“Life is like a bicycle. To stay balanced, you must keep moving.” - Author unknown
May is National Bike Month. Whether you’re a daily rider, a weekend warrior, or you haven’t been on a bike in years (or decades)—National Bike Month is your chance to appreciate the freewheeling feeling of cruising on a bicycle. Most of us learn to ride a bike in childhood, but cycling is a pastime for all ages. And it can be especially great for retirees as a way to stay active, engaged, and entertained.
About National Bike Month
National Bike Month was established in 1956 and occurs every May in the United States. Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, the month is celebrated in communities from coast-to-coast. National Bike Month is a celebration aimed at highlighting the many benefits of bicycling—and encouraging more people to give the activity a try.
Here’s what you can expect in 2021:
- National Ride A Bike Day - On May 2, bike fans nationwide will ride around the block, ride to coffee, or hit the trails (you can use the hashtag #BikeDay or #BikeThere)
- Bike to Work Week - It may look a bit different this year, with millions of Americans still working from home, but Bike to Work week is from May 17-23, 2021. Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 21
- National Bike Challenge - If you enjoy some friendly competition, try recruiting friends and family to ride at least ten minutes per day in May—you could win some cool prizes!
Whether you participate in all of these events or none, celebrating National Bike Month is simple—just get out there and go for a ride! You can feel good knowing you’re contributing to a healthier planet, more connected communities, and doing something good for your body.
Benefits of Riding your Bike
Retirement isn’t just about maximizing your 401(k), tax management, and other investing decisions. Those things are important—and you should speak with a financial advisor to help get your ducks in a row.
But there’s one thing that’s more important in retirement than all the money in the world—your health. A healthy lifestyle is a key ingredient to a successful retirement. So, just how good for you is cycling? Research shows regular cycling can:
- Increase cardiovascular fitness
- Build muscle strength and improve flexibility
- Reduce stress
- Strengthen bones
- Promote weight loss
- Improve mental health
“You are one ride away from a good mood.” - Sarah Bentley, British Cyclist
If the benefits to your health weren’t enough, bicycle riding is also great for the environment. Riding your bike uses minimal fossil fuels, making it a pollution-free mode of transport. Bikes can reduce our dependence on cars, and in-turn, natural resources.
Denver is a Bike-Friendly City
It’s likely no surprise that outdoor-loving Denver is extremely bike friendly. In 2020, Denver ranked among the country’s top ten best cities for biking (according to PeopleForBikes, the non-profit that created the PlacesForBikes City Rating).
Denver offers 85 miles of paved urban bike trails, multiple bike parks, and 196 miles of on-street bike lanes, with more in the works. Cherry Creek Trail, South Platte River Trail, and the Confluence Park areas are some of the most popular cycling areas within the city.
Venture just a few miles outside downtown, though, and the possibilities are endless.
- The 71-mile High Line Canal Trail is one of the longest urban trails in America, winding through Littleton, Englewood and Aurora
- Bear Creek Trail winds along Bear Creek for 12.5 miles west to Morrison, just outside Red Rocks
- Clear Creek Trail is a pleasant 18-mile trail that takes you all the way to Golden
- Two other highly-rated cities for biking—Boulder and Fort Collins—are within an hour of Denver.
You don’t have to be in top physical condition to enjoy riding a bike. If you have mobility limitations or you’re just getting back into exercising, start slow. Even a short ride can have a positive effect on your physical and mental well-being. And it’s fun!
“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.” – John F. Kennedy
Staying Active is Just one Piece of a Healthy Retirement
Retirement is a puzzle made up of financial, personal, and lifestyle pieces. Everyone’s puzzle may look a little different—but a successful retirement requires a balance of all three pieces. The right financial advisor will take the time to understand your goals in these areas, before creating a personal retirement plan to help you get where you want to be.
A comprehensive, long-term retirement plan includes:
- A detailed assessment of your goals and values
- Strategies to minimize your tax burden
- A well-defined investment strategy
- Full disclosure of fees and expenses
- A realistic budget based on your personal situation
IMPORTANT NOTE: As with any physical exercise—especially if it's been a while—get checked out by your doctor. Annual doctor checkups are a requirement for healthy aging.
Exercise is an essential piece of a successful retirement - but it’s not the whole story. Download your free 2021 Essential Retirement Guide for a checklist of 7 things you need to do before you retire.