Stationary biking is a big help, especially for your legs and cardiovascular system. Since you’re pedaling continually on such a bike, an hour in the gym can provide the workout of several hours of normal biking, in which you’re often coasting. A spinning class can keep the hour interesting. Yet there are some things a stationary bike just doesn’t train you for: Getting used to being seated on a bike for several hours at a time. The bikes we provide have upright handlebars, so you’re in a fairly comfortable position. After several hours, however, your neck (which is bent back a bit more than usual) and butt may get uncomfortable, if the position is completely new for you. Other general bike skills — steering, braking, avoiding potholes, remembering to put your foot down when you stop — don’t get any practice. Granted, these aren’t neurosurgery, but it’s helpful to have some practice. New Yorkers, more than anyone, seem to have trouble finding the time, the bike, and the uncrowded roads to get out for a few training rides. Many people have joined us, with nothing but stationary bike experience, and had a great time. But we encourage you to see if you can’t get in at least a couple of afternoon of actual biking, before the trip. If the last bike you were on had coaster brakes and you haven’t biked for years, then we’d say it’s essential to get some on-the-road experience.