The only spinning class I regularly enjoyed was taught by a pilates instructor, who was also a nurse. She was big into form and gave really great cues. I thought of this tip from her classes yesterday as I was in my granny gears huffing my way uphill.
When you are working at higher intensity, pay close attention to your posture. Drop your shoulders away from your ears, open your chest, and round your lower back into a protective C-curve (like doing pelvic tucks in pilates or rolling up to bridge pose in yoga). Pull your navel point (about 2 inches below your belly button) to your spine as you exhale and push that power down to your legs.
This may make more sense to the yogis and yoginis among us, but it sure has helped me.
Also, if you live anywhere near an REI, check out the class schedule. They offer free beginning bike maintenance classes as well as more advanced classes for a small fee.
If you bike long distances, you may consider the Better World Club. In addition to towing services for your car, they offer coverage for your bicycle.
~Alicia “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” -John Lennon
Hey Peaches, DH rides a Cannondale comfort bike, and it is his absolute fav!!! (up early getting ready to catch plane to Hawaii to bike ride).
Here's another last minute tip. Plan a special bike trip to motivate you to train. It can be BIG like our bike tour in Hawaii, or REALLY big like meeting up with a friend to take a special ride with like Miss Twist and I did last October. There are a variety of places, trails, towns, wineries, all kinds of places to plan a special ride no matter what the budget.
Hmmm, Alicia, WE should ride once I get back.
Anyway, have fun, TC has left the building.
Edited by: TOONACAT at: 2/26/2009 (07:54)
Don't think of it as this time, think of it as lifetime.
For Christmas my DH showered me with bike accessories! He got me a great lock with its own case that stores under the seat ... a universal bike tool and emergency patch kit with CO2 cartridges and a saddle bag for my front handle bars to carry my kits in along with a trail map, snacks, and my ID.
He also got me an odometer so I can tell how far I've gone and how fast I'm going!
I got my Cannondale comfort bike last summer ... it makes such a difference to ride a bike that fits you and is adjusted to fit your legs!
Here are my two tips: Keep your ID on you somewhere in the event of an accident; if you ride in an area where there are a lot of thorns, have your bike shop put thicker inner tubes in along with the fix flat liquid.
Ooh Karen! Good call on the repair kit. I have a little stash of bicycle-specific tools that are in a roll up case. I have a small pack that attaches to the underside of my seat with velcro that I keep them in. Bike-specific tools are much easier to use then conventional tools in terms of finding the right fit.
What a great thread and great tips! I'll come back to this. When we get to Guam, I plan on buying a bike to get around base on. We will only have one vehicle there, so on days when I don't have to transport kids (and hubby is in port) I'll let hubby have the car and I'll use the bike to get around! I'm really looking forward to moving onto an actual base again. Last time we lived on base, I walked pretty much everywhere when I could. The little ones were smaller, so I toted them around in a wagon. Now all the girls are old enough to ride their bikes with mom.
"That's not the secret, but I know what is: Everybody dies, but not everyone lives" - Superchick
Here's a really great article about bike seats, fit, and types. Mine is a leather, and I love it! - but some folks never get used to leather - so it all depends on how you are built, and what kind of riding you do.
Hmm... I think Miss Twist and Laurie have covered everything !
Now, regarding cushy comfort seats. I don't like my comfort seat. Because I've been spinning for so long, I'm used to riding on a racing seat. Not that it's any cushier, it certainly isn't. but, my butt muscles are accustomed to it. I know this is strange, but the comfort seat is too wide for me.
Actually, here's something I can contribute. Wear comfortable clothing that doesn't get caught in the seat.
I know this is strange, but I've had a couple of jackets that did catch on the seat.
One thing new riders should do is to really make an effort to learn how to repair their bikes if they break down. I have a universal tool I keep with me, just in case. I know some basic repairs.
I do need to get a kit with a spare. So far, most of my riding has been local. If I did happen to get a flat, I could walk home.
Dee, hang your helmet on the handle bars of your bike. Everytime you get on, you'll see it dangling there!
My tips... hmmm (way to put me on the spot, Laurie!)
- even if the bike ride out is easy and you want to keep going, remember, you have to ride all the way back! - make sure you're visible to drivers if you're on the open road. - watch for car doors being opened. Drivers never think to look to see if anything other than a car is coming.. and having had the pleasure of getting my bike wedged into a door jam and me go over the bike, I wouldn't recommend it as a means of exercise ;-) - bring water! - it's a great way to pick up groceries, head to the local farmer's market or shop, or to go see friends... - get 2 locks (or one really really long one). I'm a fan of the U lock, because it's harder to get thru with bolt cutters. But even if 1 tire is secure, doesn't mean the other is.. (at least not where I live!!)
I love riding my bike and yet I can do a great job of convincing myself that I'll get run over by traffic, that I'll be outpaced by others, that I'll get tired to soon.... and then I remember that my bike used to be my main means of transportation for years and I lived to tell -- so if you have that negative talk, just quash it, hop on and ride!
Great tips. I really need to get a helmet -- got one at a garage sale and can't even remember to wear that one. I do know they're important. They have a newspaper clipping up w/pics of a helmet that saved a guys life when his head got ran over.
Thanks for the tips :)
"All things can be done for the one who believes." Mark 9:23
“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” --Will Rogers
Hi All, Since I went from couch rider to cyclist in one year, I thought I'd create a thread for cyclists or starting cyclists to post tips.
Here's mine. As soon as you go more than a few miles at a time, invest in bike shorts and a jersey that breathes. If you are more than size 12, it can be a challenge to find bike clothes that fit. Terry makes a really good line of women's plus size bike-wear. I started out in 2X shorts to fit my rear and had a BIG safety pin holding in the waist. I just had them altered for 10 bucks! I could have had good fitting shorts at any time if I'd thought of it.
For gloves, glasses, water bottle cages etc. hit the online sales as well as the local bike shops, REI, etc. and scavenge the clearance rack. I just got a really great bike coat on double clearance from REI, because there are not too many 1X bike riders buying up the store. They often have one 1X in stock that never sells - until *I* stop by.
Also, always wear a helmet! Make sure it fits. For this one, go to a bike shop.
Beach cruisers are big comfy bikes that are fun to ride. You can usually rent them around beach towns and where tourists hang out. You can purchase them new for between $200-600.00 with baskets and other goodies. These are good for paths and non-high traffic for rides of about 10-12 miles tops.
If you want to go more, get a bike that fits you! It makes all of the difference. Go to the local bike shop for this. Get measured, try different brands.
Get a saddle that fits too. If the one on the bike doesn't work, get advice from the bike store and try another. This was the hardest part for me. I have several saddles of various types, because my bones are wider than the average bear - and the traditional "cushy" big saddles don't work for me on long trips.
So tip one, is really - after renting, or borrowing, and finding out if you really want to bicycle for fun, fitness or commute -- get bikes and stuff that fit!
I know I am lucky I live in a climate where I can bike outside a lot. I also have an inside stationary bike. I purchased DVD of biker riders riding around Hawaii to make it more fun on rainy days! It seems like I am riding with them.
Well, enough for now, Feel free to add on your bike experiences and tips! Alicia, Twist?
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