(ARA) - Biking is a very popular form of exercise and transportation for Americans. Cities continuously update and add trails, and families look for a way to cut back on gas prices, while also spending time together.
These qualities have made bicycling the second most popular outdoor activity in America, according to the 2011 Outdoor Recreation Participation Topline Report for the Outdoor Industry Association. In 2010, Americans went on 2.44 billion bicycling outings.
As the weather warms, make certain your biking equipment is ready for the season. Check brakes, grease the chain, and make certain helmets still fit properly on your children's heads. Take a short ride around the neighborhood to ensure everything works and that the tires are sufficiently filled with air. If it's been a couple of years since the bikes were purchased or cleaned, it might also be a good idea to take them into a pro shop to have all the gears and brakes inspected.
One fun way to get out with your family, friends or co-workers on your bicycles this summer is through the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure, which has routes designed for all riders - from five-mile family rides to 100-mile century rides. It is a ride, not a race, so participants are encouraged to go at their own pace. Tours will take place in 44 states across the country to benefit the American Diabetes Association and its efforts to stop diabetes.
"Diabetes touches so many people's lives. Exercise and nutrition are important components in managing diabetes," says Chris Carmichael, national spokesperson for the Tour de Cure and founder and CEO of Carmichael Training Systems Inc. He was named the U.S. Olympic Committee's Coach of the Year in 1999. "The American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure is a great combination of fun exercise and raising funds and awareness about diabetes and its impact on families."
More than 60,000 cyclists are expected to participate in the Tour de Cure events this year. If you have diabetes, join the Red Riders. This special program recognizes riders who have diabetes the day of the ride with a red jersey. During the Tour, participants call out "Go Red Rider" to encourage and celebrate the Red Riders who are fighting to manage their diabetes and live a healthier life.
Take advantage of the biking opportunity the Tour de Cure provides, and get your family out for a 10 mile or even longer bike tour. For more information or to register for a local tour, visit <a href="http://tour.diabetes.org/">www.diabetes.org/tour</a> or call 888-DIABETES.