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It’s bike riding time, bitches!

Shed that winter flab with a few pedals

‘Tis the season to go bikini’ / Laura Billett
‘Tis the season to go bikini’ / Laura Billett

Spring surprised us last weekend, coming early and without flash floods or rain. Amazingly, residents of Regina have truly nothing weather related to complain about. However, the gift of glorious weather is inevitably accompanied by a feeling of impending doom. People are almost scared to enjoy the warmth for fear that cold and snow will arrive and destroy all hope of spring. To combat this dreary and anxious feeling, I suggest we all take advantage of the warm sunshine and almost dry roads; let’s go for a bike ride! Even if the snow and cold winds return, at least we can say we felt a few rays of sunshine.

I had my first bike ride of the season over the past weekend, and I could not have had a better morning. The friends I rode with are seasoned bikers and have been riding their bikes through the winter. Though a tad ashamed by my own fear of winter biking (which is likely rooted in laziness), I found it encouraging to see how much joy a sunny morning, a bit of mud, and a bicycle can bring to anybody, no matter their skill or dedication.

I became curious: was I the only one who was getting pumped about biking? Mike Doughty, a staff member at Western Cycle said that I was not alone. Nice weather inevitably increases business.

“It all depends on the weather. This past weekend, as a business, we were very, very busy. We’re definitely seeing, within the next week, an increase in ridership. I would say beginning of April, dependent on the weather, would be the start [of the summer biking season],” says Doughty

While I may not be the only fair-weather biker, Doughty says that the number of year-round bikers has been on the rise.

“We’re seeing more and more each year. I would say 10-20% of riders are going to try and ride all winter.”

He bikes through the year himself, and though it may seem obvious because he works with bikes, Doughty is truly passionate about biking in the cold or warm weather.

He states, “I have always had a passion for biking, ever since I was a little kid, and I think it transcends through to adulthood for me. I find that for a lot of people, it’s a great low-impact sport. So, for people who can’t run because of physical injury or something like that, it’s a really good way to keep active. We see a lot of people coming in who used to be runners; they’ve done marathons, but it’s too hard on their body now, so they want something more low impact. So there are health aspects and fitness aspects behind it, but a lot of it is just passion.”

Fun, good for you, and relatively inexpensive, biking is a great way to shed a bit of that winter insulation we’ve accumulated. Though before you hop on to your bike, there are a few things you need to do. A spring tune-up is highly recommended. Doughty said some key things to check are gears and chains, but a general check-up is the safest and easiest way to get your bike ready for the summer.

About laura billett

I grew up dancing and have never been able to stop. I have been addicted to reading and dreamed of writing for as long as I can remember and am always looking for new inspiration, adventures, and a good laugh.