Spin<i>Cycle:</i> Getting Started

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o If you want to get introduced or reintroduced to road riding, start with the right equipment. Leave that old Schwinn Varsity in the garage and visit a top bike shop in your area to sample the smooth, light and strong new rides.

o If you're not into flash, don't be intimidated by all the bright Lycra and big logos. Beyond them, you'll find understated, comfortable riding wear that doesn't shout "Tour de France." At the very least, get a good pair of bike shorts and hard-soled shoes. Clipless pedals and shoes are easy to use, and offer snap-in convenience and added power.

o When planning a route, consult with a local bike shop for the scenic roads less travelled. For multi-day trips, try to incorporate loops with pass-or-play options, allowing you to tailor the mileage en route to accommodate fatigue, thunderstorms and mood swings.

o Don't hit the road without a tire repair kit and extra tube—a flat shouldn't ruin your day. Bring snacks and plenty of water, especially when venturing into new terrain. One wrong turn—or the hill that didn't look like much on the map—can zap you.

For a full listing of Vermont B&Bs, contact the Vermont Chamber of Commerce: (802) 223-3443; www.vtchambr@together.net.

Vermont Bike Tours (VBT) in Bristol, Vt., runs tours throughout the U.S. and abroad. Most tours are 6 days and 5 nights, with no weekend trips available. Prices start at $945 per person. Call: (800) 245-3868; fax (802) 453-4806.

Bike Vermont based in Woodstock, Vt., runs tours for 2 to 6 days in Vermont and the Connecticut River Valley. Prices start at $295 per person. Call: (800) 257-2226.