Sunday, August 7, 2011

Oh, what a beautiful morning...

I got my ride in last night although I think I may have accidentally tortured my oldest son in the process.  We went for a ride after supper which was nice.  I loaded Cam in my cart and we headed off down the street and got on the trail to head home.  It was a nice ride overall I just like a quicker pace which isn't really in the interests of a six year old. A picture BEFORE the ride...

Today, I got to go on my morning ride this morning and I added to it.  I added another quarter mile by staying on the trail longer and getting off of it closer to my house.  Now I just need to work in getting ON the trail that way. By adding this little bit to my ride, I added some ups...three small hills.  I do get a nice big hill down as I start on this portion of the trail though so I can't complain too much.  That nice hill is also what is stopping me from starting my ride on a different portion of the trail but I suppose I should give in!  It was nice and cool out and there were no sprinklers on along the trail.  The water was also noticeably down again.  Overall, just a wonderful ride!
As my yummy pumpkin muffins are baking I thought that I would take some time to go over some biking tips.  Many people have told me that I make them want to get a bike or ride their bike...I would encourage both groups to DO IT! So, here are my tips...
Bike owners:
1. Find out what you dislike about your bike and fix it.  There must be a reason it has been sitting unused!
My bike had terribly rough grips that left my hands bruised and sore days after I had ridden my bike.  It discouraged me from riding because I didn't want my hands to hurt even more for even longer.  I took my bike to Ace and got it fixed up in no time.
2. Get a new seat (yeah this kinda goes along with #1). I didn't ride my bike as much because it left my butt sore.  I figured it couldn't hurt to get a bigger seat for a bigger butt so I spent the money to try it out.  It was the best change I made!  My butt is much happier now.

Bike buyers:
1. You do not have to spend a bundle on a bike.  My bike is from WalMart and cost less than $100.
2. Compare, compare, compare!  What do you like on one bike versus another.  If there is a bike that is much more expensive with the features that you like, figure out what it would cost to add those features to a less expensive may just save you some money.
3. Consider buying a used bike and making some improvements.  You may be able to buy a better quality bike and spend less.

1. Buy small features that make you more prone to use your bike-like a little bag on front to hold you phone or keys.  Add a water bottle if you like to take long rides and get really thirsty (I actually just carry mine in the bag on the front of my bike).
2. Wear comfy clothes that don't get in the way.  I prefer stretchy Bermuda shorts and a light t-shirt or tank top.  I also have a light hoodie for when it is chilly.  Short shorts may ride up and you don't want to be adjusting them the whole ride.  Long pants (especially loose ones) can get caught on your bike which can leave you frustrated.  Tennis shoes are a must-they protect and support your feet.  Remember that you are not trying to make a fashion statement-you are trying to get fit!
3. Find the right time of day to ride.  For me it is in the morning but that doesn't mean that this time works for everyone.  If you are sluggish and droopy in the morning, you will be less likely to ride very far or continue riding (You will also probably swallow some bug if you yawn a lot).  Maybe an evening ride would be better for you.  You just have to figure out what works best for YOU.
4. Give it TIME.  When I started, I did not enjoy it as much as I do now.  I wanted to quit but I kept pushing myself because it was something I wanted for myself.  I am even at a point now where I am not continually wanting to quit but it took time to get there.  Start off with shorter rides and add on as you build endurance.
5. Get a helmet because you won't enjoy riding if it kills you :o)

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