Move It Monday: Speed Up Your Monday Mile

From our friends at the MondayCampaigns.org:

It may seem like a leisurely activity, but walking is most definitely a workout. Moving at a brisk pace—whether it’s around the neighborhood, through the park, or up-and-down city streets—can help improve endurance, heart health, bone strength, flexibility, and weight management. And since it’s a low-impact exercise, walking is an excellent option for people of all ages and ability levels.

Here’s how you can take your Monday Mile to the next level.

Beautiful Blackbird – Live at Ebster Courtyard!

On Saturday, June 12 the Alliance Theatre will present a FREE production of Beautiful Blackbird at the Ebster Courtyard. The show begins at 11 am.

Atlanta’s favorite feathered funk band is going on tour! Featuring original music composed by Eugene H. Russell IV and inspired by Ashley Bryan’s children’s book BEAUTIFUL BLACKBIRD, this FREE family friendly concert will have you on your feet celebrating the uniqueness of each and every one of us. Shake your tail-feathers and dance to the music! 

The event is free, however you MUST reserve your space by claiming a ticket here as attendance is limited to provide space between attendees. Bring a blanket or a chair and plan to join us for this fun family friendly morning!

Use Movement to Boost Your Mood

From our friends at the Monday Campaigns:

Physical activity is a key component of a healthy lifestyle, but regular movement—whether it’s dance, running, tennis, or yoga—can also have an immediate impact on your mental health and well-being.

Many forms of physical activity offer physiological benefits because they trigger a series of chemicals events that help improve brain function and regulate mood. And regardless of your current level of physical fitness, there is an endless number of exercises and movements you can practice—anytime or anywhere—to help relieve stress.

But to truly take advantage of the benefits of physical activity, one must understand the basics of how the different exercises and movements affect the body and mind.

Tai Chi and Yoga on the Square Continue in June

In June, we will be offering both Yoga and Tai Chi on the Square. Classes are free, but you must register at the links below. Please wear a mask.

Tai Chi will be held on Tuesdays at 9 am and taught by Steve Dorage and Neil Norton. Register here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0E48A8AB29A2FF2-maytai

Yoga will be held on Thursdays at 9 am and taught by Cheryl Burnette. Bring your own mat and a block if you have one. Register here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0e48a8ab29a2ff2-mayyoga

Bike Infrastructure in Decatur, and a Survey

This is our last post from Margaret Beltrami. Please take a few minutes to answer the survey at the end of this post.

We made it through National Bike Month! I hope everyone was able to get some bike rides in and of course being safe while doing so. Today for the last post, we will be looking at city infrastructure. Also, don’t miss the end of this post where I will be highlighting the next steps for my Gold Award project and I will be including an anonymous survey for you to complete if you would like to. 

Today’s post will be about city infrastructure. What this means is that I will be highlighting common lane configurations and street markings that riders often see as they bike on roads and in the city, so you know what they are and what they mean. 

Bike Lanes

Bike lanes are lanes on the road that are only for cyclists to use. This helps bikers be able to ride without interference with other cars. Bike lanes do not have physical boundaries, but are instead marked on the pavement by white lines. They usually have a white bike symbol and/or have “bike lane” written in white paint also. The image below shows an example of what a bike lane could look like on the road. The bicycle symbol would be in white paint.

Sharrows

Sharrows are not bike lanes, but they do help bikers and cars share the road. Essentially, if there is not space for cars and cyclists to each have their own lane, sharrows are used. Additionally, they help to alert drivers that there could be bikers around them. Sharrows are marked on the street with a white bicycle symbol with two upward pointing arrows above it. The image below shows an example of what sharrows might look like on the road. The bicycle symbol would be in white paint.  

Bike Boxes

Bike boxes are green pavement markings located at intersections to reduce accidents and to help cyclists have a safe way to move through the intersection. They also include green bike lanes leading to and from the intersection. They are currently not implemented in many cities, but they are used here in Decatur! The image below shows an example of what bike boxes could look like, and the bicycle symbol would be in white paint. It also should be noted that bike boxes sometimes look different, especially considering multiple lanes. 

Cycle Track

Cycle tracks are areas for cyclists that are only for bikers and are physically separated from the rest of the road by some kind of barrier. For example, this could include concrete walls, a greenspace, or durable medians. The image below shows an example of what a cycle track could look like, and the bicycle symbol would be in white paint. Other cycle tracks could include plants, trees, or a larger barrier.

And that is all for today’s post as well as all of my posts for National Bike Month. As I mentioned in my very first blog post, I am working towards my Gold Award, and my project is about bike helmet safety. I wanted to add what my next steps to my project are so that you can keep an eye out for what I am planning. 

In the future I plan to write information for the City of Decatur’s website about bike helmet safety. I also plan to create permanent signs on some of Decatur’s paths to help remind people about wearing helmets. Lastly, I plan on hosting a bike helmet drive, where the helmets will go to Decatur residents who may not bea ble to afford on.. 

Finally, if you would take this quick, anonymous survey about the blog posts I have made throughout the month of May, that would really help me out! Even if you have only read one out of the five posts I made, if you would still complete it, that would be fantastic and will help me to measure the impact of my project! 

Here is the link: https://forms.gle/eAuEVqDQJSeAa5R6A

Bike Rides This Week

Join Decatur Active Living staff for the Senior Bike Ride this Friday, May 28 at 10 am. Meet in front of the
Decatur Recreation Center for this slow-paced ride through Decatur neighborhoods.

On Saturday we will ride through Decatur with stops at some of the public art that has been installed in the city.
.Meet in front of the Decatur Recreation Center at 10 am. This ride is approximately 6 miles.

Helmets are required for all City sponsored bike rides.

Destress Monday: Practice Positivity

From our friends at the MondayCampaigns:

Positive affirmations can help motivate you to pursue new healthy habits and overcome existing challenges by replacing that little negative voice in the back of your head with words of encouragement. Think of a positive affirmation as a mini, personal pep talk that you repeat to yourself in order to stay focused, driven, and inspired. These short phrases can be especially useful when attempting to recommit to an exercise routine or advance your level of fitness.

Read our positive affirmations and use this Move It Monday to harness the power of good thoughts.

Third Friday Bike Ride is May 21

Decatur Active Living is hosting the Third Friday Bike Ride on Friday, May 21. Meet in front of the Decatur Recreation Center and be ready to put wheels down at 6:30 pm. The ride is approximately 6 miles through Decatur neighborhoods and on the PATH. This is a no-drop ride; no one will be left behind.

GA Commute Options will be joining us, so come by early to pick up some freebies!

Please wear a helmet and a face covering.

This ride is not appropriate for children.

For more information on biking in the City, visit decaturga.com/biking.

It is Bike to Work Week!

Join us this week as we celebrate Bike to Work Week!

Bike commute to work and log your ride on gacommuteoptions.com to enter into a drawing for a  $25 gift card.

Stop by our Energizer Station at Decatur Recreation Center on Friday, May 21, 7-9 am. We will have Chick-fil-a biscuits and giv-aways. Our partner, GA Commute Options will also be joining us.

Join us for the Third Friday Bike Ride, May 21, at 6:30 pm. The ride begins at the Decatur Recreation Center at 6:30 pm and goes approximately 6 miles. Helmets are required. We will have some giveaways at this event as well.

What to Bring on a Bike Ride

From guest contributor Margaret Beltrami:

Today we are going to learn more about what to bring on bike rides, biking in the dark and at night, and hand signals.

Knowing what to bring on bike rides

Being prepared for bike rides is very important to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride. Here is a list of supplies to bring along:

Water and snacks: This is very important! Even if youthink you are just going on a shorter ride, you might get lost or have a breakdown, and having water and food will be crucial.

Money:  It is a good idea to have a little cash and a creditcard with you in case you want to stop at a restaurant or store on your ride, or you have a mechanical problem and need to pay to have repairs made. 

Phone:  Carrying a cell phone on your ride will be helpful in the case of an emergency. 

Basic maintenance kit: This will help in case of a breakdownon the road, and should include a spare tube (or patches), a small tire pump, a multi-use tool, and tire levers. This is more important to have on longer bike rides that are further away from your home.

First-aid kit: A small first aid kit is also a good idea to have. It doesn’t need to have a lot of items, but should at least include bandaids, gauze, antibiotic ointment, and gloves. 

Biking in the dark

Always be careful when you are riding in the dark, because it is much more dangerous than riding in daylight. That being said, here are some tips for biking in the dark:  

Lights: Lights are important to have so you can see obstacles in the road and so others can see you. At the very least, make sure you have lights on your handlebars, as well as a rear light. 

Reflective gear: Reflective gear, including jackets, wearable bands, and tape, helps you become more visible for other cars, cyclists, or pedestrians to see you. 

Light clothing: As well as reflective clothing, light colored clothinghelps you become more visible. At night it is much easier for others to see you if you are wearing light colored clothing. Make sure you are not wearing dark colored clothes, because you will blend in with your surroundings. 

Ride with others: Riding with a friend or as a group is a good strategyfor biking in the dark. There is safety in numbers and more people available to help in the case of an emergency or a mechanical issue. 

Hand signals

Hand signals are very important for the safety of bike riders. They are important to use and help tell other cyclists and cars behind you where you are turning. There are three hand signals that are the most important: turning right, turning left, and stopping. Use these hand signals with your left arm to show people behind you what you are doing. 

Right turn: Hold your left arm out to the side and in a 90º angle, with your left hand pointing to the sky, and the palm of your hand facing forward.  

Left turn: Hold your left arm straight out to your side. Your arm should be parallel to the ground.  

Stopping: Hold your left arm out to the side, and point your left hand down to the ground in a 90º angle, with the palm of your hand facing behind you. 

The image below is a visualization of what these turn signals look like. 

That’s all for today’s post! I hope you were able to learn more about safety related to bike rides. Stay tuned for the final post coming next week about city infrastructure!