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Thursday, December 31, 2015

If you live in or around Memphis, your New Year's resolutions should include bicycling

If you live in or around Memphis, your New Year’s resolutions should include bicycling
By:  Michael Lander

Memphis area cyclists have plenty of cycling events to participate
in.  One of the most popular of these is the annual Meritan
Midnight Classic in August of each year, which draws thousands
of cyclists from Memphis and beyond.

Once a year, at the stroke of midnight, millions of people around the world welcome in the new year with fanfare and celebration, saying goodbye to the past year and looking forward, with great anticipation, to what they hope will be a happy, healthy, and successful year ahead.

As many lift up their glasses to make toasts and to wish others a Happy New Year, many see the occasion as a time to clean the slate and to make a brand new, fresh start and to observe the long-standing tradition of making one or more
New Year’s resolutions. 

Even though some resolutions that we make may seem like an inevitable and futile attempt to achieve something that may ultimately be unrealistic and unattainable, they almost always come with good intentions and center around improving one’s life, health, or their relationships with others.

Among the top ten New Year’s resolutions for the past year of 2015, the
Statistic Brain Research Institute found that dieting (losing weight) was number one and staying fit and healthy came in at number five.

Memphis is slowly becoming known as a bicycling
city and nothing better symbolizes this than the
Overton Park Bicycle Gate or Arch, which was
completed in February 2014.

For those Memphians who have made resolutions to lose weight and/or to improve their health and fitness, there may be no better time than at the beginning of 2016 for them to include
bicycling as one of their New Year’s resolutions. 

With an ever-increasing growing number of bike lanes and cycling amenities in and around
Memphis, and with the Harahan Bridge project and the Shelby Farms Park Greenline expansion and the renovation of the park, itself, expected to be completed in 2016, this will be the year to get out and ride like never before.

Click here for ten reasons why you should start riding in Memphis now.

Rather than wait for these projects to get finished, or to wait around until there is warmer weather, there really is no need to sit around until then. 

There are all kinds of
cold weather riding gear to make your cycling experience a lot more tolerable, but for those who just can’t bring themselves to ride in the cold, there are always other options like joining a spinning class or riding a stationary bike through the winter months.

The annual 5+ mile Tour de Grizz Bike Ride is one of many cycling
events that take place in Memphis.  Last year's ride in 2015 drew a
couple hundred cyclists who followed up the ride with watching the
Memphis Grizzlies play at the FedEx Forum.

Throughout the winter, and the rest of the year for that matter, cyclists can also spend a little time in the gym by doing some
muscle strengthening exercises and some aerobic workouts to enhance their performance while riding. 

They can also, additionally, benefit from some
cross-training activities such as running and try some alternative regimens such as yoga.  Dieting and weight loss can also improve your cycling experience, not to mention your overall health and fitness.

When your New Year’s resolution involves health and fitness and/or dieting, it is important to first set up a plan to establish realistic and attainable goals for yourself before you actually get started. 

After you do that, it is always a good idea to
learn all that you can on how to get started and to start slow and to not be overly ambitious.

Click here to read about how to get started in bicycling, to find motivation, and how to feel safe while doing it.

This is a photo of the 100-year-old Harahan Bridge over the
Mississippi River from Memphis to West Memphis, Ark.
At the end of 2016, this bridge will have a bicycle and
pedestrian walkway, which is expected to be extremely
popular with Memphians and visitors alike.

After you do that, you will probably want to get friends and family to join you, or you might want to consider joining a bicycle club.  You are always more likely to stick with something if you can enjoy the experience, especially if you can get the support and encouragement from others.

Whatever your New Year’s resolutions might be this year, if you live in Memphis, and you’re interested in improving your health and fitness, and losing weight, cycling is definitely an activity that you seriously want to consider doing in 2016 and beyond.

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