Among low-cost recreational activities for retired Baby Boomers on a budget, bicycling ranks tops. This is an activity that not only benefits our health but is also fun, some even say spiritual.
Bicycling is easy to embrace and inexpensive. Most Boomers already know how to ride a bicycle. Even if it’s been a while, the skill comes back quickly. And getting on a bike has so many benefits!
What does a Boomer Need to Get Stared?
One of the nice things about embracing bicycling is that it doesn’t cost much to participate. Here are my recommendations:
- Go to Target, Walmart or a discount sports store where a good, assembled bike can be had for under $300. We’re talking about one with 21 gears and hybrid tires for both street and off-road riding.
- Add biking shorts with lots of padding (ouch!). Also add a padded seat cover. Ditto for padded gloves. You will thank me later.
- Always wear a helmet…just do it.
- Make sure your bike has a water bottle holder.
- It’s nice to also install a rack over the rear wheel for caring things like a small pump, hat, windbreaker, snacks, etc.
- Pick up a bike pump too.
- If possible, get a bike with self-sealing inner tubes. These prevent immediate flats and allow you to pedal home or to a bike shop instead of being stuck miles from help.
Even with these add-ons, newbie bikers can become fully equipped for under $350. Probably less if you visit garage sales. Later on, you may want to add a car bike rack for use when on vacation or to transport your bikes to a distant ride.
Bicycling is Healthy!
What a great exercise! Bicyclers exercise their bodies, burn calories and build muscles. And unlike joggers, there is no added burden on one’s knees. You can go slow or fast – everyone sets their own pace.
Bicycling can be a Group Activity
What I love about bicycling is that you can do it alone or with a group. Join a local bike club if you wish to meet new friends. Do it with your grandkids. Find other Boomers to share rides to the park, the beach or wherever. Bicycling is a social sport. And it’s OK to drink (in moderation) and drive!
The World is Full of Bike Paths
Safe bicycling is assured by using bike paths or rural roads. Fighting traffic is a pain and dangerous. Just go online to find local bike paths or recommended rides for your area. In southern California, there are some great paths that go all the way to the beach, take bikers through the back country, or facilitate easy 10-mile rides through parks and around lakes. It’s fun and relaxing.
Bicycling can be a Spiritual Experience for Boomers Too!
There’s nothing like being on a bike in the early morning as the world becomes alive. Our senses embrace the fresh aroma of foliage and the tweets of birds. We feel the sun as it begins its journey across the sky. It is refreshing and peaceful. It is a time for reflection and appreciation. We begin our day at peace and full of energy.
The Bottom Line for Baby Boomers
If you want to make a positive change in your life, get into bicycling. It is healthy exercise, fun, and easy to begin. And it’s cheap!
But be forewarned, bicycling is addictive. It won’t be long before you and a group of friends find yourself biking to a favorite restaurant for lunch and then working off the calories on the way back. In short, bicycling is a highly recommended activity for any Baby Boomer!