The national awareness campaign has been launched today by a mixture of cycle, fitness and medical organisations. Oh, and Giant Bicycles.

Americans urged to rediscover cycling by ‘Bike Right’ campaign

‘Bike Right’ is a new national public education campaign that encourages Americans of all ages and fitness levels to get back into cycling as part of "a more personally satisfying, active lifestyle."

Bike Right’s founders partners are the Adventure Cycling Association, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Council on Exercise, Bikes Belong Coalition, Giant Bicycles, International Mountain Bicycling Association, League of American Bicyclists, National Association for Health and Fitness, and the Thunderhead Alliance.

Research* has shown that only 27 percent of Americans ages 16 and older will go for a bike ride this summer. With this in mind, the Bike Right website, a centrepiece of the awareness campaign, is designed to reach a broad range of consumers, from first-time riders to off-road biking enthusiasts. The site includes info on where to bike in a variety of US cities; health benefits and medical reports about why to cycle; safety and injury prevention tips; advice on proper bike fit; and a ‘how to choose a bike’ guide created to help visitors select a bicycle that is best suited to their body type, age, fitness level, degree of experience and personal bike riding goals.

"Medical research has proven that people can substantially improve their health and quality of life with moderate physical activity," said James Herndon, MD, president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

"AAOS supports Bike Right to encourage people to Get Up, Get Out and Get Moving. Regular physical activity slows the loss of muscle mass, strengthens bones and reduces joint and muscle pain. Physical activity also improves mobility and balance. These factors all reduce the risk of falling and sustaining a serious injury such as a fracture."

Bike Right aims to "demystify the bicycle purchasing process, providing helpful tools and information that will enable individuals to quickly and easily take advantage of the myriad benefits of riding a bike, whether related to health, or fun."

As part of the campaign’s debut, Bike Right is embarking on a five-city tour across the nation, inviting people to test-ride a variety of bicycles — from comfort styles and mountain bikes to BMX and children’s bikes.

Elissa Margolin, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists, said:

"You don’t have to be a world-class athlete to hop on a bike and go for a ride. Bicycling is a great outdoor activity that just about anybody can do — no matter your age, your comfort level with bikes or your fitness ability. Plus, it’s a great way to get people out of their cars, meet new people, and discover new territory."

* National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors, conducted jointly by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), May 2003.

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