In Fair Haven, we take bikes for granted. LOTS of people ride them. If you’ve ever seen the “bike parking lot” (above) at Knollwood School or if you’ve ever been driving around town when school is starting or ending, you know how popular bikes are with our kids. Often you’ll see several students riding to school together, and riding home again together too.
Still, you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy bike riding. Our quiet streets and relatively flat terrain make it easy to bike just for fun or to bike to a store and back. It’s also a great way for parents and kids to spend time together outdoors, getting some exercise and enjoying the sights and sounds of their neighborhoods.
May really is National Bike Month, and if you haven’t been on a bike in a long time it’s a great excuse for you to get out your old bike and give it a spin. You might have to wipe the dust off of it or inflate the tires, but as soon as you ride it on your driveway a smile will likely come across your face. You’ll feel like a kid again- biking is FUN, whatever your age!
You might see me riding around town some day- I’m the one on a 30 year old white 3-speed Raleigh. I bought it in down town Red Bank many years ago, and it still has the little generator that powers the front light. Most of all, it still does the job (you really don’t need 10 speeds in an area that’s as flat as we are). If you’re close to my age you probably remember when we used to call the 3-speed bikes “English racers”; like me, you even might have learned to ride a bike on an old Schwinn one-speed bike with the fat balloon tires. Raleigh was still making their bikes in England when I bought mine, and although it’s a lot heavier than a lot of the modern bikes, it’s still very easy to ride and hasn’t given me a bit of trouble.
If you haven’t been on a bike in a long time, a word of caution: PLEASE make yourself visible so people driving cars can see you. Keep your lights on, even during the day. When it starts to get dark, wear a reflective vest. And no matter what your age, set a good example for the kids and wear a helmet. Yes, I know that when we were growing up no one wore a helmet when riding a bike (did they even make bike helmets back then?). Times have changed, and we have to change with them.
So, happy National Bike Month to you! I’ll look forward to seeing you riding around town one of these days.