Susan Vigland, Michigan’s number one female road-bike racer and member of the Hagerty Cycling Team in Traverse City, shares 11 tips for getting on a road bike. Fall is a spectacular time for Northern Michigan biking. Get started now!
TRY BEFORE YOU BUY. Borrow a road bike from a friend or rent one from your local bike shop.
FIND A FRIEND. Ask a friend to take you on an easy road ride and show you the ropes or … show you the rules of the road.
WEAR BIKE SHORTS. Look past the spandex. Worship the comfort of padding.
WEAR A HELMET. People used to look funny in a helmet, now they look funny without.
USE CLIPLESS PEDALS. (Despite the name, these are pedals that your shoes clip into.) It gives you a more efficient pedal stroke. If Susan’s 74-year-old mom can clip in and out for stop signs, so can you.
TAKE A WATER BOTTLE. Camelbacks are for mountain bikers.
JOIN A BIKE CLUB. It’s a social sport. Group rides are a blast.
TRY AN ORGANIZED BIKE TOUR. Ride Around Torch, Harvest Tour, Zoo-de-Mac. Fun, friends, food stops—what’s not to like?
SPEND THE MONEY ON A BIKE WITH A PERFECT FIT. Your shoulders, neck and backside will thank you.
SPIN TO WIN. Use lower gears on hills. Don’t push big hard gears, it’s not efficient.
VOLUNTEER FOR A LOCAL CYCLING RACE like the Cherry Roubaix and meet other cyclists from beginner to pro.