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Posts Tagged ‘Biking’

Nothing makes me happier than trading in the elliptical and stationary bike for my real bicycle. However, every year p1010240I need a refresher on how to best take advantage of my workouts in the great outdoors. Cycling is a great way to stay in shape because it is low-impact, high-fun, and requires a high level of physical fitness. On an average bike ride, I can easily burn 600 calories, depending on the number of hills and intervals in my bike ride. Contrary to popular belief, I find that cycling tones my legs rather than bulks them up, which I love. In order to refresh my mind on the rules of the road and the best way to gear up for a new bike season, I asked my friend, Scott, a cyclist on the MetLife pro-am team, to help me out.

CLOTHING: As a recreational cyclist, don’t feel like you have to go out and buy the fanciest gear. As long as you follow a few simple, common sense rules, you should be fine. For bottoms, choose something that fits snugly to your ankles or shorts. Spandex works well. I have a pair of padded shorts that I like to wear because I find them much more comfortable on a bumpy, long ride. On top, regular tee-shirts or long-sleeve shirts are fine, as long they’re breathable. Tank tops are less preferable because they provide less protection in case of a crash!

GEAR: This is always my question: what do I bring with me? I find that I always need a zillion things before going out on a ride, but I don’t want to weigh myself down. Stick with the essentials. You will definitely need a water bottle, and depending on the length of the ride, a light snack. I have a bike with clip-in pedals, so I wear cycling-specific shoes in order to get the most out of each rotation. Always bring your cell phone, a multitool, and maybe a portable bike pump in case of emergencies. If you’re cycling at night, wear reflective clothing and you might want to invest in front and rear blinking lights (red in the rear, white in the front).

ROAD SAFETY: Read this part carefully in order to avoid angry gestures – or worse! Cyclists should basically follow the same rules as drivers. You bike with traffic and must obey traffic signs and signals. Be sure to assert your space, especially around cabs, because you have just as much a right to be on the road as they do. Act confidently, even if you’re feeling nervous, and make eye contact with other riders and drivers to make sure they’re aware of you. Be aware that the bike lane isn’t always reserved to bicycles (although it should be). Also important: don’t ride too close to parked cars, lest you get “doored” (which is just as painful as it sounds). For more information, check out the Bicycle Habitat website.

HAND SIGNALS: Important for riding in traffic. Remember to always use your left arm.

                                   LEFT                 RIGHT                 STOP

bikesignals2

MY MOST IMPORTANT TIP: Remember how far you’ve ridden away from your starting point; you’re going to have to bike back!

For more information on biking in New York City, check out the New York Cycling Club and Bike New York!

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As a student in NYC, it’s important that every once in a while we step back,  relax and enjoy what the city has to offer. Sure, it’s hard to do during midterms, or during the lull after midterms, or during the craziness right before finals, but as spring starts approaching and the weather starts warming, it’s a good idea to take a bit of a break and enjoy NYC from the outdoors. Sure, there are nice museums and buildings and lots of things to look at during the winter, but the warm Spring weather opens up a whole new door of opportunities. In addition to the double-decker bus tours and the Circle Line around Manhattan, there are some outdoor activities that combine seeing NYC and exercise!

So as not to bore our avid readers, I won’t go into all the opportunities to bike ride around NYC, but I will briefly mention two things definitely worth looking into: 1 – the Five Boro Bike Tour coming up in May (see my previously posted Daily Apple for more information) and 2 – A bike tour around Central Park, which is a great way to learn the ins and outs of central park, if you’re up for the challenge of a couple of hills along the way! I will, however, inform you of something new I have just learned about – the Manhattan Kayak Company. Sounds cool, right?

The Manhattan Kayak Company offers a whole range of classes of instruction, but their most popular activity is their “short tours.” Short tours are one hour, 1.5 hours, or 2 hours long, and they run both in the middle of the day and in the evening. You can choose your tour by theme: they offer Sunset, Full Moon, Paddle and Pub, Cardio Fit, and Skill Fit tours. There are also a variety of other types of tours offered for intermediate and advanced Kayakers. You can go in a typical kayak, and you can learn how to paddle standing up! The MKC is located on Pier 66, which is three blocks north of Chelsea Piers (26th St and 12th). Visit http://www.manhattankayak.com for more information.

Don’t forget though, that this is just one of the amazing opportunities for outdoor exercise in NYC. When you have that Sunday where you’re just not in the mood to do school work, and the nice weather is calling your name, spend a couple of minutes google-ing outdoor activities in NYC, and your bound to find something interesting!

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About one year ago in Fitbear News, I wrote an article informing the Barnard student body about the Five Boro Bike Tour, which is fast approaching once again! Mark your calendars – Sunday, May 3rd, rain or shine, the TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour will begin at 8 AM. The Bike Tour begins just north of Battery Park, and cylists then move up through midtown, Central Park, and Harlem. Borough #2 on the tour is the Bronx, and then cyclists come back into Manhattan, go down the FDR, and cross the 59th Street Bridge into borough #3, Queens. The tour then moves on to borough #4, Brooklyn, and then finally, last but not least, to borough #5, Staten Island. There, cyclists take a break at a Festival, and then ride the last three miles to the Staten Island Ferry which brings them back into Manhattan. Don’t miss out on this awesome 42 mile ride! Click here for registration information.

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Make sure to come to LeFrak Gymnasium today between 11 AM and 11 PM for Barnard’s 6th Annual Stationary Bike-A-Thon. Come get in your workout and support Columbia Community Service!

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Last Year's Bike-A-Thon Logo

Keep your heads up and your heels down for the upcoming stationary Bike-A-Thon! Mark your calendars now – the 6th Annual Stationary Bike-A-Thon and Community Fitness Fair will be next Thursday, March 5th. The show goes on rain or shine because the Bike-A-Thon takes place indoors! From 11 AM – 11 PM, you are invited to come to LeFrak Gymnasium (on the first floor of Barnard Hall) to ride with fellow students, faculty, and friends to raise money that will go directly to Columbia Community Service, Inc.

The party will be going all day, with pumpin’ music and awesome movies (last year they showed the entire first season of Grey’s Anatomy, and this year I’ve heard rumors that Zoolander is coming back)! So bring your stamina, your friends, and your friends’ money and help those in need while having an awesome time. Plus, if you raise at least $15 you get a super cool t-shirt!

Hope to see you ALL there!

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The rumor on the street on Saturday was that a nice day was coming, but it certainly did not prepare me for the beautiful weather I encountered when I walked outside on Sunday. My immediate thoughts – what can I do outside today to take advantage of this warm day? Yesterday, my answer was tennis. It was a bit ironic, though, that while playing outdoors, with no winter coat in sight, I managed to slip on ice left over from last week’s winter weather.

Today, we have the same option. It is once again uncharacteristically warm outdoors, and so we should take advantage! In an earlier Barbelle publication (back when it was Fitbear News), I wrote an article about places to ride your bike  in the city. So inspired was I by my own article that I brought my bike back to school with me, and I have since gone riding many a time. Today is a great day for a bike ride, a run outdoors, or even a stroll in the park. Make sure to walk where it’s sunny (much much warmer)!

When the nice weather is here, take advantage, and get moving outside!

~Esther

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