This page contains a list of helpful hints, more or less by topic, gathered from participants in Pedaling for Parkinson’s classes. If you have a hint that works for you, or a question we didn’t answer, please send it to us via our contact form. Note: the links provided to products below are for illustrative purposes. We are not recommending one product over another or one store over another. We do not receive any benefits if you follow the link.
Topic # 1 What’s with this tiny bike seat??????
The number one complaint or issue that affects is all is “Why is that seat so small” “My butt hurts” or “I don’t fit this seat very well”. It is hard enough to get out here to exercise and then they designed these spin bikes to be as uncomfortable as they can be just to add insult to injury!
Helpful hint #1 – ask for a bike seat cushion. These padded seat covers slip on over the seat and add additional padding to the seat (OK they add the only padding to the seat!) Most classrooms have them available or you can purchase your own on Amazon here or here or bike shop websites such as Nashbar or Performance Bicycle. They are also available from some bike shops in town.
Helpful hint #2 – purchase padded bike ‘underwear’. These are well padded underwear to be worn under your exercise clothing. They are not regular bike shorts. They provide excellent padding in all the right places and come in both men’s and women’s versions. You can find them on Amazon.
Helpful hint #3 – Some people get accustomed to the seat without any extras and it’s helpful to sit towards the back of the seat (at least for women). If you start without the seat pads and then switch to riding with the pads, it will more than likely require a change in the height of the seat so it’s important to ask the instructor to check in case a change is needed.
Helpful hint #4 – if you decide that this is the exercise for you and plan to regularly attend classes, it is recommended that you invest in a pair of cycling shoes. These shoes have cleats in the sole that allow you to clip on to the pedals instead of using the cage. They prevent your legs and knees from going out to one side or the other and improve your cycling stroke. They can be purchased on Amazon, Nashbar or Performance Bicycle and at local bike stores in the area. Here is a link that discusses what to look for when purchasing spin bike shoes. Note: spin bikes used by the Sarasota classes listed on this site use SPD cleats.
Topic # 2 I thought riding a bicycle would be easy, this is hard work!!!
The first time you come to a class, the instructor will often tell you you don’t need to stay more that 20 minutes this time and we will increase the time each class until you can pedal for 40 – 45 minutes. This is not suggesting you are not able to do the work, it is just common sense, you will be riding at 70 – 90 revolutions per minute (RPM) with resistance to simulate climbing hills or riding up a grade. It is not easy and takes time to develop the necessary stamina to pedal 45 minutes.
Helpful Hint #1 – listen to your instructor and start out with low resistance on the wheel. To get the benefit of Pedaling for Parkinson’s you need to cycle between 70 and 90 RPM’s, but you don’t have to start out climbing every mountain. Build up your leg strength and your heart strength the first few times you exercise.