From friendly cycling advice to local “how-to” classes, REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) helps individuals of all skill levels boost their biking confidence and make sure they are riding safely and comfortably this spring. With 110 stores across the country and a wealth of information on its website, REI provides inspiration and knowledge to help people leave the car behind and “Bike Your Drive” for quick trips and errands.
“From grocery runs and quick errands to family cycling to commuting, we are seeing growing interest in bicycling,” said Angela Owen, vice president of REI Merchandising. “We’re thrilled more people are biking instead of driving, and we’re proud to be a resource for cyclists of all abilities and interests. Our stores are stocked with the latest innovations to help riders feel safer and more comfortable on their bike.”
Free Bike Maintenance Classes
REI members and customers who purchase select bike tire liners and/or sealant through May 20 will receive free installation. For those new to cycling, every REI store in early May will offer free entry-level bike maintenance classes that teach the basics for getting out on the road, including a hands-on demonstration of how to fix a flat tire, and advice on cleaning and lubing bike chains. To register, REI’s store locator provides information on all classes and presentations, while the co-op’s new online registration system allows people to research and sign-up from their home.
Cycling is Good for You and the Planet
Using a bicycle to run errands instead of a car is easy and fun, not to mention healthy for the planet. The co-op offers a variety of commuting accessories. Riders can skip traffic by adding baskets for the groceries and panniers for hauling paperwork, a laptop or extra REI clothes to work or school, or a bicycling trailer for the kids. Additionally, REI offers the top brands for safety lighting to aid in making riders more visible to motorists, and odometers and navigation tools to help track mileage, personal goals and routes.
In addition to its exclusive and award-winning Novara brand, REI carries comfortable, affordable and innovative cycling gear and apparel from a variety of top brands so avid cyclists or the entire family can be outfitted for fun rides all year. New men’s, women’s and kids bicycles and apparel are now available in stores and at REI.com.
Learn How to Ride a Bike with REI
Select REI stores offer REI Outdoor School, an educational program that teaches entry-level day-long outdoor excursions. Bicycling classes teach children and adults the basics of “how to ride a bike” as well as introductory classes for road cycling, commuting and mountain biking. To view available local classes in communities across the country, visit REI’s store locator.
The company’s website offers a variety of cycling-related videos and tips on a wide range of subjects, including more than 70 “Expert Advice” articles. For example, to learn how to prevent flat tires or how to select the right tire, click on REI’s columns “Flat Tire Prevention for Your Bike” and “How to Choose a Bike Tire.” REI’s online community welcomes members and customers to share their own stories and advice with each other.
Supporting the Outdoor Community
Through its giving and outreach, REI supports national and local non-profits that promote getting people active outdoors and caring for natural spaces. This year, REI will invest $3.7 million in the outdoor community, which includes nonprofits focused on a wide range of outdoor recreation activities. Past cycling grant recipients include Bikes Belong Foundation, Adventure Cycling Association, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and local cycling clubs from Los Angeles to Boston that promote safety, access and stewardship. Recently, the company was presented with a BRAINy Award at the 2010 Bicycle Leadership Conference for supporting grassroots advocacy efforts of non-profit partners across the country.
REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.