Clinton Magazine Fall 2022 | Page 17

BICYCLING boosts health


By Jenna Blount

Chad Jensen , owner of The Bicycle Shop & Jensen Oil in the Lyons District , found himself to be a very busy man late in July .

“ We basically sell and repair bicycles ,” he says , “ anything bicycle related . We ’ ll try to help anybody with any sort of problems that can develop from that .”
Bicycle service was added in 2004 to the family business that Jensen has been working for since 1983 . On this particular day in July , Jensen worked without the help of anyone else . He ’ d allowed all of his employees to instead attend the Register ’ s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa , or RAGB- RAI , a seven-day bike ride across the state of Iowa that spans over 450 miles .
To comfortably enjoy the experience of RAGB- RAI , or to simply ride for fun on the bike trails in Clinton , Jensen says the fit of a bicycle to a specific individual is the most important factor .
“ Bikes come in different sizes to fit different-sized people ,” he explains , “ and if the bike is the wrong size , it won ’ t be comfortable , and you won ’ t enjoy it , and you won ’ t continue to do it .”
Though Jensen ’ s customers span just about every demographic , the majority of them are retirees who do it for fun and find the exercise benefits their health . An added benefit : a bicycle is a mode of transportation but doesn ’ t require the use of gas or the cost of insurance as automobiles do .
In fact , “ it ’ s not that dangerous of an activity ,” Jensen says , “ unless you mix yourself in with cars .”
The CDC reports that nearly 1,000 bicyclists are involved in fatal crashes on U . S . roads each year . Of those , adults 55 to 69 years old have the highest bicycle-related death rates . The CDC , Iowa Department of Transportation , and Jensen all recommend wearing a helmet , especially when riding a bicycle with automobile traffic .
More “ Rules of the Road ,” provided by the Iowa DOT include knowing and obeying the state ’ s traffic laws , since any that are applicable to the driver of a motor vehicle are also applicable to a bicyclist riding on streets or highways . Bicyclists who violate traffic laws are subject to the same fines as drivers of motor vehicles . Other safety measures include :
- Bicyclists should ride with the flow of traffic , never against it .
- Always pass vehicles on their left and promptly return to the right lane when it ’ s safe to do so .
- At night , a white light on the front of the bicycle and a red light or reflector on the back of the bicycle should be used for visibility
Fall 2022 Clinton Magazine 17