Published on May 31st, 2020 | by Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.0
Biking During the COVID-19 Crisis
Regular Tips Apply to Pedaling
During the Corona virus crisis, biking is especially recommended, as it provides exceptional aerobic and cardio exercise, relaxation and because it maintains social distancing. Keeping in mind proper equipment, fitness, safety and other factors can make it even more fulfilling during this difficult period.
Choose the right bike
Those designed for roads and pavement are generally lighter and have more gears than mountain bikes, which have more shock-absorbing features, plus more lower gears to help traverse inclined terrain. Urban and commuting bikes feature a slightly
more upright riding position that allows better sight lines and improved visibility by motorists.
Use a bike shop with mechanics that test and adjust the bikes they sell, including determining the proper seat height—which facilitates proper alignment of hips and a full rotation— and the ideal distance from the handlebars to the seat tube. Back, knee or hip pain may develop if a cyclist has to stretch his or her legs to get to the pedals, according to the League of American Bicyclists. A biker doesn’t
get proper leg extension if the seat is too low. The legs should be almost, but not totally extended at the lowest point in pedaling.
Safety takes many forms
Even well-marked bike lanes don’t guarantee safety, so use caution. Some motorists are careless about entering bike lanes and don’t correctly stop at crosswalks or look behind before opening doors. Keep at least five feet from the sides of cars to avoid being hit. Don’t
weave in and out of traffic, always don a helmet, signal turns and watch out for runners and walkers. Use the stop signal (left arm extended downward) to alert bikers that may be traveling behind.
Proper pedaling can help prevent strains
In addition to ensuring they’re employing proper leg extension, it’s advised that bikers pedal a little faster in a lower gear; ideally, 75 to 90 revolutions per minute, which is easier on the knees with less muscle fatigue than traveling slower in a higher gear.
Includes “cleaning and lubing the chain, replacing brake pads, and changing and fixing a flat tire,” according to major bike and outdoor retailer Recreational Equipment, Inc. (rei.com). The website has helpful tips on tools to obtain, along with basic information
on bike maintenance, cleaning and fixing a flat tire.