• Bob Kessler
  • Mon May 02 2016
  • Posted May 2, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa - Bicycles are a way to get around virtually pollution-free, to stay fit and simply have fun and meet new people.

Carl Voss, who's been riding for more than 40 years, is the founder of theDes Moines Bike Collective, a nonprofit group promoting cycling.

He says throughout the month of May, thecalendar is packed with eventsfor riders of just about any age.

"This is one activity you can do throughout your life," says Voss. "Eight to 80 age group is our target group. "

He's organizing weekday "meet up" rides specifically for bikers who are 50-plus.

As a rider in that group, he says more people of his generation, and even older, can get involved, without having to dress for the Tour de France.

"You don't have to get 'kitted out' which is a bike term with Lycra shorts and a colorful jersey," says Voss. "You can wear whatever clothing is in your closet."

Events throughout Iowa include "Bike to Work" gatherings, workshops catering to women riders, and "Mountain Bike Mondays."

Bike Month is also about getting more riders on the roads to promote safety, both for cyclists and motorists.

Seth Johnson manages the Des Moines Bike Collective.

"How can we raise the awareness that there are cyclists on the road and how to be aware of them," says Johnson. "Also how to be safer riders."

He says a great way to improve rider safety is by more people embracing "pedal power."

"A lot of us just have a bike sitting in our garage, you know. All it needs is a little bit of attention and a little bit of love, and it's ready to go," he says.

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