Bike guide for reluctant cyclists

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I have ridden an avid, mediocre bike for most of my life. Thanks to the extended milkshake outage, I went 100 miles and was almost dead by the end of it. You can replace the inner tube flat for 60 minutes with only moderate taunts. I once broke my hip on a mountain bike after jumping in the air from a height of 10 feet from a jump that I didn’t even know was there.

In other words, I love to cycle – I’m not good at cycling. I don’t own a cycling jersey. Without forgetting the one covered by the logo of the sponsor of the race. The gloves have holes, the socks don’t fit, and the water bottle is what I found in the garage, probably a kid’s tumbler.

But it’s the perfect speed between walking and driving – you can fly like a bird on a secluded highway or pass a neighborhood yard. Day hikes can be hours on a mountain bike.

Today, the bicycle More popular than ever..Motorcycle market Has grown 75 percent in April 2020 Really not stopped..for specialty bikes the wait time can be over 1 year. But it’s not clear whether this pandemic bike-buying frenzy will turn into a long-term cycling transition. The last American bicycle boom, early 1970s, later collapsed. How many bikes will be collecting dust in the garage this time around?

People like Vivian Ortiz, the “bicycle mayor” of Boston, have nothing to say about it. Like me, she’s used to getting weird looks from faster, better-equipped runners. “I am a 58 year old overweight woman from Puerto Rico,” she said. “So I ride my bike, and they’re like who the hell are you?” “

Ortiz started cycling at the age of 50 around 2012, a few years after moving to Boston, and found that public transportation was not flexible enough. She has not owned a car since and works full time to improve access to pedestrians and bicycles for children today.

For her, riding a bike isn’t about impressing or exercising her neighbors. It’s a way to connect with others. The fact that very few people of color have historically embraced the sport tormented Oritz (it’s boring). Change quickly), and she spends the weekend rounding up friends and strangers she finds in the South Boston neighborhood and along the Neponset River.

It’s all about the bike: if you think riders are all millionaires or invincible at 15 in spandex, skip if so, you haven’t met the rider yet or found the perfect ride quality.

Whether you’ve never bought and ridden an Impulse Pandemic Bike, or your old cruiser is tucked away in the garage, now is a great time to get back in the saddle. Can’t you ride? Do you feel overwhelmed by the world of cycling? Don’t worry, there is a place for you, right next to me and my child’s Sippy Cup.

If you haven’t learned to ride a bike, it’s not too late. Or you might not remember it because the last bike you rode was hot pink and had a banner on the steering wheel. Only 6 percent of Americans, according to midsize YouGov poll Don’t know how to ride a bike But more than half of us say we never do. This can be a problem when restarting.

It turns out that the bicycle is not like the bicycle – you can forget how to do it. Plus, biking on trails and on transport isn’t like BMX riding in your neighborhood when you were a kid. And learning on the spot can be dangerous. Consider classes at places such as: REI, American Cycling Federation, or your local bike store.

Alison Dewey, education director for the American Cycling League and occasional adult cycling instructor, said the class helps to feel confident around the car and on bumpy roads. Otherwise, find a bike path or mountain bike fire trail in your neighborhood. Or throw a luggage rack in your car and go in search of your favorite spot.

Recently there are road bikes and mountain bikes, cycle racing tracks, folding bikes, cruisers, hybrid bikes, gravel bikes, BMX bikes, touring bikes and electric bikes.

“We live in the best times when we want to be cyclists,” said Tom Ritchey, president of Ritchey Design, who invented some of the first mountain biking components and started the first company to sell them. Declared.

Ritchie said he knew where he wanted to ride before he bought a bike. Want to fly on public roads or bounce on streams? What paths and roads are there near you? Where are your friends riding?

If you’re unsure, or want to keep your options open, a hybrid or gravel bike is for you. Both are designed for streets and trails, but the hybrid is like a mountain bike and you can get to work too. A gravel bike is a road bike that doesn’t care about certain stones.

However, think realistically about where you are actually going to ride. It’s boring to hang around the streets on a slow mountain bike. But the worst part is riding a bike that doesn’t adjust to your body, Ritchie said. Mountain bike and road bike frames are measured differently, so it’s important to go to the bike store and find someone to fit you, even if you’ve purchased them elsewhere.


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The concept of a motor-assisted pedal bicycle dates back to the 1880s, but electric bicycle is the first time that it is really popular at the turn of the century. There are three types: Class 1 and 2 give an extra boost while pedaling, but peak at 20 mph. Class 3 is faster and is not always allowed on trails and cycle paths.

Morris, my college fitness teacher, would call the e-bike a “dirty con’s shortcut.” But there is some evidence that having an engine on hand, in particular, will ultimately improve your fitness.Use more bikes or ride further.However, most surveys follow users for months.

Electric bikes are more expensive than most standard bikes, but their supporters Meaning for commuters And even please replace the car For some. They can also be useful for the elderly People who want to stay healthy but struggle on the local hills.

Ritchie agreed that there are advantages to electric bikes, but he couldn’t hide his general detention on the device, especially if there were people on board who didn’t seem to need them. ..

“When I see a 17 year old kid pass me on an electric bike, yeah, it’s hard not to say anything defamatory,” he said.

According to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the 40,000-mile American Multi-Use Trail – That’s only 7,000 timid in total on the Interstate Highway.

Whether you’re moving to a new area or haven’t explored the city, biking is a great way to find your new favorite spot. Many cities More bike friendly, And worth exploring Recommended route, Often out of the way Traffic or asphalt road. .

There are also many cycling applications. I think the best free program is the REI MTB project. View all of the best trails in your area and color-code the difficulty so you can follow your route on the go. Rails-to-Trails has a lot of great features Good National Map For local bike trails. On the streets of the city, Ortiz said that Google Maps’ bike mode isn’t exactly that great.

“And what I love about it is how many times faster it is to ride a bike than a train,” she said.

If you are willing to pay Strava and Komoot, this is a good option for planning your vehicle and building community.

Dewey said the biggest concern she hears from new or returning runners is safety. There is no doubt that biking is scary – The car will go fast Landing on a rock is no fun, but there are steps you can take to avoid injury. Buy a good helmet. Wear clothes reflective at night. a bike together ..

Ortiz said training can also help. One trick is to look over your shoulder as the car pulls up behind and connect with the driver to let them know you’re there. The same idea applies to pedestrians. Ortiz uses a bell to let people know she’s coming. If you’re not watching, you may have headphones on and slow down.

But she and others said the rider himself shouldn’t be wearing headphones. Just like you love to play vintage rushes and Guns N’Roses when you’re on the road, being a safe pilot means using all of your senses.

Mountain bikers face a variety of dangers, including rocks, roots, and (often) arrogance. YouTube is full of manic Bomb the Hill videos, mountain biking is all about slowing down. A good mountain biker can maintain control even when he comes to a stop.

After all, as with any adventure, the goal is to have fun and see your world in a different way. You Gutter bunny, Flipper, Hasselhoff, Gerbil or FredPick up, Toleda, Fixy, Yonka and Hardtail and get out on the road.


Erik Vance is the editor of the Well desk.

Bike guide for reluctant cyclists

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