Friday, May 29, 2009

"Red Betty"

It's 85 degrees here in Portland. Time to dust off "Red Betty" for the season and get on it for commutes.

Biking is a low impact way to burn calories and to boost your cardiovascular health.

Upon my own transition from running to biking, it was unbelievable how forgiving biking was on my body, from the spine to the ankles.

It's an ideal activity if you have any low-back or knee issues. And you're not pounding the pavement!

It's difficult, as a personal trainer, to lure runners from their sport into another, like cycling. However, once an injury occurs and becomes chronic, it's a bit easier to convince them to "go to the other side."

Prior to doing any exercise, be sure to gently stretch your major muscle groups. This will increase your range of motion. Begin your ride with an easy, warm-up period of 3 - 5 minutes.

Of utmost importance is to be fit properly on your bike. Any qualified bike shop can help you with that.

Portland is known for its bike culture.

But when you ride, remember it is you, the cyclist, that is the vulnerable one. Think like a vehicle, not a pedestrian. Stick to the bike lanes and obey traffic signals. Be visible. Choose bright colors to wear, including a helmet.

Keep your eyes on the road. Be consistent, assertive and predictable.

But above all, enjoy all this great city has to offer -- up close and on your bike!

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