I have a Schwinn CrissCross, it is a hybrid bicycle. It runs on leg power, I ride it inside and outside. I wear a helmet when I ride it outside and when I ride it in the kitchen I forgo the helmet. You really get a good workout riding a bike. When you are outside you don’t realize it because your perspiration evaporates and the sweat is also dried by the breeze that you experience then you ride. I ride inside these days and I sweat like a cold glass of ice tea on a hot summer day. It feels good but it is boring. I listen to good music on my iPod in the kitchen and that makes the riding better, but it is not as nice as seeing new things outside and feeling the air breeze past me as I go. Some of my friends are serious riders, while others are like me ride but we are recreational riders. Most of my friends are rarely serious about anything, they all have good senses of humor and they don’t take themselves too seriously.
But, some things about riding bicycles should be taken seriously! Whether you are riding indoors or outside. I want to take a look at these and make some suggestions on each.
Indoor Riding Suggestions:
- I ride my CrissCross on a Wind Trainer – my back wheel gets mounted on the Wind Trainer and it is securely held in position. My front wheel is on a block and it holds the bike level. There is a tensioning device that rides against the rear wheel and between the tensioner and the gears on my bike I get a great workout. The Wind Trainer is really sturdy and holds the bike in position, I’m a big guy and it doesn’t sway when I ride or when I get on or off the bike. The Wind Trainer I have is a Bell Motivator and I highly recommend it, it less expensive than others I’ve seen but it really does the job. If you are going to ride on a Wind Trainer, you also need a block to raise the front wheel – I got a Blackburn Trak Block II. I love this combination of Wind Trainer and block and I am very comfortable with the stability of the bike. I purchased them both on Amazon.
- Whenever you ride you should drink water to stay hydrated – I drink as I ride in the kitchen just as I would on the road.
- I like riding inside because it is safe, no cars, traffic, potholes, no ground to fall on, no sudden rain, no wet leaves or grass clippings and no other obstructions.
Outdoor Riding Suggestions:
- Safety is the first thing you need to consider when riding a bike outdoors.
- You should always ride outdoors with a good helmet, you only get one head and your quality of life depends on it being whole, inside and out. Two of my friends had bike crashes, both were wearing helmets and it saved their lives. One of them broke his back in four places in the crash, his helmet put a huge scraping dent in the hood of the car that hit him, but it saved his life. The car dented, the helmet was sacrificed but his head was saved. The point is get a good helmet. And, yes his back healed in about six months and he is fine today, he rides all the time and he is grateful he was wearing his helmet. I wear a helmet when I ride outside and I also wear gloves that have metal in the palms of the hands. These are great if you wipe out because instead of you loosing your skin on the palms of your hands you rip up the leather on the gloves till you get to the metal which also protect your palms, so, get some.
- Never, never, never, listen to an iPod or MP3 player when you ride you bicycle on the street or outdoors. You need to be able to hear cars, horns, trucks, dogs, people and anything that may be coming your way.
- You need water and maybe some sports drink with electrolytes in it to stay hydrated. You should have a couple of bottles, it’s not like you are riding in your kitchen and you can get off the bike and get a glass of water. You should get some bottle cages to attach to the frame of your bike so you can grab a drink easily and put it back in the cage easily, when you are riding.
- A mirror can be helpful to see what is coming up behind you. There are many of these available. Some for the bike, some for helmets, look at them and see what is best for you.
- If you ride close to dusk or very early in the morning, watch out for deer.
- If you ride close to dusk or very early in the morning, have a light that you can put on your person or a light on the bike that will get you noticed by motorists.
- Try to return home before it gets dark or too dark, plan ahead.
- Ride with a friend or friends, stay in a line and keep safe following distances. If something happens you can help or be helped.
- Bring some cash, a key to get into your car or home, a cell phone for emergencies and a list of people to contact in case of an emergency. If you are allergic to something or have medical conditions put those on the list too. Being prepared for these emergencies is like an ounce of prevention.
- If you are going for a ride let someone who cares about you know it and let them know where you intend to ride, just in case.
Outdoor Suggestions for Motorists:
- Bicycles and their riders have they right of way, even though they may look funny with their clothing and helmets, they are still people and riding on the road is hard.
- Cyclists should be riding in a line, but some don’t, please be patient with them, the last thing you or bike riders need is to have a collision with each other.
- When passing a bike rider or riders make sure that you have enough room to do it safely. Don’t pass on bends or curves in the road.
- Don’t yell at or make nasty hand gestures to bike riders.
- Don’t get too close to bike riders, they have no metal around them and they are riding on the side of a road that has potholes, debris and other obstacles that could force them off the straight path they are trying to ride.
- Remember that these bike riders are your friends and family and they are doing the best they can to fit into the smooth travel, on a road that you are sharing with them.
- If you see a bike rider sitting or stuck on the side of the road, stop and make sure everything is OK. Maybe the bike rider has a flat or has been stung by a bee. You could help someone in need.
Riding a bike is fun and if you do these things it will still be fun. You will just be safer and able to ride your bike knowing that you are taking care of yourself for you and the people who care about you.
If you can think of any other suggestions, on this topic, please feel free to add them below. Be well and enjoy!