Keeping fit with Canyon bicycles

Monday, June 17, 2019

How many bicycles have you owned in your lifetime? Growing up in suburban USA, every kid on my street had a bike.  These were usually based down to younger siblings as we quickly outgrew them and finally sold at the neighborhood garage sale.  Once you turned 16 though, you could drive a car so you no longer needed a bike.  (Remember, America was built for driving not riding).  But when I started grad school in a small college town in Michigan, I picked up a bike at the local super store.  My boyfriend and I guesses at the fit but had no idea what we were doing.  The tires were for mountain biking, not road riding so it was very challenging to ride into campus.  In the end I bought a parking pass and hardly ever rode my bike.  When I graduated and left town, I sold it pretty cheap.

Rack of bikes in the sun
The next time I bought a bike, I went to s specialist bike shop and bought a hybrid.  I lived 12 miles from where I worked and had high hopes I would build up my fitness to ride to work.  I never tried it because of the busy motorways involved.  I did, however, ride it around my neighborhood for exercise.  Indoor cycling had been my passion during grad school but there wasn't a gym with cycling studio nearby to join.

My Pathlite
A few weeks ago, Canyon bicycles invited me to try one of their fitness bikes (also known as hybrid in USA and UK) as a way to stay fit.  Founded in Germany, Canyon entered the UK market eight years ago and the US market in 2017.  Up until this point, I forgot that cycling for fitness was even an option to stay fit.  Since moving to the UK, bicycles have only been for commuting or riding 30+ miles on a Sunday morning for "fun." (This is fun and easy for my husband and I can just about do it.  If there wasn't cake involved, I might not be so motivated).  Canyon has two different models for fitness- their Pathlite and Roadlite.  Both are designed with upright handle bars, which I love.  My petite frame and belly bulge make it hard to utilize drop handles.  (I even had additional brakes added to my road bike handle bars a few years back.). I decided to try the Pathlite as I am toying with the idea of cyclo-cross next year.

Smooth ride
The Pathlite has adjustable shocks and cables stored inside the frame for protection.   It also has a robust aluminium frame, 40 mm gravel tyres and 75 mm of suspension all come together to keep you comfortable over any terrain, while a modern geometry and integrated cockpit provide agile handling for fun and reliable riding, perfect for going off the beaten track.  At this event, we were near Richmond Park, so we rode along the path before having a mini-sprint challenge between members of the group.  The bike was so smooth to ride I felt like I was gliding on air.

Canyon are a direct-to-consumer brand and all purchases need to be made online.  The bike is shipped to you nearly assembled.  You just need to attach your handlebars and seat.  There is a 30 day exchange period so if anything is wrong you can get it fixed or make a return.  Only 11% of their sales are from these fitness bikes.  After trying one myself, I can see this number going up.  The bikes are really versatile (and so light!) that they would make a great bike to have in London.

Here are a few ways you could use the bikes for a cardiovascular workout.  Cycling is a great option to get your heart going without having too much impact on your joints.

Good upper body workout?
Remember to spend five minutes riding at an easy pace to warm up before your main set and when you are done, cool down with an easy five minutes ride and stretch when you get off of your bike.  Another important aspect of riding, especially in public places is etiquette.  Be sure to stay to the left of the path if you are in the UK, use your bell when passing someone who is walking or running, and beware of children and dogs who are unpredictable in their direction.

Hill workout
Finding a challenging hill.  Ride up as fast as you can for 1 minute and recover on the way back down.  Make sure your recovery is at least a minute long before trying again nine times.  Can you make it to the original end point each time?  If the hill is too short or your find the repeats too easy, make the gears heavier.

The easiest plan would be to find a park which has a circular route.  Ride one lap with hard effort and then take the next lap to recover.  Repeat five to 10 times.

After taking part in this lovely morning ride with Canyon, I have now decided to sign up for the London Triathlon.  Because of my Achilles tendinopathy, I will only do the Super Sprint distance (400m, 10K ride, 2.5K run).  I won't be riding a Canyon unfortunately, but this brief ride has inspired me to enjoy cycling again (even though I am signing up for a competitive ride).  

When was the last time you took your bike out for a spin?  If you don't own a bike, London has many options to hire bikes for a few hours to ride around the parks.

Thanks to Canyon for inviting me to their event to try out the Pathlite.  All opinions are honest and my own.

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