Any bike riders?


I am looking into another form of exercise other than walking (outside or treadmill) and my doctor suggested bike riding:thumbsup:. I thought it was an excellent idea, but she said that if I wanted to also lose some weight it needed to be more than just cruising along in order for it it work.

I got to thinking after that, what kind of bike would I need to get and where would I ride it for cardiovascular benefit. Also, how could I bring my little monkey:p along with me safely. When walking he’s in a stroller, when riding where would he be? I know that I would not go out riding without him, so this part of the whole biking thing is very crucial!!!

I would love any help with this situation, comments, ideas, suggestions, etc.


That sounds like so much fun! Unfortunately I have no advice for you, but when I read the title of the thread, I thought you were talking about motorcycles :eek: I was trying to picture you and your little guy in biker outfits!


:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: I’m trying to picture that now too!:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:


Bike riding is my main form of exercise (at least it was, but now it’s broken and I have to fix it!) What kind of neighborhood do you live in…what kind of terrain would you be riding on?

One observation is that people buy expensive bikes because they’re lighter and easier to pedal…so, if exercise is what you’re looking for, buying an expensive bike could be counterproductive. However, the cheap bikes that are made in China break rather easily, so they might not be cheaper in the long run.

Also, don’t forget to WEAR A HELMET. Buy a new helmet that fits your head well.


My parents always had the little ones in something like a car seat that fits behind your seat on the bicycle.

Obviously they’re not any safer than you are should some idiot try to run you over with a car. I’ve never tried to ride a bicycle with a child, but I imagine it would be very easy for a squirmy toddler to throw you off balance. I wanted to give my little 2yo brother a spin when I was 15, and that was why they told me no way.

Is swimming an option? Trying to be mobile in the water burns a lot of calories even if you are not swimming laps. It’s such an important skill to have anyway, it makes sense to take your son and get him comfortable in the water.


What you might want to try is checking out a spin class at a gym in your area. It’s my favorite form of exercise, one totally intense hour. My theory is if you are going to invest an hour in exercise, it would be nice to get as much out of that hour as you can. You might feel like you are going to drop dead after the first couple of sessions, but if you keep it up after that you’ll be hooked. It really gets your heart rate up there which is great for protecting you from depression and it gets the lower half of your body in great shape. I know an class that is spent on an exercise bike doesn’t sound like it would be all that interesting, but usually it is a great blend of music, and a nice variety of fast low tension petaling and intense crank up the tension and ride up a hill. The instructors are great at keeping it interesting and giving you things to visualize as you pedal.


How is that on your low back? I have a ruptured disk somewhere between L3 and L5:crying: :ouch: , so I have to be a bit careful in what kind of exercise I do and how intense it is…especially at first.


It can be hard on your lower back, especially if you don’t get the posture just right. You might want to try a recumbant excercise bike that has prgrams that simulate riding up and down hills, etc.


Where to ride? Well, there are lots of bike routes in the Chicago area, from the lakefront bike path (which gets very crowded between Fullerton Ave. and the Shedd Aquarium), as well as the Prairie Path in the western suburbs (but it is a stone path once you get into DuPage county, which means get a mountain bike or hybrid) and the North Branch trail that starts at Devon/Caldwell and goes through the northern suburban forest preserves. Additionally, many streets have bike lanes. I personally try to bike to work once a week during good weather .

Another option is to purchase a bike trainer, which is a device that hooks up to the back wheel of the bike and keeps the bike stationary so you can exercise indoors. You probably can get a basic one for a bit under $100 at Sports Authority, I think. Plus you don’t have to leave the litthe one at home since you already will be there.


Get a Burley trailer or something similar. Not only can you carry kids, but a bag of groceries, too! Or multiple kids!

Or, you can put the kid in there with toys, a drink, etc. Make sure the babe wears a helmet!

Check this out…


Well, I bought my Raliegh at Get a Grip Cycle on Irving in the City (I’m from the burbs, but know the owner from a previous purchase) and they are REALLY helpful there (even have a professional fitter for bikes. You’ll probably feel more comfortable with a lesiure bike (not mountain, not street, but inbetween) with a step over option (the bar isn’t high where you have to almost angle the bike to get on, you litterally can hold the bike straight and step over. Also, I agree you should go for the more expensive brand that you can find at a professional bike store (not at Target) because of the quality (not to mention, the smoother ride). Also, I have the Topeka bike seat for my dd (holds up to 40 pounds) which the bike shop sold to me and installed (I wasn’t comfortable with installing that myself). My dd loves going on bike rides with me but I worry about what I’ll do next year when she’ll probably be over the weight limit. YOu can also buy a trailer to attach to the back of your bike and your little guy can sit in it, but it is close to the ground (which is the reason I didn’t buy one - we ride on the Prairie Path and Great Western Trail and b/c of her asthma I didn’t want the dust to constantly be flying in her face plus I want to talk to her and be able to point things out to her along the way). Either option is good for your son, especially because he sees how important exercise is. Also, depending on where you live, depends on how intense a ride you’ll have. Since you’re starting out, it may be intense on the easiest levels/speeds, but as you get better, you can challenge yourself with tougher speeds and longer distances (I once rode from Villa Park to Rt. 59 and let me tell you OUCH!!!). Also, make sure you bring food, id, and a cell phone/money for a phone, just incase something happens. Also, I bring a fanny pack first aid kit with me on my rides, but I tend to be a worry wart. And NEVER forget water. Maybe start by riding to the local playgrounds with your son, and then work your way up to the next city’s playgrounds, etc. If you need any more advice or live in the Western burbs and need a riding buddy, pm me.


We go on weekly family bike rides with our 2 boys age 2 and 4. We have a trailer that attaches onto my husband’s bike that carries both boys… like this…

Ours is older and looks very different, but it’s the same basic thing…

Check out your local bike shops… I’m sure you’ll be able to find something!

We LOVE biking as a family! There are long trails near our neighborhood and we ride literally EVERY Saturday for at least 10 miles! Usually the boys take a nice long nap in the trailer!

Have fun!


Lexee, you might want to look into an exercise bike you can put in the basement, spare bedroom, etc. Look at the recumbent style, that is better for your back.


Thank you all so much for the suggestions…of there are anymore keep’em coming!!! I think I’m going to go out this weekend and look around, see what’s out there:thumbsup:! Any suggestion of where to go look in my area would be appreciated…I’m in the western 'burbs, but willing to drive into the city or other 'burbs as long as they’re not too far;) .


Hi Lexee…great thread! I have done spinning for quite a few years now. You can buy a spinning type stationary bike for your home, or you can attach a ‘trainer’ to the back of your road bike, where it props up your back tire, so it keeps ‘spinning.’ If you choose this route, check out I have been using these videos for about 3 years…saw results quickly…and they really will help you, at whatever fitness level you’re at. They work because unlike a ‘cruising’ bike ride, or a ride where you have to stop for red lights, etc…the video (with the trainer attached to your bike) gives you a non stop cardio workout…standing up…simulating uphill climbs and all. There are moments when the resistance is on high, and the coach in the video is asking you to spin at 90 rpm’s…they are tough, but well worth it!

Hope you give it a try?:slight_smile:


besides my faith and family cycling is the third most important thing in my life. I ride about 25-30 miles per day and put on about 5000 miles in a season. I LOVE cycling and have become quite serious about it. I have ridden across midwestern states at least 18 times. Primarily the state of iowa which comes to about 400-500 miles of course not in a straight line and it does take 7 days. It is an awesome form of exercise but can be very dangerous in the chicago area stick to the trails.


I am coming back to a bike after well, a very, very long time.

I picked up a “banana seat” style bike at Goodwill. The tires were in decent shape, the chain so-so (but I fixed that). It has a coaster brake and not hand brakes- good thing for me. The seat fits my posterior and rests the small of my back. It is colorful, and if you are ever out in the Chicago suburbs and see this lady of a certain age on a very bright bike, well…I didn’t steal it. Honest.

I did get the helmet and locks new at Wal-Mart. I bought chains to lock it at the hardware store, very heavy.

I stick to the back roads of the subdivision while I relearn to balance (who says you never forget). As a young adult, it was not unusual for me to ride a few miles every day, in all kinds of traffic. Now, well, I need to be careful.


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