Biking Block Island Safely!

I love sitting on our front porch, especially in the morning.  The island wakes up with magnificent colors over the water.  I sit and count my blessings every day.  The front porch is also a great people watching perch.  It provides lots of fun for us and our friends. I see so many people riding bikes – I applaud them and often cheer them on!!  I think it’s fantastic they are seeing this beautiful island on a bike instead of whizzing by on a moped.

So how could bike riding on Block Island ever be a problem?  I live on a long, gradual hill that I have often questioned my own sanity when riding.  I watch people struggle as they climb the hill on their bikes, and it has nothing to do with their fitness ability!  I watch bike riders often give up frustrated, sore, and exhausted, walking their bikes. There’s such an easy fix!

Seat height, people … seat height!!!   Bikes are not a one-size-fits-all kinda thing.  For example, my son is 6’2” and I am 5’8”; we will not effectively ride with the same bike saddle set-up.  The most common problem that I observe is the seat is too low.  Whether your seat is too high or too low, you are losing power in your pedal stroke and are working too hard and ineffectively.  In addition, with an improper seat height, you are putting your knees, back and hips at risk for injury.  Think about it … did you ever feel knee pain after riding a bike?  I can almost guarantee that seat height had something to do with it.

Adjusting your bike’s proper seat height is not a challenging thing to do. When you sit on the saddle and fully extend one leg, there should be just a slight bend in your knee.  When you fully extend one leg, your knee should not lock, however.  Contrary to popular belief, you should not be able to rest both feet on the ground when you are sitting in the saddle.  It is equally important not to ensure your seat height is not too high.  If you have to rock side to side when pedaling, you are sitting too high.

Come to Block Island and rent a bike – enjoy the views and cardiovascular benefits at the same time!  Please be sure to ride safely and obey the rules of the road, including not riding in the middle of the road.  Adjust the seat height and take in the beauty of Block Island!  And if it’s raining, join us at Island Fitness – we have a lot of fun and you will still get a great workout in on Block Island!


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