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TRI-COUNTY AREA   ADVERTISEMENT

Enjoy a bike ride, close to home

TRI-COUNTY AREA—One popular way to experience the Finger Lakes’ natural beauty is to take up bicycling.
There are many trails throughout the area and biking events weave around the lakes during summer months.  However, before getting into recreational cycling, there are some things a beginning rider should know.
One source of information can come from a cycling group, like the Finger Lakes Cycling Club or the Southern Tier Bicycle Club.  Glenn Swan is a member of the Finger Lakes club, long time cyclist, and bicycle shop owner.
He said new cyclists should start simple.  That can mean the bike, gear, and trail.  Swan explained that people should start as simple as possible.  He said the main things you need are the bike, proper shoes, proper shorts, and of course a helmet.
Swan said that when it comes to the bike, most people use a traditional mountain bike.  He explained those are reliable on roads, though not “exactly fast or exciting.”  Swan said a more demanding cyclist will need a higher performance bike, which means more of an investment than someone looking to do “sunny Sunday trips.”
He also encouraged people not to be intimidated by adjustable handlebars.  Swan said that while low handlebars are used in bicycle racing, adjustable handlebars allow the rider to have many different riding positions.  He explained that the bicycle manufacturing industry is competitive and “you get what you pay for.”
Swan encouraged riders to invest in proper riding shoes.  He explained in peddling, the foot forms around the peddle and puts strain on tendons and ligaments.  He said shoes with rigid soles cut down on that.
When it came to riding shorts, Swan said seamless, with a padded bottom is best.  He explained seams in the fabric where you will be sitting on the seat will dig into you uncomfortably.
Other than the proper gear and bike, Swan said riders should only bring what else they think they’ll need on a ride.
“You may wish to have supplies to get you out of a common situation,” said Swan.
This can include a patch kit, tube, and pump to repair a flat tire.  He added most people of course carry cell phones.  He said people should take whatever they think they will need.  Swan explained he doesn’t really plan for a flat tire, because he can still ride home with one without damaging the bike.
If trying out a new trail or route, Swan suggested looking at maps and getting local knowledge of the area.  He added rides can be more enjoyable by avoiding main roads.
“The most experienced of us can get from point A to point B without main roads,” said Swan.  He explained not only is it safer, but it’s usually more scenic.
Some of the area trails include the Catharine Valley Trail, Keuka Outlet Trail, and the Hammondsport Circle Tour.  Maps for these, and other popular trails, can be found at http://www.fingerlakes.org/things-to-do/outdoor-fun/hike-and-bike.
“Cycling is supposed to be fun, you’re supposed to be smiling,” added Swan. 
 





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