Bike Types

Road, Touring, Triathlon/Time Trial, Flat-Bar, Track/Fixed-Gear, Mountain, Hybrid, Cruisers, City, BMX, Folding, Recumbent, Tandem, Adult Tricycles, and even the Unicycle.  Bicycles range in price from under $100.00 to over $5,000.00.  If you are just getting started, there are good deals on the internet.

Cycling Basics

Cycling is fun, uses no fuel, provides an opportunity to spend some quality time with your family or friends, get some fresh air, and most of us never forget how.  All you need is a bike, a helmet, and some water.  Properly maintained components are crucial to reduce bike wear and tear and enhance your experience.  Make sure the tires are in good shape, the brakes are working, lubricate the chain, the saddle/seat is comfortable, and if your bike has gears, be sure they transfer and shift easily.  Learn how to change a tire yourself and carry a spare tube just in case you run into difficulties.

Do not push too hard on the pedals and try not to stand up.  Keep your weight off your hands and over the seat by relaxing your grip on the handle bar and consider some riding gloves.  Be sure that you can easily adjust your position to reach your brakes or shift your gears.   Most bikes do not require a ‘fitting’.

However, as you improve or if you choose to upgrade to a more specific type of bike, consider visiting a bike shop.   This will ensure the saddle is at the right height or angle and that the bike accommodates your body type and size in order to avoid discomfort or injury.   If a mountain bike is your preference, look for areas with smoother terrain and only advance once you are satisfied with your ability to maneuver your bike competently.   In addition, remember to follow the rules of the road.  Many cities have paved riding trails and lanes marked for bikes only.

outdoor cycling - fitness - losing weight

Cycling Benefits

Cycling is one of the easiest and low stress ways to improve overall fitness and health It is a low impact activity, places little or no strain on joints with substantial cardio-vascular benefits.  You do not need the most elaborate or expensive bike to reap the rewards.  Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned veteran, riding gets your heart rate up and burns a significant number of calories.

In one hour, a person weighing 150 pounds/68 kilograms burns over 400 hundred calories at 10-12 miles/16-19 kilometers per hour.  Participating in a bike ride twice a week for one month could burn almost 3500 calories.  In the beginning, you may tire quickly.  Choose a cadence, the rate you pedal, that you can sustain without feeling over exerted.

You can easily adjust your effort by starting with shorter rides and avoiding hills or climbs.  Outfitting your bike with an Odometer will help keep a record of your distances, and there are bike clubs and associations available to assist you with structured and measured rides to facilitate your effort and help you with any concerns.  As your physical condition and skill improve, so will your confidence as well your ability to ride for longer periods.   Remember to have fun and enjoy the ride.

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