Diet Detective’s Calorie Bargains: and a Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike

by Charles Platkin, PhD

Diet Detective’s Calorie Bargains: and a Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike

Calorie Bargain: Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike by Grant Petersen (Workman, 2012)

The Why: Bicycle riding is great , and this quick-read guide is both handy and informative. From the publisher: “A reformed racer who’s commuted by bike every day since 1980, whose writings and opinions appear in major bicycling and outdoor magazines, and whose company, Rivendell Bicycle Works, makes bikes for riders ready to opt out of a culture overrun by racing, Grant Petersen shares a lifetime of unexpected facts, controversial opinions, expert techniques, and his own maverick philosophy. In 87 short, two-to-three page chapters, it covers:


  • Riding: Count Days, Not Miles; Corner Like Jackie Robinson; Steer with Your Hips, Shift with Your Legs


  • Suiting Up: The Shoes Ruse; Ponchos ­ the Ultimate Unracer’s Garment


  • Safety: 1 Rule ­ Be Seen; Helmets Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up to Be


  • and Fitness: Why Riding Is Lousy All-Around Exercise; Saddles Don’t Cause Impotence; Drink When You’re Thirsty ­ Not Before


“Also includes chapters on Accessories, Upkeep, and Technicalities, as well as a final chapter titled ‘Velosophy.’ ”

The Health Bonus: is one of the most efficient calorie-burning activities around, which means it can help you lose weight. Riding at a leisurely pace of 10 to 12 mph, a 155-pound person can burn 423 calories in just 60 minutes, or about seven calories per minute. Now up that to 14-15.9 mph, and you’ll be burning about 700 calories per hour.

Why do it?

  • It builds muscle, particularly in your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves.
  • You can control the level of your workout by riding slow or fast on city streets, roads or scenic trails.
  • It’s a convenient, inexpensive way to get around town. Parking is always simple and you can get some exercise while you’re running errands.
  • It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and do some sightseeing.
  • It helps the environment.


What We Liked Best: The book is a really quick read, and the advice is great for anyone who owns a bike or is thinking about buying one.

The Price: $11.16 (on

Where to Buy: or

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