The article also led me to believe stationary bikes or indoor bike trainers can go a long way toward overcoming some of those obstacles.
1). Embarrassment Reduction Factor: When Gary Brennan started out his weight loss journey at 559 pounds, he got on his bike and faced a problem much less obvious than merely getting the wheels to turn.
He was embarrassed.
The second day out he was embarrassed again...but still got on the bike. But not everyone looking to lose weight will want to get on a bike and ride down the street in front of all of their neighbors.
That's where riding indoors (at least initially) on a bike trainer shines. With no one around to witness the first few rides, one more excuse to not get started exercising is eliminated.
2). One Mile Down The Road And Then What? What do you do when you're out riding and you can't go any more? In the case of Gary, he got half a mile before he had to get off the bike and sit down to rest for ten minutes on a bench. When riding indoors, there's never an 'inconvenient' time to take a rest when you need to.
3). No Hills: There aren't any hills on an indoor ride (unless you want them to be there). Not being able to control the terrain can be another obstacle between you and starting a bicycling exercise routine. Unless you live in a pancake-flat area, there are going to be uphills that just aren't 'doable' when you first get started. On an exercise bike, the only time you'll have to go uphill is when you decide to crank up the resistance on the machine.
4). No Destructive Shock To The Joints: If there's one indisputable feature about a bicycle, it's that it is 'smooth'. The pounding to the ankles, knees, and hips that is usually a part of exercise formats just isn't there.
5). Speaking Of Weather: Although I love to ride my bike, I have to admit that extremes in weather can get in the way. Whether it's too hot, or too cold...a bike can be a miserable place to be sitting some times of the year. When you're riding inside, the weather isn't a problem which is critical. The last thing you need is to have a tremendous (or tenuous) exercise program interrupted by a season of bad weather.
6). Why Not A Gym? If riding a bike in front of a couple of people is awkward...what are we to think of showing up at a gym? At a gym you'd better be wearing the right clothes. You should also be prepared to get looked at by people who should 'get a job' and not spend so much time on the bar bells. And then there's the time spent traveling to and from the facility.
So those are a few reasons that it makes a lot of sense to incorporate indoor cycling into your weight loss exercise program.
And in case you're wondering if it works...it doesn't take too much in the way of Google searching to find case after case of formerly obese people who now have a body that they can be proud of and who began their journey on the seat of an indoor bike.
About the author: Ron Fritzke is a cycling product reviewer who's spent a lot of time recently investigating indoor bike trainers. When he's not on his bike, he's writing articles like this Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll trainer review for his website.