Saddle Up To Ride

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Saddle Up To Ride With Spin Bicycle Shop

Tucked in a row of buildings just beyond the intersection of Grand River Avenue and Turner Street is Spin Bicycle Shop. Co-owned by Chad and Nicole Cottom, and ruled by Zeke, the shop cat, Spin Bicycle Shop is not just a bicycle sales showroom with expert repair, maintenance and tune-up services. The shop is a regular hangout for those new to bicycling and long-time cyclists.

A new cyclist is treated with the same respect as a repeat customer who’s logged thousands of miles on his or her bike. “The first question I ask,” says Chad, “is what the individual wants to get out of their cycling experience. I want to match bike selection with their personality and goals. Different bikes are suited for different types of riding.

“If an individual wants a bicycle for general exercise, I might recommend a hybrid, ideal for all types of surfaces. The adventurous cyclist who likes flying through back roads and trails is suited for a mountain bike. Competitive riders might opt for a thin-tired racing bike. Those with challenges riding upright can get a real workout on one of our recumbent trikes. “Each bike purchase comes with a new bike tune-up, and in a month, we’d like to see them back with their bike to make any needed adjustments.

“Recumbent trikes are ideal for those with arthritis, back problems or physical disabilities. You sit lower to the ground with your legs out front, instead of underneath you. There’s less stress on hips and knees, and you still get an excellent cardio workout because you target large muscle groups in your thighs and buttocks. You’re still the ‘engine’, and you work large muscle groups in the lower extremities.

“We carry a wide array of bicycles, from $300 to more than $3,000. We carry racing and recreational bikes, along with Catrike, Terratrike and ICE recumbent trikes. No matter what bike they purchase, we recommend a helmet,” adds Chad.

Other good choices for cyclists include flashing lights and an exterior bright vest so riders stand out on a crowded city street or at night. Chad is also willing to go over bicycling road rules and how to use the bike’s gears. “We suggest a tune-up once a year” says Chad. “In the interim, we want customers to call or come in with questions, so our clients are getting the ‘rides of their lives’.

“Cycling is a really accessible and relevant exercise for everyone”, Chad adds. “I encourage people to try riding to work, unless their job requires travel during the day. If they have a commute of over 10 miles to work, I suggest they find a halfway point where they can park. Then ride the rest of the way in. If a job requires a change of clothes, take clothes to change into when you arrive. Most people are surprised by how energized they feel after a brisk ride into work.”

Earle Burns, 38, who works in construction, lives just three miles from his place of work, Integrity Interiors. He has mapped out a 10-15 mile route, from home to work, so he gets a good workout each day. “It’s great therapy and it’s free,” he says.

He’s bought four bikes from Spin Bicycle Shop for himself and his family. He has introduced his wife, Ashley, to mountain biking. His two sons now have mountain bikes, having bought a bike for his seven-year old from Spin Bicycle Shop in 2016.

Earle rode DALMAC (Lansing to Mackinaw) last year, and is a member of the Tri-
County Bicycle Association, and the Mid-Michigan Mountain Biking Association. In the two years he’s been mountain biking, Earle has logged 6,000 miles on his bikes, and has lost 30 pounds. “Spin Bicycle Shop staff is super-friendly. While they are there to sell bikes, they give you the feeling they want to help, with no pressure at all.”

“If it’s been awhile since you’ve ridden a bike, or you’re breaking in a new bike,” says Chad, “start out with 2-3 mile rides, so your body gets accustomed to the ride experience, and then gradually add to the miles you ride. We can change the saddle for comfort, or some cyclists prefer padded shorts or pants. We recommend carrying a water bottle for hydration.

“It’s really important for cyclists to understand how their bike’s gearing system works. You are the bike’s ‘engine’, and if you stay in just one gear, you’re working against yourself. Think of gears as speeds. Shifting down going uphill lets the bike assume part of the work. Shift up going downhill slows the feeling of going too fast. We go over the complexity of gearing, either when you purchase a bike, or anytime you have a question about how to use your bike’s gears efficiently.

“I think many are surprised when I say you can ride your bike all 12 months, unless it’s a blizzard. We have studded tires, and layering clothes allows you to ride comfortably. We forget that we generate heat by riding. Riding in winter is not everyone’s choice, but riding April-November is a solid cycling season.”

Spin Bicycle Shop
206 E. Grand River Avenue (Old Town)
Lansing, MI 48906
(517) 372-3000
http://spinbicycleshop.blogspot.com/

Winter Hours: T-F: 10-6; Sat. 10-4; closed Sunday and Monday

P.S. Check out these bicycling groups:
http://www.biketcba.org/  (Tri-County Bicycle Association)
http://www.lmb.org/   (League of Michigan Bicyclists)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/lansingbikeparty/   (Bike Party Lansing)
https://www.facebook.com/ELSLOWROL  (Roll Lansing)
http://mmmba.org/ (Mid-Michigan Mountain Bike Association)