Is Riding A Bike Easy When You Are 60?

After a knee replacement benched me from running – my favorite activity for years – my doctor recommended that I take up riding a bicycle instead.

His argument for this was that cycling is easier on the joints than running.  Sounded reasonable!

But I hadn’t sat on the seat of a bicycle in years – could I even ride a bike again?  Could this really replace my morning runs?

Is riding a bike easy?  Especially at 60 years old!

Well, I am happy to say that after a week of riding, I have found that riding a bicycle again was much easier than I thought it would be and much more fun than I remembered it being.

However, I did find out that there was a bit of a learning curve when you start out.

In this article I will share what I learned along the way like the benefits of riding a bike again, how often and how long you should ride and what you may need to get started on your cycling journey.

Hopefully this helps you to feel more comfortable and excited about starting your own cycling journey!

7 Things That New Cyclist Need to Get Started

Even as a beginner there are a few items that could make your ride safer and more comfortable.

There really is no need to go out and buy a bunch of expensive gadgets as a beginner.  A few basics should be enough to get you started out on the open road.

Here are a few things that I decided to invest in:

Is riding a bike easy - items needed for a bike ride 25 mile bike ride

A Bike

Well duh, can’t really bike ride without one! 

If you’re on a budget or just want to see if you even enjoy riding without spending a ton of money, then you may want to consider a used bike. 

You can find a nice used one at a garage sale or a secondhand store. 

The secondhand stores usually have several different styles of bikes for a reasonable price.

Just make sure the frame fits your body structure and the bike is built for whatever type of cycling you plan to do. 

If you want to ride on bike trails or roads, consider a road bike or hybrid.  If you’re more of a mountain biker than you will want a mountain bike. 

Bicycles are definitely not a one size fits all item. 

If you are ready to go all in, I would suggest you go to your local bike shop.  They will be able to help you get the right bike and fit for your goals. 

Either way – new or used – it may be beneficial to run it by a bike shop, they can give you advise on proper adjustments for the seat and handlebars.    

They will be able to suggest other equipment that may help your ride.  They can be a great resource for beginners. 

Just be sure to find a bike that you are comfortable on, and it is adjusted to fit your body frame.  We’re just too old to be uncomfortable!

The proper bike and fit will help you to want to ride further and more often.  If your ride is miserable, you will never get back on your bike. 


I had never really thought about mirrors before I started this journey.

However, I have found that mirrors are a very important item to have on your bike.  They will help keep you safe while riding on the road in traffic.

Find a set that works for you.

I had to try a few different sets of mirrors before I found the ones that worked best for me and my bike.

The first set went on the outside of the hand grips. They were very annoying because they blocked my hands from holding onto the hand grips properly.  So, when I tried to put my hands properly on my grips it would knock the mirrors off.   Not helpful at all!

I then purchased a set of mirrors that went on the inside of the grips.  I found this to be a much better option for me.

There are so many different types from mirrors.  Some attach to your glasses and some attach at different locations on your handlebars. 

Just keep trying to you get the perfect ones for you.

A Comfortable Seat

Your seat can really cause a pain in your butt! 

I found that the right seat at the right height is extremely helpful.  It definitely makes for a much more comfortable ride.

Sitting on a seat that is too hard or in ill repair will derail your love for cycling. 

If your bottom gets sore, it will spoil your ride so be sure to invest a little in a comfortable seat.

Bicycle Shorts

I really didn’t understand the importance of bicycle shorts when I first started riding.  I thought that they were just something that the pros liked to wear.

Yep, I was wrong!  They are a huge game changer when it comes to comfort when riding!

I would get a lot of back and butt pain when riding, but after trying out the shorts I noticed that I didn’t experience pain on my rides.    

I highly recommend wearing bike shorts, even for beginners not traveling far. 

Water Bottle Holder

This isn’t essential but it sure is helpful.

You will want to keep your water handy during your rides.  If you have to get off your bike to get a drink, you may avoid doing it. 

This can lead to dehydration which can leave you sick for days – especially as we age.

After that you may consider not riding again….

I found a cheap water bottle holder that worked perfectly for me, and it was easy to attach to my bike.


You may want to check your state regarding helmet laws.

But regardless of if you have a helmet law or not, you still may want to consider investing in a helmet.

Especially when starting out.

There are a lot of hazards when you are on two wheels on the open road.  From potholes to distracted drivers, the hazards are real.

A helmet could prevent a head injury from a fall which may result in a lengthy recovery period with possible memory issues.

I don’t know about you but sometimes my memory can already be a challenge, I certainly don’t want to give it a helping hand!  

Helmets can also be pretty inexpensive vs a trip to the emergency department and possible lost time from work.

I didn’t use a helmet when I first started riding but after a fall, I decided it was time to invest in one.

So, now I wear my helmet faithfully.

A Bike Pouch or Back Pack

Personally, I have a bike pouch on my bike but a small backpack can also work.

This is just something to hold your loose items such as your cell phone, a credit card, tissues, bike chain or lock.

A pouch or backpack can keep your hands free since you will need them to keep you balanced on your bike!

How Often Should You Ride Your Bike As A Beginner

Well, I am sure that there is a written theory about this somewhere.  You know with all the scientific graphs and facts.

However, if you follow a cookie cutter way of starting, you may become frustrated and stop riding all together.

The main thing that I learned when I started my bike riding journey – Start slow!

How often a beginner should ride depends on several factors, fitness level, age, weight, medical issues, just to name a few.

We all start at different levels.  Some of us are stronger, some weaker, some of us have physical limitations while others are just trying to find the time.

It should be whatever works best for you.

Of course, the more you can ride your bike the better the benefits.  Not to mention it will get you into a routine to keep you riding.

Therefore, I do recommend that you do shorter rides 3-4 times a week vs a long ride one time a week.

If you are just starting a fitness program, I would recommend riding at least 2 times per week even if you have to start at a lower intensity and shorter distance and build up from there.

Try to schedule your bike rides just like you would any other engagement.  This way chances are better that you will follow through with doing it.

For me early morning rides are best.  I ride before work, that way I don’t have time to make up excuses.  My brain isn’t awake enough to argue with me.

But if the evenings or the middle of the day work best for you then do that.

Anyone with balance issues may want to start with a stationary bike.  Also consider including balance exercises into your daily fitness routine to help improve your balance.

This will help you to get out on the open road sooner vs later.

How Many Miles Should I Bike A Day?

This is also something that should be done on an individual basis and according to your fitness level. 

First it would be helpful to plan your ride. Know where you are headed and how far it is to travel there and back.

This will help to prevent overdoing the ride and becoming fatigued.

Consider starting out with just a 15-minute ride – this should be just a few miles.  This will also give you time to become more familiar with your bike and your physical limitations.   

Retraining yourself to ride a bicycle again is an adjustment.  Things such as shifting the gears and balancing yourself on your bike can be a challenge when you are first starting out. 

Give yourself a break – just start slow. 

Then gradually increase to a 20-30 minute ride over the next 2-3 weeks, this should be about a 4-5 mile ride.   

When you feel ready go for that 45-minute ride. 

Just be sure to listen to your body, the only one you should be competing with is the person you were yesterday!   

Is Riding A Bicycle Good For You? 

The short answer is YES!

However, getting back on a bicycle can be scary especially as we age.  But trust me you will be glad that you did!

You don’t want to go too hard at first.  It could leave you very sore or even cause an injury.

Listen to your body!   

If you’re not used to working out or you have health problems, you may want to start out slower than someone that is more physically fit and healthy. 

Riding a bicycle is easy and it is also very good exercise. 

Not only does it help with physical fitness but also cardiovascular conditioning.

Cardiovascular Benefits of Bike Riding

Just like walking or running, riding a bike is also an aerobic, also known as cardiovascular exercise.  It will cause your heart rate to increase for a sustained period of time and make you breathe faster and deeper. 

Oxygen is your main fuel source during cardio exercise.  When your heart rate goes up you increase the blood flow to the muscles and back to the lungs. 

It can strengthen your heart and lower your blood pressure. It also reduces fatigue and boosts your mood. 

That alone would be great, but it also benefits you physically.

Physical Benefits Of Riding A Bike

You don’t realize how many different muscle groups you need to use just to keep the bike up on 2 wheels and moving forward.

The big thing that I noticed was how much I had to use my core muscles.

Just to balance the bike and keep it steady your core is working hard.  The core includes your abdomen, low back, hips and pelvis.

It wasn’t until a day or two after the first couple of rides that I really noticed the effect that it had on my calves and quads.  They were burning!

As you pedal your bike you will work different muscle groups at different positions.

As you pedal the quads and glutes are fired during the pushing part of the motion.

This is right before your pedal gets to the top and as you are pushing all the way down to the bottom.

You will also feel it in your hips.  This motion helps to stabilize your hips to prevent the thighs from going out.

The rest of the pedaling motion works your hamstrings.  Which would be as you pull the pedal from the bottom up to right before the top or before the pushing motion starts.

Yep, the whole bottom half of your body is hard at work keeping you moving forward.

But that doesn’t mean that your upper body gets a break.

You must have upper body strength to keep the bike balanced and steady – not to mention upright during the inclines and declines.

Mental Benefits of Bike Riding

A good bike ride not only helps you physically but also mentally.

This is one of the biggest things that I noticed after starting my bike journey.  I seem to be a little calmer when handling stressful issues and I just seem to feel happier.

Is it because of the fresh air, vitamin D surge, seratonin and edorphine rush  or the meditation effect from concentrating on the road in front of you?

I don’t really know, but I’m sure you could probably find studies on it.

All I know is that when I get off my bike, I feel a little lighter and usually without even realizing it – I have a big smile on my face. 


Ultimately, cycling at 60 may not be as easy now as it was when you were ten, but it certainly isn’t impossible.

The experience of riding a bike gives you the chance to enjoy nature and move your body in a way that keeps you feeling young.

Of course, there are very real challenges and precautions that must be taken when cycling at this age, so it’s important to take your time and plan ahead.

No matter what difficulties arise however, remember that there is a great sense of accomplishment in pushing yourself to do something new.

To all cyclists out there; senior or otherwise – don’t give up on the joy of journey and exploration that only biking can bring.

See where two wheels can take you and make 2023 the year of boldness and safe adventure!

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