Keeping The Range Of Motion
By Thomas Morrone CFP®, CPA
The last couple of years I have taken up bike riding. I got the bike riding bug resulting from doing physical therapy for my knee replacement surgery two and a half years ago. I was using a stationary bike and listening to music as I did my 20-minute therapy work out to help with my range of motion. I was ready for the next step and decided to take to the streets. Paul let me borrow his mountain bike, so it was a matter of getting on and riding and did not have to go and make a purchase of anything. He even had a helmet that I was able to use. It worked out great in that I could see if I enjoyed biking enough to purchase my own bike that was sized for me and the style of biking that I preferred. I was immediately hooked and would ride as often as my schedule and weather would allow.
In addition to the exercise element for my knee, there is also the overall wellness for the entire body from biking. Many riders listen to music when they ride. Though I did that when I used the stationery bike, when I am on the streets, I want to be more alert and enjoy the thinking time. Also, I want to hear any vehicles that may be approaching from various directions and voices of other bikers and pedestrians as I am rolling along. Of course, there are Ap’s that can be downloaded to your phone to monitor your bike riding trips. A friend of mine recommended an Ap that she uses. So of course, I have it on my phone now as well and it gives me the ability to chart my rides with statistics such as distance, route, speed, elevation, time and calories burned. Even when in Florida on our winter escapes, I ride and use the Ap.
Initially when I started riding on the streets, I thought it might be a phase. I am glad to say that after two years I am ready for the next step. I have been riding a mountain bike which is a heavy steel frame for durability and with suspension that also adds to the weight. The tires are wider and knobbier and are filled to a lower air pressure to absorb the bumps from the uneven terrain. All great attributes for riding on trails and gravel but not the best for paved road ways. That next step is purchasing a road bike that has a lighter aluminum frame and no need for suspension. The tires are much narrower, smoother and filled to a higher air pressure. These features will allow the bike to glide much smoother and faster on the road than the mountain bike. A friend of mine from Boston (he is also named Tom) is an avid street biker and has helped guide me through this logic and pointed me in the right direction as to name brands and what to look for and the questions to ask when shopping. The correct type of bike should allow me to bike faster, smoother, rider greater distances and hopefully in better comfort.
I have been educating myself on the various brands and features and of course the pricing. It is amazing how much you can spend on a bicycle. I am not going to break the bank with a purchase but will probably spend more than I thought. If it makes me feel better, helps my knee and is good for the mind, it is all money well spent. I will give an update once I make the actual purchase and do my maiden voyage on my new ride.
If there are any bikers out there, happy and safe pedaling.
Until the next Tom’s Take…