9 Steps for bicycle happiness

BlogHer Original Post

Whether it's to save the environment or to save gas money, everyone's getting on a bike -- and you should to. 9 steps to get you on your bikerly way --

1. Get a bike. I just popped over to a local bike shop to pick up my pink townie, but if you're the type who likes to do your research first, check out this comprehensive two-part guide on how to pick out and purchase a bike. Need a visualization? The Clif Bar 2 Mile Challenge has a cute Bike Builder.

2. Pick a bike path. Lotsa bike route mapping tools can help get you moving. Use those while we wait on Google Transit to add a “Bike There” option.

3. Register your bike. Check with your local government to see if bike registration's required in your city. It is in mine! Go legal to avoid getting cited.

4. Make friends at a group bike ride! Find a Critical Mass ride near you. I have!

5. Take a bike safety class. Think biking in the city's only for the fearless? Check with the League of American Bicyclists to find a biking org offering safety classes near you -- so you can stay safe and avoid unnecessary hassles on the road. Of course, your getting on a bike in itself will make the roads safer -- More cyclists means fewer accidents!

6. Fix it yourself! Tired of forking over your hard-earned money to the bike shop for minor issues? Look for a bike co-op in your city that gives you hands-on fix-it lessons! I take my bike to Bikerowave in Santa Monica.

7. Volunteer for a bike organization. Grassroots bike orgs are always hungry for volunteers!

8. Get political! Want more bike racks? Ask for it! I did, and now the Santa Monica Public Library has more bike racks. And putting your two cents in at community meetings for the city or transit organizations will help not just you, but all the bicyclists in your 'hood.

9. Read bike blogs for inspiration! I read the Bike Girl Blog for my two-wheeling inspiration. Got a fave girly bike blog? Share it in the comments!
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BlogHer Contributing Editor Siel also blogs at greenLAgirl.com.

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