The holidays are over and after packing on a few extra pounds we’re all back to start another year in the rat race, the routine, life. Maybe you resolved to do things differently this year. Maybe you think that bike in the garage collecting dust is going to come alive and carry you to and from work. It’s greener, it’s healthier, and it’s not that hard.
At least that’s what you tell youreslf. But then you look outside and see a cold and rainy Chico morning daring you to endure its crossing. Or you hit that snooze button again and tell yourself, “I can just drive today and save the extra time.” After a while you think whoever said, “It’s as easy as riding a bike” was an asshole.
If you want to ride your way to better fitness, the key is simply to just ride. Commuting for exercise is not for most people as our daily grind is hard enough as it is. Most commutes in Chico are simply too short to get in a good workout anyway, and nobody likes a sweaty co-worker. So just ride.
There are a number of groups of cyclists in Chico who get out there, rain or shine, and ride bikes for pure enjoyment. Whether you mountain bike or like to hit open roads, there are rides nearly every day that are open to all levels of riders. Once you start planning these rides on your calendar, you will find you are actually having fun, meeting like-minded people, and feeling healthier. To get started, check out a few of these local cycling group websites and see what sounds like the most fun for you.
Chico Velo, www.chicovelo.org, is the group that puts on the Wildflower ride every spring attracting thousands of cyclists from far and wide, but they also organize regular rides through their website for all types of riders.
The other major group is the Chico Corsa Cycling Club, www.chico corsa.com. You’ve probably seen some club members or a few of their racing team wearing the green kits with Sierra Nevada logos. Both of these groups have membership fees for those who wish to get involved in racing and riding events, but you can check out a lot of rides just by visiting the websites, free of charge.
If you want to go a little faster and think you might be race material, check www.racechico.com. “Rodney’s Annoying Cycling Events” are anything but. Local cycling guru, Rodney Cox, has single handedly built Chico into a top grassroots bike racing community. By donating his own time and with a love for all things bicycle, Cox and R.A.C.E. put on bike racing events nearly every single day, (although we are currently in his offseason).
If racing sounds too fast for you or you feel a little timid riding in a pack of other cyclists, then go talk to Mike at Cyclesport in downtown Chico. Cyclesport puts on instructional rides every Tuesday night at 6PM starting in the Spring. The rides teach the basic skills of group riding, drafting, pace line riding, and bike safety. They are also the perfect pace for beginners to get their feet wet and not have to rip their legs off to keep up.
So go see your local bike shop about some new tubes and a tune up, ask them who they like to ride with, and go be a part of the greatest bike scene around.