RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—We've said it before, and we'll say it again: As the weather cools and the trees start to change color in many parts of the country, autumn makes a perfect time of the year to get outside and start an exercise program. And there aren't many ways to lose weight that combine outdoor exercise with satisfying a need for speed the way that cycling does.
First things first: If you're not gifted with an athletic build, don't worry. You don't have to wear shiny spandex shorts or those crazy-colored, form-fitting cycling shirts. (Give them a try at some point, though; you'll be how surprised how comfortable they are.) The right bike and a few inexpensive pieces of gear are essential, however, both for a comfortable ride and for your safety. To find out the details, we went straight to the experts at Bicycling magazine.
Here's what you need to know to get in gear with a beginner's cycling program this fall, enjoying nature while losing weight riding bike.
• Gear up gradually "New cyclists tend to over-gear. Start with the basics and add items as you progress," suggests Deb Cosgrove, an editor at Bicycling. Here's a list of what you need to start off. For a greater ecoimpact and cost savings, search online or check local bike shops to buy some of these items in gently used condition.
• Helmet that fits properly
• Floor tire pump and portable tire pump
• Repair kit including a multitool, spare inner tube, patch kit, and tire levers); and a seat bag to store the kit in.
• Bottle cage for a water bottle (We suggest food-grade stainless steel water bottles, such as those made by Klean Kanteen—they are free of BPA, a hormone-disrupting chemical.)
• Front and rear lights. "Lights are not just for night riding, but for rainy days as well," says Cosgrove. "It’s so important to be seen."