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Mama_Cakes's avatar

Anyone here into cycling for exercise? Any tips that you could give me?

Asked by Mama_Cakes (9824points) July 20th, 2012

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

SuperMouse's avatar

Get cycling shoes. They are worth every penny whether you are on the road or in a Spinning class.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Tips being; clothing, warm-up, etc.

wundayatta's avatar

Get in the saddle and ride. Preferably outdoors. It’s more interesting. If you can do bicycle only paths, that’s easier and more fun. Do not be afraid of hills. Just use your gears. You may go very slowly up a hill, but you will go quickly down the other side. Just keep on peddling.

Start small. Maybe five miles. Do that for a week. Every day. Move up to to ten miles. Keep on increasing. If you can’t do every day, do what you can. Once or twice a week. If five miles is too easy, do more.

Don’t be afraid of sweat. If you are going to be out in the sun in the middle of the day, use sun screen. Make sure your bike is properly maintained. Learn to do your own bike maintenance, too. Take a class at a local bike shop if you don’t already know this.

I think clothing doesn’t matter that much. I’ve been wearing shorts and t-shirts and sneakers to bike in for 50 years. No need to spend money on anything specialized.

I just warm up by riding. I start slow, and then as I warm up, I start putting more effort into it. It’s a matter of staying in tune with my body and not pushing too fast too soon. I also do a lot ankle stretching afterwards. Biking tends to tighten my achiles heel tendons.

janbb's avatar

Tuck your shoelaces in or wear velcroed shoes. I got a lace tangled in the spindle last week, pulled the bike over on me and couldn’t get untangled for 20 minutes. Bruises galore!

wundayatta's avatar

Ah @janbb. That’s a good point. I have had many a shoelace caught in my pedal (although not with such dire results). That’s a good reason for @SuperMouse‘s recommendation.

zenvelo's avatar

Make sure your bike fits properly, it will make riding much more enjoyable.

While riding work on a smooth pedal stroke that make the complete circle, not a stomp, stomp from side to side.

Get to know your gears, find a comfortable cadence (number of pedal revolutions per minute) and use your gears to get as close as you can to always being at that cadence. I like to ride at 85 per minute, which is a moderate pace.

Make time to ride everyday! Even if it’s only ten miles, get outside and ride.

gondwanalon's avatar

If you don’t have a bike yet and you are not a skilled bike handler then I suggest that you get a mountain bike with wide knobby tires. The more rubber that you have on the road them less likely you are to fall, And believe me, you do not want to fall because even a slow crash can cause a bad injury and that can be very discouraging. Another benefit to having large knobby tires is that because of the added resistance the big tires have on the road. This means that you don’t have to go as fast (as skinny tire bikes) to get a good workout. Going slower equates to being safer. Also ride on safe streets and trails where there are few cars. As you are well aware of, auto drivers are very distracted these days with all of the smart phones and such so try to limit your high traffic exposure.

Learn as much about your bike as soon as you can. Especially how to change and patch a tube. Always carry an air pump, spare tube and patch kit. Always wear cycling gloves and a helmet.

Join a cycling club in your area. You will be sure to find other cyclists eager to share their expert cycling advice and experiences with you.

Good cycling to you!

Crashsequence2012's avatar

More information is needed..

There are many different cycling disciplines.

flutherother's avatar

It will seem like a chore at first but as you get fitter you will enjoy it more. Try to find nice traffic free routes if possible, but you might need a bell if there are pedestrians. See if you can plan a visit to a nice country pub where you can relax. If you have any kids or nieces and nephews you will really impress them if you go cycling with them.

rooeytoo's avatar

If you try bike jouring with your dog, watch out for cats. My dog pulled my bike right out from under me last week. It must have looked like a cartoon. I swear she pulled the bike out and I was suspended in mid air in my cycling posture for I don’t know how long! Then I crashed onto the road and my dog and bike went hurtling across the road after the cat. Thankfully the pedal got caught on the curb and it stopped her abruptly. I now have road rash on my hands and knees and she has sore ears from my yelling at her!

janbb's avatar

@rooeytoo I had a similar experience last week when my shoelace took a fancy to the spindle.

rooeytoo's avatar

@janbb – life is not a spectator sport, heheheh.

janbb's avatar

@rooeytoo Luckily there was one spectator who helped me untangle myself from the bike! It took 20 minutes!

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Master your pedal stroke:

Like a golf swing this takes time to learn and is theoretically impossible to perfect.

Unweight the rising foot, pull the foot through the bottom of the stroke.

Spin in a short gear until you learn if you’re a spinner or a cranker.

I’m the latter. I use a long crankarm length and low RPM.

Practice doing this while keeping the upper body still.

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