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Indoor Cycling vs. Biking

Why It's Probably Time For You to Buy a Bike

Whether it's the intensity of the class, your favorite kick-ass instructor pushing you to go harder, or the inspiring music, there is something completely awesome about an indoor cycling class — it's like no other workout. If you're in love with sitting on a saddle inside, here are a few reasons you'll love heading outside on two wheels even more.

Holy Inspiration!

Just as most of us would rather hit the open road for a run than hit the treadmill belt, cycling outdoors is hands down better for so many reasons. The scenery you can cover in a 15- to 30-mile ride is spectacular, the hills are way more challenging so you get a better workout, and seeing the actual top of the climb offers a tangible finish you feel more inspired to reach. There's no instructor telling you how to ride, which allows for more flexibility in how hard you push yourself. Plus, you'll get some much-needed "me time," which is a great way to relieve stress and gain a mental energy boost.

No Wallet Needed

While the initial investment is steep since you'll need to buy a road bike and all the necessary gear, once you have all that, rides are totally free. There are no gym memberships or classes to pay for, so you can go as often as you want and you don't have to pay a cent. And depending on where you live, you can step out your front door and hop on your bike to hit a route close to home, or you can drive to one.

Go Long

Most indoor cycling classes are 45 minutes to an hour long, but what if you want to keep riding? Hop on a road bike! You can go for hours, break for lunch at an adorable cafe you discovered, then keep going, easily covering 40 to 60 miles. It's a great way to spend a day off and to stay cool and still enjoy a hot Summer's day outside. And aside from strengthening your muscles from all those hills, all those miles will burn mega calories — an hour at a moderate pace burns 432 calories!

Bonding

While meeting your BFF at the gym to take an indoor cycling class together is fun, there's not much chitchat going on since you're both so busy following the instructor. If the two of you head out for a road ride on some quieter routes, you can ride side by side while catching up and venting and still getting in an awesome workout. You just have to stay aware and go single file when the occasional cars go by. Road biking is also a great way to connect with other fit-minded people. Most bike shops and towns sponsor road races so you can meet new cyclists and learn new routes.

You Are Superwoman

While completing an indoor cycling class certainly is a feat unto itself, it's hard to compare to the overflowing feeling of pride and power you feel battling the open road, completing naturally steeper climbs and longer rides. Even though an indoor cycling class is trying to mimic a ride outside, there's only so much a stationary bike can do. Since riding outdoors can be much more challenging, you feel that much more confident and strong on your bike, and it'll carry through to the way you feel with other areas of fitness and your overall self-confidence. How can you not feel like a badass on a bike?

Source: Thinkstock
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