Take Your Ride Inside

December 21st, 2014 | By Gary No Comments

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As temperatures drop and daylight hours shorten, riding your bicycle outside may not be safe or comfortable. Keeping up your riding routine during the winter though is really important, though! Not only will it help keep you from adding holiday/winter pounds, but it will make sure you’re ready to go in the spring by helping you continue to use those muscles. So when you can’t hit the road or the trail, just take your ride inside!

One of the easiest and most convenient ways to ride inside is on a stationary bike trainer or stand. According to Brian Molloy at The Hub, “The benefit to riding a trainer in the winter is that you can be more structured and focused because usually trainer rides are much shorter.” Brian gets a really good and intense workout in just one hour.

There are two basic kinds of stationary bike trainers. A roller trainer sits on the floor and has three roller bars that the bike tires sit on (two for the back and one for the front). You basically just set your bike on the rollers and ride. Although most of these do not have a way to adjust the tension of the rollers, they do require you to maintain your balance, which gives you a full body workout and makes the ride more interesting.

The more popular type of bike trainer is the rear mount bike stand. With this design, the rear wheel is locked into a stand and the tire engages with a roller that provides resistance. Most of these stands use either a magnetic or fluid resistance system which can be controlled from the handle bars. Some are even auto-adjusting and/or have programs that adjust the resistance during a workout. The rear mount stands work well for less experienced riders because they are easy to operate and do not require you to balance.

There are models of both types of trainers that include monitoring systems to report your distance, speed, heart rate, and other stats. In addition to your current cycling accessories, you may want a floor mat to protect your floors, a reading rack to hold books or magazines, and a trainer tire (trainers can wear out tires quickly). Another suggestion from Brian at The Hub: “There are all kinds of videos that can provide a structured workout and make it more intense and interesting. Trainer riding can become boring, and you won’t be doing much if you are just riding along.”

The local bike shops are not only good places to buy a trainer, they also have equipment and/or classes that give you an opportunity to see what it is like to ride on one. Some, like Georgia Cycle Sport, even offer spin classes and multi-rider trainer classes if you prefer riding with a group.

For more information, contact these local bike shops: The Hub, www.hubbikes.com, 706-355-3989; Georgia Cycle Sport,
www.georgiacyclesport.com, 706-549-2453; Sunshine Cycles, www.sunshinecycles.com, 706.548.6088.

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