Cycling is a great way to get outdoors and explore Missouri, while getting the exercise we need to remain healthy and strong.
HOW YOU’LL BENEFIT
Riding a bike increases your endurance while also improving cardiovascular health. You can easily add resistance to your workout by choosing steeper hills to climb or shifting to a more challenging area terrain. Summer’s longer days also give us an opportunity to take longer rides after work hours. You become leaner and more toned, while taking in the sights and sounds of the greater world around you. Whether you’re traveling down a bike lane on a city street or tracing down the side of an incredible hillside, you’ll be getting closer to nature with a heady mixture of fresh air and sun.
Ready to pack your bike and go? We have compiled a list of the Top 6 places to ride, and each of them presents its own challenges — and beauty. There is a trail for every level of bicyclist. Mountain bikers will enjoy the rugged terrain and challenging bicycle trail at Finger Lakes State Park while the more leisurely 2.2-mile Table Rock Lakeshore Trail offers great views of scenic Table Rock State Park. Bicyclists looking for some Show-Me State scenery would also do well to check out Castlewood State Park near St. Louis. A series of trails wind throughout the park, with the Lone Wolf Trail affording a blufftop view of the Meramec River below. The Katy Trail is America’s longest ride, at an astonishing 225 miles along the Missouri River outside of St. Louis.
Unfortunately, cycling accidents are on the rise, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration. Driver negligence is often to blame, but bikers are also being injured after improper lane usage and failing to wear reflective gear during night rides. Safety must be a top priority when riding in such an unprotected environment. Keep your bike in good working condition and take advantage of all available safety and reflective options. When possible, travel in groups. That makes you more visible to motorists, and you’ll also have a helping hand should some mishap occur. Pack a small first-aid kit, including bandages, alcohol pads, tweezers, and anti-bacterial spray.
Get active, enjoy the outdoors and explore Missouri.