The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Life!

April 23, 2014

Re-Cycle: Get back in the saddle for an outdoor spin

NOTE: This is the first in a spring/summer series about bicycling in West Virginia. This installment addresses choosing equipment. The May installment will concentrate on bicycle laws and safety.

Beautiful, sunny days have been visiting the Mountain State with more frequency the past few weeks and with this we think of getting outside and pursuing various activities. If you’re like me, you’ve been thinking of how nice it would be to jump on a bicycle and feel the sun on your cheeks and the wind in your face, racing with child-like abandon.

However, with a few exceptions, I haven’t been on a bicycle since those care-free days of youth.

As an adult, there are more things to consider than which bike looks the coolest or sports the best tassels on the handlebars. We have to think about where we can safely ride, what size bicycle will be the right fit and whether it will be comfortable enough to merit the investment.

The “riding toys” we had when we were young were for amusement and seasonal activity but, with the green movement, more and more folks are thinking of a bicycle as a tool, even a vehicle for transportation. For those who live close enough to work and don’t mind bringing a change of clothes, it can be a viable option. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First  we have to get a bike.

- - -

Adam Stephens, owner of Marathon Bicycle Co. in Fayetteville, helped me sift through the various styles of bicycles and described how each one is built for a specific purpose.

“Basically we would look at the mileage that you would want to do, the terrain of what you are riding and get you on the most comfortable bike. Being comfortable gives you the ability to go longer. If you are on an uncomfortable bike then you aren’t going to want to ride as much. The different geometries of the bikes are what make them different. The mountain bike versus the hybrid or adventure bike, etc.”

“A lot of people don’t realize that you have cross-country, downhill, over-mountain and light-duty single-track all within the mountain bike category. Within the scope of hybrids you are going to have the ones that lean more toward the road and those that lean more toward the rail-trail type setting. We want to find out what you are riding more and get you more toward that spectrum,” Stephens said.

“If you want a hybrid and you are just going to be riding around in the city and you are just looking to get a good workout but you don’t want to get a road bike because of the thinner tires and the uncomfortable position, we would get you on a fitness bike. If you are going to do just straight rail-trail and you want to be really comfortable and confident on the gravel terrain then we would have you look at the adventure bike. It’s going to have a smaller, wider tire with more traction. If you are going to be riding roads or paved bike paths, then you are going to want a thinner tire. So, again, that thicker tire is going to be better on the gravel because it is going to hook-up and give you more confidence but, when you are on the pavement, it’s going to be slower due to the rolling resistance of the bigger tire. For a commuter I would recommend something with a 700c wheel, which is going to be a larger diameter wheel with a thinner tire.”

Text Only
Life!
  • 072314 Life CrossFit 4.jpg Crossfit Nation: Working out the WOD way

    Just as fashion trends come and go, so do fitness fads, and Cyndie Chinn had tried them all.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • downsize 1 Living large in smaller spaces

    How is it possible that as your nest gets emptier, your garage gets fuller? Living off the grid sounds tantalizing — the extreme version of paring down. But are you ready for solar panels and growing your own groceries or would a smaller home do the trick?

    July 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Relishing the faith of little children

    July 19, 2014

  • Guns 1 ‘Guns’ for Life

    With the latest World Health Organization figures showing global life expectancy increasing from 64 years in 1990 to 70 years in 2011, staying healthy enough to add quality to the quantity of life is an important consideration.

    July 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • coconut 4 Crack open the power of the coconut

    Now let’s get this straight …
      We know about Parrotheads. And Cheeseheads. But when did Coconut Heads become cool?
    Move over, argan — you are so last season. Another exotic oil is taking lead role in everything from shampoo to weight-loss supplements. That cast-iron skillet seasoning, stretch-mark banishing essence of the hour is — coconut oil.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Free summer serenade concert to be held

    Aurora Celtic, sponsored by Ivy & Stone, presents the free Summer Serenade concert Saturday at 6 p.m. on the Brown House lawn in Summersville.

    July 13, 2014

  • WVU Extension: Healthy summer eating tips for all occasions

    Summer and early fall are the times of year for family reunions, potluck picnics, pool parties and various other celebrations where we like to share food.

    July 13, 2014

  • new BAF fund Endowment still helping students attend college

    The “Beckley College, College of West Virginia, Mountain State University and University of Charleston-Beckley Alumni Association Fund” has the distinction of having the longest name of any of the 400 permanent endowments managed by the Beckley Area Foundation.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • My faith is an anchor to hold on to

    July 12, 2014

  • 062514 Life Piloxing 3.jpg Wellness Wednesdays: One-Two, Punch!

    In a fast-paced blend of pilates, boxing and dance, a popular group exercise class at the YMCA called Piloxing is a sure way to increase cardio and build long, lean muscles.

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos