Fitness · Health

A Bicycle Built for You and Exercises for a Better Ride


Riding a bike is one of the most popular pastimes for recreation. It is estimated that roughly 103.7 million Americans ride bikes, and most say they wish they could ride more. Including a bicycle ride as part of a vacation is a great way to see the sights, and it’s also really good exercise. However, before committing yourself to pedaling the roads, there are some important things to consider.

  • Be smart and be safe. This includes making sure your bike is ride ready. If it’s been awhile since you got your bike out, it would be a good idea to take it into the bike shop for a tune up before you try to ride it. Make sure they check everything, and ask them for advice on what your bike may need to make it safer for you to ride. This may include: new handlebars to allow you to sit more upright; lights on the front and back of the bike; reflectors on the wheels; a bell; and some tools to fix a flat should you get one
  • Wear the right clothes. In addition to a helmet, wear bright clothing so you can be seen easily. Also be sure you wear bike wear, which is usually tight fitting clothes (no long pants or baggy leggings, which can get caught in the chain ring or gears). Also, no shoes with laces, which can also get caught in the chain ring.
  • Know the rules of the road and obey all traffic laws. Stay away from heavy traffic roads and use the side roads, or better yet, ride on park roads and trails. 
  • If you’ve never ridden a bike consistently, or it’s been more than five years since you rode one, you should consider taking a short Smart Cycling class to practice first. The League of American Bicyclists offers classes around the country, but there are other bicycle organizations that offer these, so check your local listings.
  • If you need a new bike, I recommend you look at the popular hybrid bikes. Unlike mountain bikes with the big tires and heavy shocks, they are sleeker and lighter to maneuver. Unlike road bikes, they allow you to sit more upright, which is better for your back and easier to balance. The tires are slightly bigger and the seat is more comfortable. For a great article on hybrid bikes, please see here. An example of a hybrid bike is pictured above. It is the NORTHWOODS LADIES HYBRID BICYCLE, available on Amazon, and it sells for under $200.
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