I read the posting about riding at an easy pace as doing nothing for you and blah blah blah. Well, all I can say is what it's doing for me.
Three months ago I was a semi-active couch potato (is that an oxymoron? lol) who worked out with a Wii. Then, we had to cover nearly everything in our home while our windows and doors were being replaced. I became a total spud. After a month, my old bike caught my eye and I began dreaming of actually taking a cross-country tour. Well, sitting wasn't going to do a thing, so I decided to start biking every morning.
I live in a very hilly/mountainous area, so I began slow...about 3 miles. It took me a lot longer than I'll ever admit and I was sucking wind most of the time. I began stretching the distance a bit, still at a pace that was so slow that a dachshund could have beaten me. I'm not setting any records, but I'm quicker now. I try to go as fast as I can on a route that includes quite a few (painful) climbs (Mt Sunnuvabich and Mt. Pure Evil are two of them). I now average 12 mi every morning at a pretty good clip. Of course, all of my efforts would probably be sniffed at by the bike elitists. You know what? I don't care.
I now ride 2 days, do Wii, ride 2 days, do Wii then take Sunday off. I know biking is making a difference because the first time I was able to Wii again after 3 months (the workers were finally done destroying our house), I saw MAJOR improvements in my all of Wii workouts. So...pffffft to Velo!
And the best part...riding is FUN!