

It's good for the environment.  Bicycling reduces polluting emissions.
- A short, four-mile round trip by bicycle keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe. (WorldWatch Institute, www.bicyclinginfo.org )
 - Motor vehicles are responsible for roughly 50% of all greenhouse gases and 75% of the smog in the Omaha area. Cycling can play an important role in improving air quality in the Omaha area.
  

It's an easy way to get a workout! Even on short commutes you can get a decent workout. A 20-minute morning and afternoon aerobic workout has a tremendous beneficial effect on your total fitness. And here in Northern Virginia we can ride year round. Sometimes the roads are covered with snow, but that doesn't last long. With the proper gear, riding in cold weather is probably more comfortable than riding in hot weather.

 

 

2

Which bike is right for me?

There are several different kinds of bikes which are designed for different types of cycling. When purchasing a bike things you should take into account is where you plan on riding the bike, is the bike you are looking at a comfortable fit for you, what materials you might be carrying on the bike, and what conditions will you be riding in.

3

Touring Bike

The Touring Bike is a good choice bike for commuters. Unlike most other kinds of bikes, touring bikes have an eyelet for attaching racks. They also have gearing and stable handling required to transport heavy loads.These bikes are also good for people who do not need the carrying capacity, but need the low gears for hilly terrain.

    * Pro: Smooth tires, low gearing, and stable handling make long road rides more comfortable.  Designed to accommodate touring bags for multi-day rides.
    * Con: Slower ride and less agile handling than road racing bikes.

 

4

 

Hybrid Bike

The Hybrid bike is good for people who enjoy both mountain biking/ trail riding, but this can be used for road biking as well. The wheels are not as sturdy on trails as those of a mountain bike, nor are they as thin and fast as those of a road bike on paved surfaces. But hybrid wheels are versatile enough so that you can ride comfortable enough on either surface. Hybrids tend to have a high number of gears and upright handlebars.

    * Pro: Good for riding on multiple surfaces. A little less expensive than a road bike.
    * Con: Mountain bikes are a better choice for trails and road bikes for road riding.

 

5

 

Road Bike

A road bike is a bike designed primarily for use on paved roads, as opposed to off-road terain. These bikes are often refered to as "racing bikes" because their lighter frames and narrow, high-pressure tires makes for a faster and more responsive ride.

    * Pro: The fastest and lightest type of bike available.
    * Con: Riders used to wider tires and a more upright position may find this bike style uncomfortable and somewhat hard to handle. Time in the saddle usually eases these concerns.

6
Mountain Bike

A mountain bike is designed for riding on rougher terrain than paved streets. This bike is a good choice for people interested in mountain riding with dirt trail and unpaved environments. Mountain bikes have high-performing brakes, suspension, fat tires and comfortable seats.

    * Pro: Extremely durable. Even street riders can enjoy the durability when faced with potholes, curbs, and buckled pavement.
    * Con: Wide tires make mountain bikes less than ideal for traveling far on flat surfaces. They're also heavier than other bikes due to their sturdy frames.

7

Folding Bikes

Folding bikes are great for anyone who may not have a place to park their bike all of the time. When you arrive at your destination, you can just fold your bike up and carry it with you! For instance, employees who commute to work could fold up their bike and put it in their office or someone who might ride the Metro or the bus can fold the bike up and carry it with them to ride on campus.

Folding bikes can be customized for any type of use from road and mountain bikes to hybrid and touring bike.

 

Suggested clothing for bike riding

*There are shower facilities at the Hyper Center

Summer: Shorts and a T-Shirt will suffice. If it's really hot, then riding at a slower pace will keep you from getting too sweaty.

Winter: You can cover your pants with nylon over-pants and wear a nylon jacket if it is really cold outside. A good pair of waterproof pants and jacket can be used as wind resistant gear during the colder days of winter. On cold days you can wear a pair of thick bicycle mittens to keep your hands warm. They have two fingers and a thumb, which allows enough flexibility to work the gears and apply the breaks.

Rain: If it rains, it rains. There is no way to keep yourself completely dry during your commute. It is recommended that if it's raining outside you use caution when bike riding or find alternative means of transportation for getting to work. If you dare ride in the rain then pants, a rain jacket, and waterproof mittens will help you have a somewhat drier and more comfortable commute.

Carrying clothes to work/school-Carrying additional clothing to change into for work/school can be a hassle if you ride your bike to work/school. However, once you arrive to campus you can use the lockers and shower facilities located in the Hyper Center. Another option is to fold or roll up your clothes in panniers. Some panniers are designed specifically to carry clothes like a garment bag, draped over the bike rack. You can also drive to work, either on the weekend or instead of bike commuting one day, and take in a week's worth of clothes. This allows you to avoid stuffing your clothes in your bags and lugging them with you each day.

Basic Gear-Obviously a helmet is essential, as are a good pair of riding gloves even for short commutes. A waterproof helmet cover comes in handy on wet or cold days.

Night Riding-Reflective gear and bright lights are essential to maximize your visibility to vehicle traffic. Reflective gear can be purchased at almost any bike retail shop.