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I started out as an avid runner from an early age, from the time my brothers chased me until I became  a competitive runner in high school and college. After a series of knee surgeries, I received the news that, at just age 24, I was bone-on-bone with the knee of an 80 year old. My doctor said, “If you want to walk when you are 30, you need to stop all impact sports now.”

So I did.  And thus opened the wonderful world of riding a bike.

Here are my top 10 reasons to ride a bike.

#10 Before you Ride.

  • Check your tire pressure. The recommended pressure is on the sidewall of the wheel.

  • Oil your chain if it looks dry or makes squeaky sounds when you ride.

  • Check your brakes, are they working?

#9 Prep Your Bike for your Ride

  • Take a tool kit that has an extra tube, tire pump (or CO2 cartridge), tire repair kit, tire levers (to take the tire off the rim) and multi-tool.  If you don’t know how to change a tire, check with the bike shops.

#8 Prep Your Self for your Ride

  • Bike shorts were invented for a reason.  But if you don’t have any, or don’t like the look, snug fitting shorts/pants will feel better because they won’t bunch up in those sensitive areas.  Wear layers for the weather to stay comfortable

  • Wear glasses for eye protection.  Mud, sticks, even wind can hurt. Protect your eyes.

#7 Wear a Helmet

  • Always.  I know at least 6 people who wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for their helmets, me included.  Set a good example for your kids

#6  Bring Food & Water

  • Always bring a water bottle. If you are out for an aggressive ride for more than an hour, you may want to add electrolytes or a carbohydrate/electrolyte mix to the water.

  • Take a snack.  Running out of energy when you ride is a bummer.  Take easy to digest foods like energy bars (more carbohydrates than protein), gels, or I like peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

#5  You can ride a bike at any age

  • You can go fast for exercise, you can go slow to enjoy the scenery, you can commute to save gas.  It’s all good.

#4  Cycling is much easier on your feet, ankles, knees, and hips than running

  • My doctor recently told me that if it wasn’t for my cycling and staying light weight, I would have had to have had my knee replaced 10 years ago. With 8 knee surgeries, I’m still going strong with my original equipment – thanks to cycling.

#3  Cycling burns a ton of calories and is great for your heart and lungs

  • According to Myfitnesspal.com, a relaxing bike ride (<10 mph) burns 272 calories versus an easy walk (2 mph) at 170 calories per hour, and a 60-minute bike ride at 14-16 miles per hour will burn about 680 calories (150 pound person).

#2  Cycling makes you smile and feel alive

  • Whether you’re out in beautiful sunshine or a blustery day, you are going somewhere and doing something good for your body.  Plus, if you happen to be riding your bike instead of driving a car, you are doing good for the world by reducing pollution, using no gas and reducing traffic congestion on the road.

#1  Explore! Ride for Adventure

  • Think back to when you learned how to ride a bike.  Remember the thrill?  Maybe you got lost?  Perhaps you rode farther than you were supposed to?  There is so much adventure to be had on your own bike.

    • Let the kids choose the route.

    • Get out and enjoy our beautiful scenery!

    • Travel by bike!  Whether it is with a guide or on your own, bicycle touring is so fulfilling!  You have a huge accomplishment every day, burn a ton of calories so you can indulge in the local cuisine and you’ll see far more than from a car, bus, or a train.  Plus you get all of the health benefits of riding a bike.

Now, get on your bike and ride!

Owner & Manager Bellingham Tennis Club & Fairhaven Fitness

www.bellinghamtennis.com

www.cyclemoles.com

Creator of www.PowertoPedal.com

Robin and her husband have traveled around the world on their bikes and most recently were in Tuscany, Italy on a two week self-guided adventure riding from hill town to hill town.  Robin has also developed a set of indoor cycling videos to teach techniques to make it easier to ride.  She also provides cycle coaching and indoor training at the Bellingham Tennis Club & Fairhaven Fitness.

"Here are my top 10 reasons to ride a bike."