Biking has always been in Selene Yeager's life. Her earliest memories of being on a bike were in her grandfather's living room, where she and her grandfather would challenge each other riding his stationary bicycle in front of the TV.
As she was growing up in Palmerton, her biking transferred to the streets and she would "ride all over the place in flip-flops," she says. "I've always just done it."
"I was sucked into the cycling community, and it's been awesome," she says.
She's now known as "The Fit Chick" who does a column and blog for Rodale's Bicycling magazine. And she's written the new book "Ride Your Way Lean."
Yeager, whose blog includes daunting stories of her biking up Mount Washington and riding in 24-hour marathons, says you don't need to be a super athlete to get fit on a bike.
She cites a study released last month in the Archives of Internal Medicine that found that biking for as few as five minutes a day can help middle-age women minimize weight gain.
"That's huge," she says.
Yeager got her own wake-up call shortly after moving to Emmaus, when a co-worker suggested she would do better if she lost 10 pounds.
"I had just come up from Philly and I was not in the best shape," she says. "I was at the pool getting ready for a triathlon. I thought I was doing everything right. But once I started paying attention, I got back in shape."
Yeager, who also is a fitness trainer, was inspired by her clients.
One woman in her 60s had smoked two packs a day and had difficulty walking. Yeager was working with her when she asked about biking.
"She took to it, stopped smoking and lost 40 pounds," Yeager says. "She told me she had never felt so free."
Yeager explains in the book how, by varying rides and other techniques, cyclists can burn more than 600 calories per hour.
She says biking is an ideal exercise for all types of people.
"People think they have to run," Yeager says. "But running is very unforgiving. When you get on a bike, it's fun."
She finds it discouraging when contestants on TV show "The Biggest Loser" grimly exercise on a spin cycle.
"It looks so joyless," she says. "Once you get outside, it's a whole different experience."
She notes that most people have a bike in their garage or basement.