The Versatility of Biking

Greg GackHealth & Fitness

As we transition from winter to spring each year, I love seeing people starting to get outside and be active. One of the things that I see most is bikers. I see men, women, and kids of every age and ethnicity biking around our great communities.Biking is so awesome because you can make it whatever you want it to be. When you need a grueling exercise for the day, biking can accomplish that. When you need a fun, family activity for the evening, biking is a go-to. When you are looking to make new friends or build community with fellow enthusiasts, biking can be that too.

Benefits of biking:

  •  It’s a clean, family-friendly activity, perfect for every age.
  •  It builds cardiovascular stamina, allowing you to take your exercise further.
  •  It promotes weight loss by burning calories.
  •  It builds muscle.
  •  It’s enjoyable by everyone of every age, gender, and ethnicity.
  •  It builds community. You’ll meet new people, see new faces, and explore new places.
  •  It’s low impact and easier on joints than other exercises.
  •  There are various intensity levels, meaning you can go at your own pace and level.
  •  It’s customizable depending on what you want out of your ride.

Types of biking

Indoor cycling
Indoor cycling refers to stationary bikes or spin cycles that you see in gyms or sometimes in homes. At the Y, we have a few different cycling classes that offer different levels of intensity.

  • Intro to Cycle – Learn how to get set up on your bike, go through body positioning, cadence, resistance and what to expect when you go into your next class. Feel confident and have fun as you increase your fitness level.
  • Group Cycle – Come join in on this challenging, fun, and one of the best ways to improve cardiovascular fitness while burning calories. Group cycle is minimal impact and can accommodate all ability levels.
  • H.I.I.T. Cycle– High Intensity Interval Training. A cycle class that takes you through a challenging workout that burns fat and boosts endurance. This unsustainable, intense burst of energy output revs up the metabolism to burn fat and calories.Cycle/Stretch – This class combines the cardio fitness challenge on the bike of
  • Group Cycle and then moves into some deeper stretches to help increase flexibility and get a deeper release through the entire body.

Road biking
This is typically what you see on our Minnesota sidewalks and trails in the spring, summer, and fall. Road bikes have thinner wheels and are make for riding on sidewalks or paved trails.We are so lucky to have so many trails in Central Minnesota, where you can bike for 5 miles or 50 miles.

Mountain biking
Mountain biking doesn’t happen only in the mountains – it more typically means “off-road” biking. Mountain bikes typically have wider wheels with bigger grips, to accommodate the rough terrain.

Local biking groups
YMCA Female Cycling Club – Thursday nights at 6 p.m., meeting at different trail heads. I lead this group, and we’d love to have you join us for one Thursday night or all summer long!

Scheels Biking Club – Wednesday nights at 5:30 pm at Crossroads Center. Fitzharris Ski & Sport – Thursday nights at 5:30 pm at Fitzharris store.

Isn’t biking so versatile? Whether you’re a kid or adult, biking on a trail or in a studio, as a family or independently, getting an intense workout or taking a leisurely ride, biking is the perfect exercise.