Post Content

MayaMohan2 Posted by:
Maya Mohan, Department of Public Health

Maya is the Physical Activity Coordinator for DPH.

I used to ride my bike ALL the time as a kid.  My bike was pretty much attached to my body.  My next door neighbor, Jason, and I would ride every day after school, exploring different neighborhoods, racing each other, having a blast.  We weren’t even allowed to come back inside until it was dark out.  I felt such freedom and independence – I could just hop on and go wherever I felt like at that moment.  I was hooked.       

I’m sure everyone has a story that starts out like this – along the lines of, “When I was a kid, I used to walk 10 miles each way to and from school in the snow, freezing rain and hail, barefoot and blindfolded…”  But stick with me – I have a point. 

I think we tell stories like this in an attempt to remember the “good ole days.”  The days where we felt young, carefree, when life was simpler.  But something happens as we get older – I’m not sure why or what – but we’ve managed to lose that sense of happy-go-lucky lightheartedness as we’ve become adults. 

I’m also willing to bet that somewhere along the road, we also stopped riding our bikes.  I don’t think that’s a coincidence. 

Have you tried getting back on your bike as an adult?  Were you nervous at all?  If you’re anything like me, the answer is probably yes.

One of the main reasons for the nerves could be that riding your bike alongside cars and traffic seems a lot more dangerous now than it did when we were kids.  There’s an easy fix:  education!  MassBike is a statewide bicycle advocacy organization that is working to make it safer and more enjoyable for everyone to bicycle for life, work and play.

David Watson, the Executive Director of MassBike, would like to share a few tips to make riding safer and more fun:

Be predictable.  This is safer because others on the road will know what to expect when they see you.  Always ride in the same direction as traffic, and go straight – don’t weave in and out.  Follow the rules of the road – traffic laws that cars must obey, must also be obeyed by bicyclists. 

Be comfortable.  This means wearing clothes that you feel comfortable in (remember the helmet) and starting with distances and speeds that are easy for you.  There’s no need to channel Lance and pretend you’re doing your own Tour de France. Try starting out by shifting some shorter trips from your car to your bike.  It also helps to know where you’re going.  If you’re trying a new route, try it on a day where you have time to explore and you don’t feel like you’re in a rush.   Remember, you can also take your bike on public transportation – this can help you expand your range of options on where you can ride. 

Be educated.  MassBike offers both on- and off-bike classes that will help you get your confidence back.  Check out MassBike for more safety tips, class schedules and group rides.    

Are you new (again) to biking?  Do you have any other tips we can share here?  I’d love to hear your experience with revisiting the joys of biking.   

Share on Facebook.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Weekly Flu Report, February 16, 2018 posted on Feb 15

The latest weekly flu report indicates a slight increase in rates of flu-like illness in Massachusetts over the past seven days. Flu continues to circulate widely in our communities and if you have not gotten a flu shot yet this season, there is still ample reason   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, February 16, 2018

Highlights of the February 14th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Feb 14

The February monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured a pair of Determination of Need (DON) requests followed by an informational presentation from DPH bureau leadership. First, as part of her introductory remarks, Public Health Commissioner Bharel provided an update to the Council on data   …Continue Reading Highlights of the February 14th Public Health Council Meeting

School Vacation Work Hours for MA Teens posted on Feb 14

School Vacation Work Hours for MA Teens

February has arrived and many workers feel like they have finally gotten back into their daily routines—unless you are a parent of school-attending children. Many public schools offer a break from classes this month and it is common for working teens to pick up extra   …Continue Reading School Vacation Work Hours for MA Teens