Memorial Weekend, I bought my 1st bike and went riding with my granddaugher. After a mile, I was just about crawling back to the car. My legs didn't want to support my body. After a week, I was able to ride about 2 miles (please don't laugh, I did enough for everyone). So, I found a LBS that I like and bought another bike. This one was actually fitted to me and before long, I was up to 3 miles round trip (no longer a laughing matter). Then, I bought my granddaughter the next level up bike for kids. Then to add to the biking saga, my son came home for a month. So, I bought the 4th bike and gave my sister my 1st bike. By 4th of July, my son, granddaughter and I were able to do much longer bike trails. He worked with her on learning how to switch gears and I just kept peddling, up inclines and down inclines, over roots (that wasn't fun), etc. Then, the temperature hit triple digits. I still have too much northern blood to be biking when the temps are over 90 degrees, so I stopped biking. By the end of August, my granddaughter and I tried biking around my neighborhood. My leg muscles left me know I've been lazy. I lost ground.
This weekend, we took the bikes out again and did the short trail along the southern end of the Dismal Swamp in South Mill, NC. Yesterday was a perfect day for riding. Even my granddaughter said it was worth going back again. Unfortunately, our bikes won't work on the dirt trails in the state park so either I get us both bikes that will work on dirt trails or we rent bikes next year. I could have gone much further but the bike path went along a road and she is not ready to ride on roads with traffic.
Now, I don't want to lose what little muscle strength I have recaptured. The days are shorter. I'll be cookig on the grill in the dark before long. There is no way I'll get home from work in time to take a trip around these back streets, before dark. When I was online looking for a rain cover for my saddle (I had to leave my bike up in Chesapeake because my saddle is a very nice, cushy gel saddle and I couldn't imagine driving in the rain with my bike was on the carrier - it was 50 miles of heavy rain before I even came close to dryer roads), I saw magnetic trainers that you set your bikes into for indoor riding. I'm stll not sure of the setting up and how they actually work but will do some more reading before I make my decision. I read the customer reviews on Amazon.com and people were saying that the under $100 ones worked as well as the $300 + ones.
I guess my question is, are they effective for substituting riding outdoors? Will my bike easily fit into the trainer? I just don't want to start all over again, come spring. I might just want to buy another bike for me that will work well on those dirt trails.