There’s an old saying that claims you never forget how to ride a bike. But if you haven’t been on two wheels in years or even decades, you may question the truthfulness of the statement. Even if you’re a bit wobbly at first, the good news is that it shouldn’t take long to get back up to speed and feel totally comfortable on your bicycle. Whether you’re looking for ways to get more exercise or you want to pick up a new hobby, here’s a beginner’s guide to getting back on your bike after age 60.
It’s important to reacquaint yourself with your bicycle before you take off. Start out slowly and give yourself time to feel comfortable on flat, straight roads before you tackle curvy roads, hills or even mountains. Starting slow will reduce your chances of getting injured, which is the last thing you want to do when you’re on a bike traveling at high speeds. Short initial rides will also give your rear end a chance to adjust to your seat. This step is necessary even if you’re riding a cushy comfort bike.
Protect Your Knees
As a person over 60, you’ve probably noticed your joints don’t feel quite as healthy and flexible as they did in your 20s. That’s because joint movement generally becomes stiffer as you age and your moving parts lose some of their lubrication. Since your knees are so important for daily motion and mobility, keep them safe while riding by maintaining good form. In particular, you should try to keep your knee joints steady throughout the entire pedal stroke motion. Avoid tilting them inward or outward as you pedal or you could create excess inflammation or possibly damage your cartilage.
Check Your Bike’s Fit
If your bicycle is too large or small for you, or if the seat is too high or too low, you could experience a variety of aches and pains when you ride. Fortunately, these are pretty easy to mitigate by having a professional check your bike fit. Getting professionally fitted is a great way to make sure you feel as comfortable as possible on your bike.
Try an Electric Bike
It can be hard to find the right bike when you’re no longer familiar with what’s out there. Many argue that an electric bike is the best bike for seniors. Here’s why more adults ages 60 and over are ditching their standard petal bikes for electric versions:
- They make for an easier commute
- They give you the ability to exercise without overtaxing your body
- They make it fun and easy to improve your fitness level
- People with health issues can still ride
Electric bikes can also boost your mood by helping you get outdoors more often and stimulate your body’s own production of vitamin D. If you’re a senior who struggles to find physical activities that aren’t too challenging for you to participate in, you should give an electric bicycle a try.
Start Biking Today
There’s no better time than now to improve your fitness level and your overall quality of life through biking. Fortunately, riding a bicycle is an activity that you never outgrow, so even if it’s been a while, don’t be afraid to give it a try. By following these tips, you’ll help ensure your experience is a pleasant one.