Cycling; Life in the bike lane

Bikes on the beach

Cyclists have a lot in common, whether they ride on a stationary bike or along one of the curving trails in West Michigan. Both are in a groove to the same destination: a healthier lifestyle.

Riding a bike is fun — in air-conditioned comfort with music, maybe a monitor or outside facing wide-open spaces.

It is one exercise that can be elevated to “sport” status or kept easy-peasy in daily life. Even for Type A personalities.

No respectable Type A would go for a ride just to go for a ride, but offer the carrot of “Let’s take the trail to Saugatuck,” and it might become a foot race to see who is first in getting the bikes out of the garage.

Like-minded cyclists find like-minded spirits in the area’s cycling clubs. Like the Macatawa Cycling Club, whose members embrace all forms of cycling, hobby and sport, noncompetitive and competitive, on and off-road, and casual riders.

West Michigan Bike and Fitness in downtown Holland (also Grandville and Kentwood) hosts weekly rides at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays.

“It’s a ‘no-drop ride,’” said Donna Grit of Grandville, who works at the shop.

She explained that “no-drop” means all skill levels are welcome and none will be dropped off or left behind.

“We always stay with all riders,” she said. “The guys that ride faster simply go ahead. And we are all cool with that.” 

The Better Health Channel offers these tips to remember about cycling:

  • Cycling can help protect your health.
  • Riding a bike is healthy, fun and a low-impact form of exercise for all ages.
  • Cycling is easy to fit into a daily routine: Ride to shops, work or a favorite local restaurant for dinner.