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Monday, December 11, 2023
Dec. 11, 2023

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Cycling activities are on a roll in Clark County

By , Columbian staff writer

Two of the Vancouver Bicycle Club’s signature activities are back for 2022. Tuesday night Road Cycling 101 sessions will build your skills and your comfort with riding on city streets. Then the Ride Around Clark County will test your ability to keep going for many miles.

Aimed at beginners as well as experienced riders who want a refresher, Road Cycling 101 starts at 5:30 p.m. every Tuesday night beginning today through July 26. Riders will review the basics of bike mechanics, safety and the rules of the road before heading out on a flat, moderate, guided practice ride. Participants must always wear helmets. Bring a bike that’s in good working order. A spare tire tube is always a good idea.

Most (not all) sessions will meet and ride out from the Tower Mall parking lot in central Vancouver, but don’t just show up. Registration is required. To register, go to the Vancouver Bicycle Club website at vbc-usa.com and click on “Calendar,” then find the Tuesday date when you want to join the ride.

Participation in Road Cycling 101 is free and aimed at promoting safety and fun for cyclists.

“ ‘No rider left behind’ is how we roll. We keep each other safe and learn together,” said club publicist Becky Stanford.

Why cycling is good for you

As long as you don’t get into an accident, bike riding is a great fitness activity. Here are some reasons why, adapted from various sources.

  • Mood improver. Exercise like cycling releases the hormones that make people feel good.
  • Brain sharpener. Cycling keeps you alert and grows your mental map of the landscape.
  • Immune booster. Aerobic exercise has been proven to invigorate the immune system and even fight cancer.
  • Weight loss and muscle building. Cycling can help reshape your body.
  • Place in space. Cycling sharpens your spatial awareness and sense of balance.
  • Heart healthy. As you get your system pumping, you reduce your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
  • Low impact. Cycling is not weight bearing, making it easy on the frame (except, perhaps, the knees).
  • Nonpolluting. Cycling doesn’t pump greenhouse gasses and other fumes into the atmosphere.

July ride

The Vancouver Bicycle Club’s signature summer outing for cyclists, Ride Around Clark County, is set this year for July 23.

Registration is open now for the event and its four scenic routes, which begin and end at the Bike Clark County bike shop in downtown Vancouver at 1604 Main St. The routes all loop around Clark County’s hilly countryside. This year’s distance options seem tailored for very hardy cyclists indeed: 100 miles, 89 miles, 62 miles and 34 miles.

Fortunately, participants can fuel up with food and drink at periodic rest stops. The event also provides rolling mechanical support. A celebration at the finish line will feature food and beer available for purchase.

Registration is required. Adult prices range from $45 to $65, depending on the route. Youth 13-17 ride for $25; children 12 and under are free (but must ride with paid adult). Same-day registration will be available at higher prices.

Proceeds from the annual Ride Around Clark County support local nonprofits Bike Clark County, Clark County Food Bank and Share.

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