Why NBA Stars Are Pedaling Bikes at Night

//

In a typical night, LeBron James scores an average of 26.9 points for the Miami Heat in 38 minutes of play. Then, he often hops on his bike and rides home.

James credits cycling, in part, for the conditioning his coach calls “world-class.”

BLOG: Could Michael Jordan Play at 50?

“I want to maximize everything I can and not waste an opportunity each and every day to compete and get better as a player,” James said in The Huffington Post. “I want to be the best. You’ve got to push the button sometimes.”

Teammate and fellow cyclist Dwayne Wade agrees.

“It gave my body a different type of conditioning challenge,” Wade told Men’s Journal.

But cycling goes beyond conditioning: James, Wade, teammate Mario Chalmers and James’s girlfriend, actress Gabrielle Union, have been joining Critical Mass rides in Miami. The popular last-Friday-of-the-month mass bike rides began in San Francisco in 1992 and spread to other cities.

Spring Gear Guide: 10 Essential Gadgets and Tools for Cycling 

“Ever since my first ride, I’ve been hooked,” Wade told Men’s Journal. “It’s motivating to be around bikers who are dedicated and push themselves beyond the limit.”

Although the NBA stars aren’t seeking publicity — they showed up to the Critical Mass ride unannounced, although they have Tweeted about it and were caught on YouTube — bikers are hoping that the celebrity hoopsters will lend some of their sports cred to cycling.

James says he gets recognized while riding to and from practice. ”People try to stop me, but I’m in a zone,” he told the Huffington Post.

“I got lights on my bike. I’m serious. This isn’t a joke.”

Photo: Corbis