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Return to the Outdoors with Your Bike

Get Fit & Enjoy Nature While Cycling


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  • When I joined Spark People back in July of 08 it inspired me to get a bicycle as another means of exercise. I actually got a good deal on EBAY on a cruizer type bike that was being sold the company. They advertised minor 'dings', but I never found any. It had a wide seat and big balloon tires. My brother put the wheels on for me, but other than it was set to go. I eventually got a helmet and when ever I could I was out biking. To avoid traffic on weekends I'd try to get out early and ride to the ocean - about 3 miles away. Besides enjoying the sea breezes and the ocean sounds I was able to catch the sun rising on my return trip. What a great way to start the day.
    After work I would make the most of the sidewalks in my area and try to get some mileage in there too.
    I'm looking forward to better weather so I can get back out there again.
  • I live in the countryside with lots of space and places to ride a bike. I used to do this with my children when they were small. Your article has motivated me to start biking again. Thanks for reminding us of all the benefits of biking!
    After reading all the comments here I feel so motivated to get my bike's been left to rust now for over a year...our weather here is -7 degrees below freezing and that puts me off but I have used every excuse and I've ran out of them now....tomorrow I will get my bike out..
    Happy riding to all :)
  • Great article & love all the comments! I just started riding a bike again last spring. I just love it. I have severe arthritis in both knees, so finding the right bike was crucial. I would strongly recommend that if it has been sometime since you last rode a bike, go to your neighborhood bike shop (not just WalMart or KMart) and get some advice and try out some of the new models of bikes. I did and it made all the difference. I originally bought myself a woman's mountain bike at a yard sale, but couldn't ride it because my weight and knee pain kept me from being able to make a full pedal rotation (I weigh about 295). I was ready to give up but saw an adult trike in front of my local bike shop. I stopped in thinking I might be better able to ride the more stable 3-wheeler. After talking to the owner about how I did triathalons in high school (30 years ago) riding 10-speeds in races, etc. she said that I would not be happy with the trike once I got my "groove back". And she was absolutely right. She helped me try about 3 different styles of bikes, a better quality mountain bike (no go), a comfort bike (close, but not perfect) and finally a modified comfort bike made by Electra called a Townie. It offsets the seat from the pedal, giving me the space I need to pedal in comfort without knee strain or my tummy getting in my way. It even has some shocks on the front to help me with the dirt/rock roads around here, and 21 speeds (honestly I probably could have used just 7, but we are moving where there are hills next year). Within 5 minutes I was safely peddling around my neighborhood, and now I ride for at least an hour 3 night a week. There are many options out there, so if you want to do it, and are having trouble on the old clunker in the garage, get some good one-on-one advice and try out some of the improvements. I just love the feeling of gliding along and the cool breeze blowing through my hair helps offset that "sweaty" feeling which is one of the major exercise turnoffs to me (especially since I'm living in menopauseland right now...). Good luck and I hope to see you out there :-).
  • Definitely need to get back on my bike. I love riding it, especially along trails. I have to drive to the trails, but it's worth it. Sadly, there aren't any stores, etc. close enough to ride to, or I would.

  • This is a well intended. respectful response to all those that have excuses for why they don't ride. Give 'em up and get pedaling.
    You can do it!
    You just have to start.
    You know you'll never forgive yourself if you don't.
    You'll feel great - The pain-in-the-butt goes away quickly. You can start with one of those huge saddles but it won't be long until you ditch it in favor of a narrow saddle.
    This has to be the best exercise, other than walking, that there is. There are many trails nearly everywhere.
    Get your family and friends off their butts too. You don't need them, and I assure you that they will envy you and start to ride when they see how happy you are.
    I am 59 years old and now have a "real" age of 50. This is largely thanks to my bike.
  • I want to go riding in the worst way. I haven't been on a bike for 20 years. I tried my granddaughter's bike a few weeks ago. I forgot how to ride!! Now I'm scared to try again and I miss it.
  • I love my new bike! My husband and I rented some bikes this summer on our vacation and had such a good time that when I got home, I decided it was time to get my own bike. It is wonderful! I throughly enjoy it and the best part is that I have lost 3 of those stubborn last 5 pounds since I've started biking in the evening.
  • Your butt will get used to the seat pain, trust me!

    If anyone here really enjoys cycling, I'd highly recommend joining a training/fundraising program. Last year I trained for and completed a 109 mile cycling event through a national program and it was the coolest thing I've ever done. Prior to joining the program, I hadn't been on a bike on over 20 years and I was not at all athletic, yet I crossed the finish line in only (ha!) 9 hours and 57 minutes!
  • This comment is for deliciouslife or anyone else with junk in the trunk like myself. I bought a bike months ago and you couldn't even tell that it had a saddle when I sat on it. Not a pretty picture right? Anyway, I went to Wal-mart and for about $15.00 I bought a saddle that is perfect. It is about 9" x 5" so now I have 9" supporting my rear instead of 3. It doesn't have a "nose" on it so it doesn't hurt your sensitive parts. It is perfect and cheap. I love it!!
    There are woman specific saddles that are a little wider and shorter than men's saddles.

    DELICIOUSLIFE: Bicycle saddles are designed such that you are supported by your sit bones (ischial tuberosities). The birth cannal in women force these protuberances of the pelvis to be wider than they are on men.

    No saddle is comfortable at firstj; you have to go on rides of increasing length to get used to a saddle. Also, as your level of conditioning improves you will support more of your weight with your legs and put less weight on your bottom.

    Cycling is a great activity so don't give up riding without giving it a chance!
  • Deliciouslife: I don't think there are seat extenders, per se, but if you visit a decent-sized bike shop, they can show you all kinds of different seats, some larger, some smaller, some gel-filled, etc. You're bound to find something comfortable, and installation is a snap.

    My kids call me "Miss Gulch" because I like to do errands on my bike. I have a hybrid: lightweight and geared for riding on the road, but with an upright seating position like a mountain bike or cruiser. With a detachable wire basket on the front, I may look like a Wicked Witch, but I'm saving gas and getting exercise (not to mention grocery bags).
  • I am a woman with an extremely large rear. I cannot comfortably ride a bicycle because of the seat--any tips for this problem? are there seat extenders?
    I bike to work 2-3 days a week. It's almost 8 miles one-way. I feel really good on days I do this. Also, I've saved a lot of money on gas and public transportation.
  • I think the article was missing something I believe is correct, which is that the balance it takes to stay erect on a regular bike(as opposed to a stationary one) helps with core strength. I tell myself it does, anyway! As far as the sun exposure goes, I do believe that any time outdoors, with or without sunscreen, helps us keep a more positive, energized mood, whether or not sunscreen hampers vitamin absorption.

    I LOVE my bike! It helped me lose 50 lbs several years ago; and I've been getting on it more frequently lately to try and lose the other 50 I still need to lose. I ran into a woman at my office yesterday who's visibly shrunk, and when I asked her what she's been doing, she says she's purchased a bike and has been using it an hour each night. This woman's in her 50s with joint problems, and if she can do it, anyone can!

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