Saddle Up Column:

I recently struck up a conversation with someone who goes for a run most mornings. We were talking about how recently, she’s started to increase the distance of her run. What had been five-mile runs for years, have now increased up to 11 miles in just the past few months. We started talking about numbers and how they can be a force to motivate people, especially with regards to distance, which can then be a positive turn for your health.

While she wears a watch that tracks her distance, I have a cycling computer on my bike that tracks my rides and how far I go using GPS. In my early days of cycling, it was a huge motivator to slowly start expanding the distance I would ride, and thereby build my fitness level. I’ve kept with it, and as with all electronics these days they can do so much more.

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Some computers for your bike will allow you to wear a heart rate monitor, and maybe you would like that as a way of tracking how your increase in fitness helps your heart. Some computers can track your ride with a GPS and show you more details on where you rode, but also display it on a map on your phone or computer. And some computers will even upload your ride data to websites so you can dig deeper, or even share what you accomplished with friends or like minded cyclists.

While many people want to try and get away from electronics these days as we’ve come to rely on them too much, in this case, I’m going to suggest that you look into cycling computers or even a fitness watch as a way to motivate you to increase your fitness level, and thereby your overall health. Look them up online, or even at a cycling shop or an outdoors store which can have a variety ranging from $50 or cheaper, right up into the hundreds. 

Still, no matter what kind is right for you, tracking your progress can be fun, and you’ll love the results, trust me.

Geordie is an avid cyclist who writes his column on cycling in Richmond. His Saddle Up column focuses on different aspects of cycling from a beginner’s guide to cycling safety in Richmond.

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