Traverse City Biker Susan Vigland’s 11 Tips for Getting on a Road Bike

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.

This article first appeared in the August, 2010 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Buy the August issue now or subscribe and get the best of life in Up North delivered to your door each month.
Read about Michigan road-bike racing and the joy of Michigan biking in "Susan Vigland, Michigan’s Number One Road-Bike Racer."