I recently had the honor of speaking with one of my heroes and fellow Sacramento area native, Olympic gold medalist Summer Sanders to discuss National Bike Month and her role at the London Olympics in July 2012.
Olympic Swimmer, TV Personality and Avid Cyclist Summer Sanders. Image courtesy of Twitter.com/SummerSanders_
Candace Rose: With May being National Bike Month, can you tell us about the sport of cycling and why it’s gaining such popularity?
Summer Sanders: “It has grown so much. There are 62 million cars on the road, but 100 million bikes- so it is. And we love our bike ride here in the U.S. I think it’s a combination of things Candace (why it’s grown so much) I think we finally feel the hit of the price tag to fill up our car and we can do something about it. So we’ve got a bike in our garage, we just need to hop on it and people are realizing that. I also think that it’s something that you can do at any stage of your life. My mom bikes with my kids, so we’ve got grandparents biking and little kids biking. It’s like the saying goes ‘it’s just like riding a bike’ so you never forget it. It’s a tool that we have and it’s a healthy tool, and I think people are getting familiar with it once again.”
Candace Rose: How did you get involved in cycling?
Summer Sanders: “I’ve been biking my whole life. I sit here right now and I remember the first time I said goodbye to my training wheels and felt the first ticket to ride freedom away from my parents. I used to play this game when I was younger (with my banana seat Schwinn) and it was ‘Taxi’ with my cousin and I, and we’d go around as if we were taking people around on taxis. In college it was my mode of transportation. It would get me from the swim pool to dinner, and believe me I could ride that pretty fast. I’m a social triathlete so I train with my girlfriends- I love training and working out that way. And then with my kids now, they’re four and six and that’s what we do the moment they get off the school bus, that’s all they want to do is ride their bikes.”
Candace Rose: How would you suggest someone who is looking to get into cycling begin?
Summer Sanders: “I think the best thing is, is get fitted for the right bike. If you go to SchwinnBikes.com they have some tools there that will help you find the right fit and the kind of bike that you want, whether you’re doing road biking, mountain biking, trail ride biking or cruising like I generally do right now when I’m biking with my friends. It’s also helpful for parents to fit their kids with the right bike. And most importantly there’s some safety tips on there so we all need to remember- parents and adults as especially to wear a bike helmet. And for the kids, their bike helmet needs to fit. It’s not something that we want to buy that our kids are going to grow into. It needs to fit snugly right now and it’s time to celebrate. If you go to SchwinnBikes.com or Ride Schwinn on Facebook you can sign up for a great giveaway we have right now and it’s called Ride Of A Lifetime where you nominate a friend to win a free bike and then you’re entered as well. It started May 23rd and it goes to June 25th, and we’re giving away two free bikes every single day- that’s how much we love to bike!”
Schwinn’s Ride of A Lifetime Giveaway! For more information on how to enter be sure to head over to: www.facebook.com/rideschwinnbikes
Candace Rose: What are some of the health benefits of cycling compared to other sports?
Summer Sanders: “Biking is great. It’s low impact and like I said you can do it at any stage of your life. You can make it as difficult as you want to. I live in Park City, Utah and there’s some hills that you can climb to get your heart rate up, but you can also make it super leisure. You can add it to any activity that you already do: date night with your husband, girls night out- you can turn those into awesome bike rides with a fun reward at the end. And then it’s a great family event that you can do together- a fun adventure, and it can travel with you. But most importantly it’s right in your garage. It’s easy and the access is there.”
Candace Rose: Where can viewers go for more information?
Summer Sanders: “SchwinnBikes.com and Ride Schwinn on Facebook.”
Candace Rose: As for you Summer, will we be seeing you at the Olympics in London?
Summer Sanders: “You will if you’re watching Yahoo, that’s where I’ll be. I’m going to cover the swimming and basically cover everything else that’s going on at the games, both sports related and just fun entertainment related. My kids will be there, I’m going to run the torch on July 10th which I’m very excited about, and then after the games I’ll be working for the Pac-12 Network.”