Riding a bike is a fantastic and green option to get fit, and there are many styles of rides to choose from, as well as places to ride!
1. Which Ride is Right for You?
The type of ride will be dependent on where you want to ride.
- If you are looking to get back and forth from work, a hybrid or commuter bike is probably your best choice.
- If you live in a small space, want the option of also taking the bus or train, consider a folding bike.
- A road bike is, you guessed it, designed to be ridden on the road.
Do you want to just get out into nature? Looking for a serious workout?
- You may want to consider a mountain, downhill, or enduro bike.
- These bikes are not for the faint of heart, nor are they for the newly active.
Lessons are highly recommended, as are all of the required safety gear, such as full-faced helmets, chest protectors, and all the other critical stuff.
Electric bikes are gaining in popularity, offering a near-silent motor and a fast commute but not necessarily a great workout.
- These tend to be pricey, and like anything with an engine, they will require a bit more tinkering and maintenance than a regular pedal pusher.
You may want to consider borrowing different styles from friends or family or renting the various styles before committing to a big purchase.
Bikes can be expensive, particularly if you want to buy a higher quality ride as a long-term investment.
- Talk to the experts at your local bike shop, and be sure to purchase a bike that fits your body perfectly.
- Ease into riding, start with designated bike paths in parks, find quiet residential lanes or backroads to find your riding rhythm.
- Do some research, and map out the designated bike lanes in your city.
- Familiarize yourself with bike laws and etiquette.
- Equip yourself and your ride with high visibility lights and markers.
- Never ride with headphones or earbuds.
- And, of course, get a high-quality helmet.
3. Get a Great Bike Seat
I changed my bike seat often, but at first, I was happy with the seat when I purchased my hybrid DeVinci road bike.
A few months into training for my first triathlon, the seat just wasn’t feeling right, so I switched it out for one that better matched my riding style.
After injuring my hip in a fall, I switched it out again.
- Your seat is critical to a great ride.
- If you don’t enjoy sitting on your bike, you won’t enjoy biking.
- It’s a relatively inexpensive part to play around with and totally worth it.
Just like your car, your bike needs to be maintained.
It doesn’t take a ton of time, work, or money, but preventative maintenance will save you the headache of interrupting your ride.
- Look for bike maintenance clinics or online tutorials, or take your bike to your local bike shop for pro servicing.
- It’s essential to keep your tire pressure at the right level to prolong your tires’ life and always carry a spare tube and patch kit and a tire pump.
- Learn how to change a flat tire yourself; you never know where this may come in very handy.
5. Join a Riding Group
Cycling groups are fantastic for several reasons.
- One, there is safety in numbers, particularly on highways.
- A large group of riders is far more visible to drivers than a lone rider, particularly during low light, rain, or fog.
- There is a sense of sport, camaraderie, and challenge when riding with a group.
- Destinations and events can be planned as part of the fun.
- Riding groups often offer lessons and clinics and bring in guest speakers or star athletes to encourage and advance the sport.
There can be a great deal to learn about the sport of cycling from a riding group, so find one in your community!