by Dustin Gill
It’s spring again; that means it’s time to dust off the saddle, grease up the chain, pump up the tires and hit the open road on your bicycle.
Regina’s parks and bike paths are always bustling in the summer, and this year with its above seasonal temperatures is no exception.
“It’s been a brisk year already,” says Freddy Vandelinden, owner and operator of Dutch Cycle, Regina’s longest running bike shop, “March was almost a record in history because it was such an early melt and the roads and everything were dried already three weeks ago.” Vandelinden says that the warm weather has set a good tone for the summer with people keen to get out on their bikes early, “We've got an extra eight weeks this year,” he says with a smile.
But the nice weather isn’t the only thing encouraging people to get out on their bikes. “The other thing is gas,” says Vandelinden, “since the start of the year we’re up 15 cents a liter, so I think that as that price continues to explode we’re going to get busier and busier because more people have to cycle.” Vandelinden says he has seen an increase in clientele coming in looking for a bike that they can use to help “share the load and subsidize their driving.”
Saving gas and money aren’t the only reasons to get outside and on a bike, says Ashley Shumate. She has been a personal trainer for the past 10 years, and in 2008 became the founding owner-operator of the District Fitness Studio. She says that she began incorporating cycling into both her own and her clients' workouts as soon as she heard of its great health benefits. “It really helps you build your aerobic capacity in a big way,” says Shumate, “when running, you reach your threshold much sooner, so if you want a longer workout it’s better to do on a bike and you’ll burn more fat.”
More than just a great way to burn fat and increase your cardio, Shumate says it’s also a safe and healthy way to tone and build muscle. “It’s fun and low impact, which means it’s easier on your joints so you’re not worrying about shin splints or knee and back issues from impact. It’s a good balanced way to do cardio without getting injured.”
Shumate says that since introducing her clients to cycling, more than a third of them now use bikes in their day to day lives. She also uses her bike as a means of transportation to get to and from work. “Cycling is a part of my life; six days a week I’m always on my bike.”
Whether it’s saving gas money, getting fit or just getting out, with weather like this there’s no shortage of good reasons to get out and on two wheels.
Check out this quick tuturial on how to clean up your drive train for the spring!