Cycling To Stay Fit Like This Senior Couple That Bikes 100 Miles A Week

Cycling To Stay Fit Like This Senior Couple That Bikes 100 Miles A Week

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Meet Larry and Rebekah from Raleigh, North Carolina. They’ve been cycling together for 11 years. They cycle 30-40 miles on the Neuse River Trail in North Carolina three times a week. 

And that’s not all. Once a month, they cycle 60 miles, and once a year, they even go 100 miles to prove to themselves they can do it. On days they’re not cycling, they find other forms of exercise to keep fit.

Larry is 73, and Rebekah is 68.

I recently met Larry and Rebekah while I was out running on the Neuse River Trail. Like me, they like to find food stops along the trail like NY Bagels and Bar9 Coffeehouse.

Unlike me, they travel impressively long distances and are in fantastic shape for their age or any age for that matter.

     Read more – Neuse River Trail – Where to Eat, Kayak and Park Along The Trail

I was so intrigued by how fit they are, I went home and told my husband I wanted to start long-distance biking with him. (Right now, it’s just me and my Schwinn.)

When I showed him a picture of Larry and Rebekah, he was all in.

I’ve since been studying the many health benefits of long-distance cycling and how to get started.  I’ve compiled all the information in case you wanted to improve your health through cycling too. Or even if you just want to look like Larry and Rebekah. 

Who wouldn’t?

The Health Benefits Of Cycling

Bike riding is a fun, easy way to exercise. Biking just 10 miles a day will take about an hour and burn 400-500 calories. Cycling can help you burn fat and achieve weight loss when combined with a healthy diet. 

Below are some commonly asked questions about the benefits of cycling.

What muscles does cycling work?

  • Thighs
  • Buttocks & glutes
  • Arms
  • Shoulders
  • Calves

 

What Does Cycling Do For Your Mental Health?

  • Relaxes the brain
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Improves memory
  • Increases self-esteem
  • Decreases depression & anxiety

 

other Health benefits of biking

  • Strengthens immunity
  • Improves balance, coordination, and posture
  • Lowers rate of disease
 
Below is a Tedx Talk about the ability of biking to drastically reduce symptoms related to serious illness.

Types Of Bikes

Many factors help determine the type of bike to get. Keep in mind the terrain you’ll be riding on, distance traveling, and if you need a bike that can carry a heavy load. 

If you plan to ride in a group with others, find out what kind of bicycle they have. That could help you make your decision.

The following are the best-rated bikes on Amazon for each type. I would also suggest visiting your local bike shop for advice. Some people purchase a bike online and have it shipped to their local bike shop to be assembled correctly.

Road Bike

Road bikes are aerodynamic, lightweight, and built to travel long distances at top speeds. They feature drop handlebars and skinny tires. They are meant for paved roads and are generally not built to carry heavy loads a commuter might need.

Eurobike Road Bike

Mountain Bike

If you’re planning to ride off the road on rough trails, a mountain bike is what you’ll need. These bikes have wide, knobby tires and a low gear range for steep hills. 

Huffy Hardtail – Mountain Bike

Hybrid Bike

A hybrid bike combines elements of two different bikes to give you something more versatile. For instance, if you want a road bike that can occasionally go off-trail, you may want to get a hybrid.

Hiland Road – Hybrid Bike

Cruiser Bike

Cruiser bikes are designed for casual, comfortable riding. This is the bike I currently have. I love that it keeps my back upright. These bikes are designed for shorter rides on reasonably flat roads. They usually come in a variety of stylish designs.

Huffy – Women’s Cruiser Bike

Adult Tricycle

Adult Tricycles are designed for those with balance issues that still want to get around on a bicycle. They come with a large basket perfect for trips to the store or around town.

Happybuy – Adult Tricycle

E-Bike

Almost any kind of bike can have a small motor added to it to make it an electric bike. Ebikes give you a longer commuter time while also giving you the option of exercise. These bikes generally go at speeds from 18-28 MPH.

NAKTO – Electric Bicycle

Tandem Bike

Tandem bikes are built for two riders. They come in all different styles, including beach, road, mountain, and hybrid bikes.

Kulana Lua – Tandem Beach Bike

Recumbent Bikes

Recumbent bikes have a backrest that puts the rider in a reclining position. They come with two-wheels or three-wheels and are known to be one of the most comfortable bikes available. They can, however, be more challenging to transport. 

Mobo – Recumbent Bicycle Trike

Folding Bike

Folding bikes are perfect for commuters who need to take their bikes on the bus, train, or airplane or who live in an apartment and don’t have a lot of storage. These bikes aren’t quite as easy to handle as traditional bikes, but the trade-off can be worth it for those needing a bike that’s easy to travel with.

Goplus – Folding Bike

Kid’s Bike

If you’re getting out to do some bike riding, don’t forget to take your kids with you. Kid’s bikes come in all different kinds, including street bikes and mountain bikes.

Huffy Kids – Mountain Bike

Stand Up Bike

Stand up cycling is a new form of biking that combines elliptical and traditional pedaling. It gives you a comfortable, stand up riding position and a great workout.

Elliptigo SUB

Other Biking Equipment

Muscles Used In Cycling

The beauty of bicycling is that all you really need is a bicycle and a helmet. Here are some other items you might consider purchasing, depending on the level of bike riding you plan to do.

Bike Light

If you go night riding, get a light for your bike. Not only will this keep you safe in traffic, but the Maso Bike Light also works as a turn signal.

Maso Bike Light

Water Bottles & Cage

It goes without saying that you need to stay hydrated when biking long distances. Choose a water bottle that’s easy to squeeze and lightweight.

Water Bottles & Cage

Cycling Repair Bag

To repair a punctured tire, change the height of your seat, or adjust your brakes, carry a cycling repair bag. You can store other valuables in the bag like keys, phone, wallet, and first aid items.

Cycling Repair Bag

Bike Lock

A bike lock will help you protect your investment. If you can’t find a bike rack to lock your bike to, loop the cable around a pole or a tree.

Titanker Bike Lock

Bike Mirrors

A bike mirror makes you feel more secure riding your bike because you can see the traffic behind you. They’re especially useful if you’re in heavy traffic.

Oriflame Bike Mirrors

GPS Navigation Bike Computer

If you’re riding three or more hours, consider using a GPS navigation bike computer. The batteries will last up to 20 hours, and they’re built to withstand the elements. They’ll also track and store all of your biking data.

MEILAN GPS Navigation Bike Computer

Bike Phone Mount

You can also use your smartphone as a navigation system – all you need is an inexpensive bike mount. There are excellent cycling apps like Strava and Kamoot that will find the best biking routes and track your speed, time, and distance.

visnfa New Bike Phone Mount

Bike Rack For Your Car

There are many different types of bike racks you can put on your car, depending on what kind of car you drive. Consider buying a bike rack that is easy to mount and use. You may be able to fit your bike in the back of your car like I can with my Kia Sorento.

Lenox Car Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Bike Basket

A bike basket is excellent if you’re riding to the store to pick up a few items or going on a picnic. You can also find baskets to bring a small dog along like this one I have for my dog.

Apollo Bike Basket

Cycling Clothing

A cycling outfit will keep you comfortable and protect you from the elements. If you’re riding for speed, aerodynamic clothing will help you go faster. Here are some biking apparel choices to consider.

Women's Cycling Clothing

Helmets

There are different helmets based on what kind of riding you are doing – recreational, road, or mountain biking. Get a helmet that fits properly and adjust it correctly to the size of your head.

Schwinn Thrasher Bike Helmet

Biking Shoes

The kind of riding you do will help determine the type of shoe to buy. Many long-distance road cyclists prefer shoes that work with clipless pedals. These shoes have a cleat attached that clip into your pedal. If biking shorter distances where you’ll be putting your feet down a lot, you may prefer flat pedals that sometimes come with a clip that you put your feet into.

Gavin Road Bike Cycling Shoes

Biking Gloves

Bikers that choose to wear gloves usually do so to keep their hands warm in the winter or to protect their hands from a crash. Other advantages are improved grip and shock absorption. 

HTZPLOO Bike Gloves

Glasses

Sunglasses are not just to protect your eyes from the sun but also to keep the bugs out and protect your eyes from snow, rain, and wind.

woolike sunglasses

Cycling Jacket

A jacket made just for cycling can keep you warm and protected from rain and snow while being breathable. This cycling jacket from Baleaf’s folds up small enough to fit in your back pocket and has pockets to hold your personal items. The sleeves also zip off, giving you the option to wear it as a vest.

BALEAF Men’s Cycling Jacket

Padded Mountain Bike Shorts

Padded shorts will help ensure you have a comfortable ride, especially if you’re mountain biking. You might also opt for padded underwear.

Padded Mountain Bike Shorts

Cycling Outfit

If you want to ride long distances at top speeds, cycling clothing is a must. It will be wind-resistant, breathable, and fast-drying. Biking apparel will come with handy pockets for must-carry items like keys and cell phones.

ZEROBIKE Women’s Cycling Outfit

Cycling Pants

If you want to ride long distances at top speeds, cycling clothing is a must. It will cut down on wind resistance, be comfortable, breathable, and dry quickly.

Santic Men’s Cycling Bike Pants

Cycling Socks

Cycling socks are breathable, wick moisture away from the skin, and help with blister control.

VWU Mens Womens Sports Socks

Biking Clubs

Cycling Clubs Near Me

If you’re new to cycling, joining a club is probably the fastest way to learn about it. You will make new friends and have plenty of people to show you the ropes of cycling.

Find out about cycling clubs near you at your local bike shop. They can help you find a club to match your interests.

In the Raleigh area, Slow Spokes is a great biking club for beginners, and Tour De Femme is an all-female bicycling club that raises money to fight cancer.

Cycling Rules Of The Road

Cycling Rules Of The Road

Some cycling rules vary state by state. Here are general rules that will help keep you safe.

  • Obey traffic signals and signs
  • Use hand signals
  • Be aware that a few cities don’t allow bikes on the sidewalk
  • Yield to vehicles or pedestrians already on the road
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic
  • Yield before moving to the left side of your lane of travel
  • Wear a helmet (some states legally require a helmet for minors)
  • Wear visible clothing
  • Keep a safe distance between you and other riders or vehicles
  • Don’t pass other cyclists on the right
stay in the loop


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