Summer and biking go together like, well, like summer and the beach. Or summer and cookouts. Or summer and baseball. Or summer and ice cream. It sure does seem like there are plenty of fun things to do as the warm weather rolls around. Here's the good news: A bike is an awesome way to embark on all sorts of summer adventures, from big outings to small errands.
If you're looking for a way to enjoy summer with your bike as part of the mix, here are five suggestions on how to maximize the two-wheeled fun.
#1 Pedal to a picnic
If your bike has a rear rack like the one on our Coston DX e-bike, put it to good use by fixing a cooler or picnic basket on it and heading out for lunch or dinner. Our rear racks can support up to 55 pounds, which should be more than plenty to handle all the food and drinks you'll need to feed a large family. If you don't need to load up a rear rack (or maybe you just don't have one), consider adding one of our commuter panniers as a storage system. It's got plenty of room for all the goodies. After years of picnicking experience, here's one tip we'd like to pass along: Make sure you bring more wet wipes and garbage bags than you'll think you'll need in case there isn't a trash can nearby
#2 Tour Your Local Libraries
Oh, we do love summer reading, don't we? Maybe we crack the latest best-seller as we sit on the beach. Perhaps we curl up with a classic on a rainy Saturday. Either way, reading is a big part of summer.
Geographic studies indicate that, on average, two-thirds of Americans live within two miles of a public library. Riding the four or five miles to the local library and back to read a magazine, stock up on your summer reading options, or even to play a game of chess is a great way to spend a summer day.
As an added bonus, most public libraries ramp up their kids programming during the summer months, so the whole family can find something worthwhile and fun on a quick ride to the library.
#3 Do "course" work
Speaking of getting the whole family to bicycle together, consider setting up an obstacle course in your driveway or an empty parking lot. It's one of the best ways kids can learn important biking skills in a controlled environment. In a matter of minutes, you can set up some cones and small jumps. Take turns seeing how quickly and how slowly they can navigate the obstacle course, having each rider race against themselves. You can also play "Red Light, Green Light" with them as they ride on the bikes, a nice bike-centric twist on a classic summer kids game.
#4 Bikes and brews
You know what tastes pretty darn good after a few hours of exercise on a hot summer day?
An ice-cold beer.
There doesn't seem to be much science to support this, but anecdotal evidence suggests there's a strong link between those who like to cycle and those who enjoy craft beer. You don't have to look hard to find evidence to back that up. Just look at the number of the bike-themed craft beers on the market today.
A post-ride beer is a great way to cap off a summer day. And don't feel guilty about it! Most people will burn somewhere between 450-750 calories in an hour of biking. The average craft beer checks in at about 300 calories. A tasty cold one after a good ride is one of life's little pleasures.
#5 Start the habit
Do you find yourself heading back into the office more and more these days? Have you wondered how it might be if you rode your bike into work? How much gas would you save? If you're even vaguely considering riding to work, there's no time like summertime to see how efficient, easy and fun bike commuting can be.
Some 800,00 Americans bike to work each day. Do you want to join them? If you haven't biked into work before, make sure to scout your route a few days ahead. Try to take note of where there are bike paths and bike lanes. See if there are any streets with less traffic that will get you to your destination in a similar time. If it's easy, leave a change a clothes at your desk in case you get splashed or sweaty on the way in. You might also want to consider having an emergency repair kit along with you. Follow the Boy Scouts and always be prepared!
Don't forget to secure your bike with a dependable bike lock, so you can go about your work day without worry. Most importantly: Leave some extra time in your schedule in case something comes up along the way and slows you down.
With summer officially here, it's time to start working on your own personal list of favorite biking activities. As always, make sure to use the hashtag #schwinnbikes in any photos you share on your social channels. We'd loved to see them! (And, don't forget to give us a like or follow on our social channels - it's such a fun way to talk with our Schwinn riders!).