Action Sports – Bicycle Fitness

Posted by  //  June 23, 2014  //  Local Business

Riding a bicycle is a great way to work on fitness. Cyclists know it is very good for the cardiovascular system, strengthening heart and lungs and that it is low impact, meaning it is easy on the joints. There are cyclists who ride predominantly on the roads, cyclists who venture off road through the woods on single-track trails and cyclists who commute around town, not wanting to drive a vehicle much or, in some cases, the bicycle is the vehicle. With increased bicycle riding, fitness increases because the cyclist has to pedal and work at it to propel forward.

We are a Specialized Bicycles dealer. We offer different kinds of bicycles at our shop for different needs and places where the cyclist would like to ride. Our bicycles have frames that are sized, unlike many department store bikes where most of the time, it is a one size fits all offering. And women-specific bikes are a great option for many women under 5’5″ because the top tube is shorter than the men’s frames, allowing a more comfortable reach to the handlebars. And comfort means a longer bicycle ride and generally less discomforts.

But discomforts are sometimes a part of cycling. Cyclists can have us work with them and see if we can make the bicycle more comfortable. Sometimes switching the stem over or changing the saddle position can make a big difference in comfort. Little tweaks and changes can equal big differences. Even then, discomforts might continue. But many cyclists know that sometimes it is also a change in their riding style and how they hold their bodies on the bicycle while riding that can also affect comfort or the lack thereof. Listening to your own body is good advice.  If a pain is developing in your neck, for example, and you have changed the bicycle, try changing how you arch your back. Some believe cyclists should keep their backs straight while others might say they arch their back.

Fitness involves a breakdown of muscle and then a recovery. With the recovery comes increased strength and fitness. When the cyclist goes out again for a ride, she might be a bit stronger.  Good cyclists and athletes allow their body to recover. Nutrition is very important and maintaining a healthy diet is beneficial to increased fitness. We stock gu’s, chews, gels, waffles, cytomax and protein bars in small packages making it easy to stay fueled on a bicycle ride and water bottle cages and bottles to stay hydrated. Cyclists have packed frozen waffles or bananas or raisins and chocolate for quick energy. Chocolate milk is a good recovery drink. Greek yogurt, which is high in protein, is great for recovery.

Specialized Bicycles are well made because they are well designed for comfort and for riding fast (or slow, if you’d like!). They are made of quality materials that are strong and lightweight and the components are of good quality. The bicycle line extends across a wide range of cost, offering better and more lightweight bicycles at the higher end.  But even the entry level bicycles have a lot to offer for the money and, with proper care, can last for many enjoyable seasons.  Weight is an important element of cycling. It is easier and faster to pedal a lightweight bicycle up a hill than a heavy clunky bicycle.

The Fat Boy made its appearance this past year and drew a lot of attention. This is a bicycle to ride year round, even on snow. It has 4.6 inch wide tires, which is ridiculous! We mean that in a good way. The cyclist who rides this is hard core…they want to ride a bicycle all the time and things like snow are not going to stop them. It will be interesting to see where this bike goes and for how long.

A favorite road bike among the men is the Roubaix, which has a full carbon frame. It is a great riding bicycle for miles and miles of spinning comfortably across our central New York roadways.  The Dolce has been popular for women and it is offered in a compact, sport or elite, which has zertz inserts in the carbon fork and seatstays which helps dampen vibrations and jarring motions.  Padded cycling gloves and barwrap help with lessening the jarring effects of riding.  Remembering to have soft hands and shoulders when riding is helpful in maintaining comfort and effective breathing when riding. Mountain bikes come with mechanical disc brakes in the base models to hydraulic disc brakes in the bikes with the higher price tag.  But if this is your passion, you will want the power and precision. 29 inch wheels are very popular, rolling over everything in its path. They are the same size as 700c wheels.  Road tires can be put on 29rs.  The typical 26 inch wheel mountain bike is also offered in different frame sizes.

We stock the usual things you would expect to find in a bike shop: floor pumps, frame pumps, tubes, and more tubes!, tires, wheels, tools, lube, saddles, cycling shoes, pedals, cleats, socks, cycling-specific clothing, helmets, water bottles, racks, panniers, seat bags, handlebar bags, trunk bags, car racks, repair stands, baby seats, mirrors, headlights, taillights, bells and the list goes on.  We can order many things out of our catalogs. We have literature about local state land places for off-road cycling, local maps and information. We see many cyclists. Some have just passed through and others we have come to know over the years.
What do we do in the winter? Well, it can be a long time til the next season of good cycling weather! We sell Alpina cross-country skis and Northern Lites snowshoes. Many of the same mountain bike trails afford themselves as great cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails as well. Fitness can be lost and many of us know all too soon. Stay active, if you can, through the winter months. We stock bicycle trainers. Many cyclists put their bicycle that fits them on a trainer and spin. The trainer has resistance on it and the gears on the bicycle can be used.  It keeps the legs going and offers a way to train and keep at it. Runners often cross-train with snowshoes. Most people know the fitness benefits of cross-country skiing. It is challenging but can be rewarding, especially when those extra winter pounds are coming off. Find a friend or two to bike, ski or shoe with you and you will increase more than just fitness…you will gain friendship too.

We service bikes and skis. Our repair shop is manned by Matt, who is my husband. Yes, we’re a small mom and pop shop with no employees. I am Lisa and we’ve been running this business for 14 years. Our son works with us but technically is not an employee. One of us picks him up at school and brings him to the shop to help wait on customers and work on bikes.  He will spend most of his summer working at the shop like he did last summer. Our daughter used to do this as well but has moved on to different employment. She works on cars now and she knows a great deal about them. I answer the phone a lot, balance the books and talk with customers, helping explain the differences between bicycles, skis and snowshoes. I also write articles like this, keep up with Facebook and other behind the scenes tasks. Matt is the one with the expertise. I went to school for music. But, after 14 years and participating in all three sports (cycling, skiing and snowshoeing), I have gained some knowledge and ability. Of course, our success in this business is built on prayer. God is the reason we are here.

We wish you gains in your goal of fitness. Remember to not ride your bicycle on the sidewalk.  We are located at 85 Main Street, across from the Cortland Post Office and beside Carbon Copies. We’re opened Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 10-5:30, Saturday 10-3. We are closed Sundays and Tuesdays. Gift certificates are available.

Leave a Comment

comm comm comm