It’s commuting and fitness melded together: Faster than walking and as much exercise as jogging. It lets you enjoy the scenery, which, depending on your time in quarantine, could mean a lot.
If you aren’t already a regular rider, you’ll want to ease yourself into cycling. Begin with half-hour rides every other day or three days a week. And practice your basic skills in an empty parking lot. Learn to shift gears without wobbling and to look over your left shoulder while steering straight ahead.
When you take to the roads, always ride with traffic, ride in the street on the right. Use hand signals and obey all the traffic rules.
Buying a bike
If you decide that you like riding, you may want to get a new bike. Be sure to shop for one that suits your normal riding distance. Traditional 3-speeds are good for short rides, and 10-speeds are best for longer rides. Then there are all-terrain bikes that provide an all-purpose alternative.
When riding to work, put your belongings in a backpack or tie them down in a basket or rear carrier. Carry a tool kit to fix flat tires.
You’re never too old to take up cycling and benefit from it for the rest of your life. Studies at the University of California at Davis compared three forms of exercise: Jogging, bicycling and tennis. Middle-aged sedentary men were assigned to one of the three activities for 30 minutes a day three times a week. After 20 weeks, the joggers and cyclists had an equal improvement in endurance, and both groups lost a substantial amount of body fat.
When riding after dark, make sure you have lights on the bike, reflective tape on your helmet, and wear light-colored clothing.