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How to Start Cycling: A Beginner’s Guide

Cycling is one of the most popular sports today. If you want to try it out, then this article is for you. Today, we will be listing some of the most important things that you need to know if you are planning to immerse yourself in this fun and exciting fitness activity.

So, without further ado, here is a beginner’s guide to cycling.

First things first, what you need is to choose the best bike for you. There are a lot of different bike types available today so it can be overwhelming, but don’t fret because you can always do some research or just ask for the help of bike experts. Some of the most common types include road bikes, mountain bikes and hybrid. Take into consideration your goals, what suits you best and of course, your budget. 

After choosing your bike, it is also important to get the best helmet for your safety. There are also different designs to choose from. The rule here is to get a helmet that it not too tight or too loose. Make sure that it fits you well.

Aside from your helmet, you also need to dress appropriately. There are a lot of good cycling brands today, but one of the most well-loved is Gym Shark. The company is known for their world-class sports and fitness apparels that are popular among athletes from different fields. You can check out their products in their official website. For huge Gym Shark discounts and savings be sure to use a discount code for Gymshark that can save you as much as 10% off your purchase.

Another important thing to remember is that you need to learn how to look after your bike if you want it to last for a long time. You do not need to be a mechanic to know the components of basic bike maintenance. For example, make sure to lubricate the chain, brakes and gears of your bike. Always check if they are properly working before every ride. Also, remember to keep spares and essentials such as pump, tire levers and the likes. It is always better to be ready than sorry, right?

The next thing you need to devote your time to is insurance research. You will need this for your safety.  There are a lot of online resources that you may check. Aside from cycling groups on different social media sites, you can also directly contact the official governing body of cyclists in your area.

It will also be a huge boost for you if you will join a cycling club. This is especially recommended for newbies. Not only will you enjoy the company of other passionate cyclists, but you will also surely learn more tips, tricks and techniques from them.

Lastly, it is important to prepare yourself physically. Strengthen your core by doing appropriate exercises. You can even start other sports activities such as swimming and hiking just to be in the right condition and mindset.

Also, don’t forget to be realistic with your goals. Build your riding skills gradually and you will surely improve in time. Whenever you feel burned out, just relax and think of the reasons why you want cycling in the first place. Again, this activity should be fun, exhilarating and should never feel like a burden or a task.

 



tips-to-get-the-most-out-of-cycling-training

Tips to Get the Most Out Of Cycling Training

Whether or not you’re preparing to participate bike racing, having enough training would be advantageous in improving your cycling skills.

However, plainly training physically, no matter how hard it is, may still not be enough to give you the best cycling form you can have and provide you with the maximum cycling benefits you can get.

Achieving the best form you can have for cycling isn’t limited to the strenuous, intensive training you engage in with your trainer. There are also some other ways you can strengthen your cycling techniques.

One of the top reasons some fitness enthusiasts choose cycling over other sports is because of the enjoyment riding can bring. So, you must take time to enjoy cycling itself, not just for the achievements you may get when you join cycling competitions. Sure, medals and accomplishments are something to be proud of, but sometimes, riding the bike just for the sake of pleasure, relaxation, and enjoyment is a good way to remember why you loved the sport. It can also teach you to not beat yourself too much because you’re just cycling for you, not to accomplish a goal for training.

Another helpful way to improve your cycling performance is to train your mind to be in a positive state. Your mindset when you begin cycling would greatly affect how you would handle the entire ride. If you’re thinking negatively at the start of the ride, your mind might trick your body into thinking that it is tired, and you might even lose the motivation to complete the ride.

Experiment on what effectively fuels your body when you go cycling. Although the recommended diet and carbohydrate levels experts advise cyclists are generally acceptable, the dietary needs of every cyclist vary from person to person, so experiment to find out what works best for you.

Do what’s hard for you. Doing the most challenging parts of cycling for you such as climbing a steep slope will help you overcome this challenge and can give you a sense of personal achievement. The more often you overcome challenges that are hard for you, the easier they will become.

Know when to take a rest. It doesn’t matter how much you wanted to win a competition, you should know when to train hard and when to give your body enough rest.

Training to improve your cycling performance isn’t only limited to what your instructor tell you. You must know how to take care of yourself to improve your cycling skills even when there’s no one to coach you.



how-to-increase-your-cycling-endurance

How to Increase your Cycling Endurance

Being able to ride the bike and successfully do cycling for miles regularly can give you a feeling of accomplishment. Just imagine how much better you will feel if you’re able to participate in one of those long bike rides.

Participating and completing long bike rides does not only require strength, but more importantly, it calls for endurance. If you’ve just begun to try cycling, and you are planning to join long bike rides, you don’t have to worry about your endurance because it is something that you can work on to improve.

Cycling frequently will effectively increase your cycling endurance. Even if you’re extremely busy, find time to ride the bike once or twice a week so you can improve on it.

Maintaining a diet that works well to refuel your muscles during cycling training or just casual cycling can also help you maximise your endurance as you ride. Along with consuming carefully chosen foods, remember to hydrate sufficiently as well.

And, aside from preparing enough foods to replenish you while you ride, make sure that you eat foods rich in carbohydrates and proteins around two to three hours before your get on the bike.

Establishing a positive mindset is as important as maintaining a healthy body when it comes to training for endurance. You won’t be able to get very far if your mind does not have the drive to do so. If usually lose passion or motivation just after hours of cycling, it will be wise to ride with someone you can talk to while you’re cycling so you won’t mind the time too much. Having someone to complete cycling with can also help in pushing you to go farther.

If you want to achieve different results in your endurance, of course, you would have to increase your mileage. However, don’t increase your mileage by a great distance in just a short span of time. It is recommendable to increase it by 10 per cent every week to improve your endurance.

Finally, include some interval trainings to your cycling routine to maximise your endurance. Interval trainings may be really challenging, but investing in them twice a week will go a long way in enhancing your cycling endurance.

Following these guidelines can help you have an improved endurance and can help prepare your body for long bike rides.



cyclinghelmet

Are Helmets Important In Cycling?

It’s common knowledge that wearing helmet is important when cycling. Helmets protect cyclists from head and brain injuries that they may sustain if they met cycling accidents. According to Helmets.org, the use of helmet may lower the risk of getting head injuries by around 85%. Additionally, a study which was published in the CMAJ or Canadian Medical Association Journal discovered that cyclists who do not wear a helmet have a three times greater risk of dying from head injuries than those who wear a helmet.

But why, despite the statistics presented, do some cyclists insist on not wearing helmets?

Dr. Henry Marsh, a neurosurgeon from St. George’s Hospital in London, admitted that he, himself, does not wear helmets while cycling, stating that helmets are ‘too flimsy’ and advising that there are no decrease in the number of bike injuries in countries where there are helmet laws. The neurosurgeon also brought up a research from the University of Bath which revealed that car drivers feel that cyclists are already safe when they wear helmets; hence, there’s this tendency for drivers to drive three inches closer to cyclists which may lead to road accidents.

Dr. Marsh isn’t alone in his belief that helmets are not essential to cyclists’ safety. For Michael Cavenett of the London Cycling Campaign, the reason for cycling accidents is road designs and junctions, rather than not wearing helmets.

For Mikael Colville-Andersen, cycling ambassador for Copenhagen, another non-believer in wearing helmets, the drivers are to blame for accidents and not the cyclists. He also believed that cycling without a helmet is a sign of a livable city.

Being helmet-free might increase feeling of freedom brought by cycling, but you should ask yourself if it’s really worth the risk.

This debate can go on and on, and in the end, whether or not you’d wear a helmet while cycling is always up to you.



Choosing the Right Bike

Choosing the Right Bike

There are many types of bikes to choose from. If you’re just new at cycling, knowing your purpose in buying a bike (whether to use it for commuting to work, for biking on terrains, for racing, etc.) is imperative in selecting a bike that suits you and your needs.

Bikes differ in wheel size (diameter), tire type, saddle/seat type, handle, frame size, and weight—depending on the rider’s body type and activity the bike will be used for.

Familiarity with at least the most common bike types will be a great deal of help in knowing what you want. If you have no idea what you are looking for it might be worth to go into your local bike shop to get some advice and also try some bikes. I have always found it cheaper to purchase online especially when you can use a discount code.

One of the most common types of bike is the Mountain Bike. Mountain bikes are great for cycling on dirt or on natural terrains. Mountain bikes are built to protect your body from the impact shocks from riding on bumpy surfaces. They are not as fast as road bikes, but are also good for cycling on pavements since it has shock absorbing qualities that can withstand humps and potholes on roads. It also has excellent brakes to ensure safety. There are generally two kinds of mountain bikes, hardtail bikes and full-suspension bikes. A hardtail bike is more affordable and lighter than a full-suspension bike. However, hardtail bikes don’t have shock absorber on the rear part. Full-suspension mountain bikes offer more protection from impact with its front and rear shock absorbers. Although it is more expensive than hardtail bikes, its frame is well-built and can handle more challenging, rocky terrains than hardtail bikes; it also has a better braking system.

Road bikes are for you if you’re looking for bikes to use for commuting, exercising, or joining races and tours. They are suitable for seasoned cyclists as well as beginners. Road bikes are designed for cycling on roadways, asphalt roads, or pavements. They are lighter and faster than mountain bikes. It is vital to finding the bike that fits you. Using bikes that don’t fit is uncomfortable and may lead to unnecessary muscle pains. There are two road bike variations: flat bar handlebars and drop bar handlebars. Flat bar handlebars are designed for a relaxed posture while cycling. It is also ideal if your aim is to use it for commuting or casual exercise as it makes the rider more visible to other motorists since the seat is designed to hold upright-sitting position. This seating position also makes the cyclist more aware of the road ahead since they can have a wider field of vision. Drop bar handlebars are faster than flat bar handlebars and better for activities that require more speed. Drop bar handlebars are also lightweight and allow the rider to change their upper body position while cycling.

If you’re looking for bikes that can travel great distances on the road while carrying load or luggage, then touring bikes might be for you. A touring bike offers smoother rides and can handle heavy weight. Its seat is also built for comfort so it can be used for commuting while carrying heavy stuff.

Hybrid bikes offer some qualities of road bikes and mountain bikes combined. They are perfect for cycling on the road as they usually come with suspension forks for smoother rides. They have a good braking system which is essential for riding on traffic. Hybrid bikes also allow the cyclist to sit in a comfortable, upright position.

Comfort bikes are, well, designed for comfort. They are good for casual bike rides on pavements. They also have saddles built for upright sitting position. Most comfort bikes have shock absorbers.

City or urban bikes are designed for riding in the city streets. The seat is designed for an upright sitting position so the biker can be visible to other motorists. City bikes are also sturdy and can be used on gravel as well as pavements.

Cyclocross bikes are light but have sturdy frames to be able to handle different kinds of terrains. Cyclocross racing is a type of sport where participants not only get to race but should also make it through other obstacles which require them to carry their bikes instead of riding them.

For commuters who are looking for portable bikes, there are folding bikes. Folding bikes can be folded and are lightweight but has strong frames.

These are just some of the bikes most commonly used by both experienced and new cyclists. Knowing what you need and learning about what type of bike suits you will help in maximizing your cycling performance. Having a bike that’s a perfect fit provides comfort—which is one of the most important factors to consider in choosing the right bike.



is cycling the sport for you

Is Cycling the Sport For You?

One of the most convenient and enjoyable sports gaining popularity today is cycling. Cycling is a can be a good form of exercise, an affordable mode of transportation or commute and a pleasurable way of traveling.

Cycling has many health benefits. It is a great way to release stress. A 30-minute working through cycling can also burn up to 500 calories, so it’s an effective means of losing weight. It’s also a good form of exercise for your cardiovascular system as it strengthens your heart. Regular cycling reduces the risk of getting heart disease by 50 percent according to studies from Purdue University. Cycling can also boost your brain power. An improvement in mental tests has been observed in cyclists, as research from Illinois University revealed.

If you’re considering trying cycling as a sport, here are some useful details about it that may help you be familiar with the sport and eventually make up your mind:

There are a few types of cycling that you can choose from. One of them is road biking or road cycling. Road cycling is the most popular type of cycling. Road cyclists follow the same traffic rules as other vehicles. Riding a bicycle to work or simply using a bike for commuting is considered road cycling.

Another type of cycling is mountain cycling. This is perfect for bikers or cyclists who want to explore nature. The rough, challenging terrains that mountain cyclists take on are also good for the heart.

Bicycle touring is best for cyclists who want to travel long distances riding bikes. This is recommended for individuals planning to go on vacations without the hassle of packing too many things.
Although cycling was originally considered as an outdoor sport, now, it can also be enjoyed indoors. Stationary bikes are used in indoor cycling. Taking cycling classes, or spinning classes, is also an option for indoor cyclists.

Always be prepared before going cycling. Precautionary measures should always be considered prior to engaging in sports. Make sure that you have complete protective gear like helmets. Stay alert and focus your eyes on the road. Don’t get distracted by mobile phones or gadgets especially when biking on roads or rough terrains. Obey all traffic laws when road cycling. Also, make sure that your bicycle is in good shape before taking it for a ride. Don’t forget to check the brakes as well as the wheels. Even casual cyclists should check their bikes regularly to avoid injuries or accidents. It is best to go to a bike specialist to have bikes checked if unsure of its safety. Cycling also causes the body to lose electrolytes, so it is advisable to take drinks or fluids while biking to avoid dehydration.

If you’re looking for a unique type of sport as it combines fun, transportation and exercise all at the same time, cycling is right for you. It’s also safe for the environment and is a cheaper means of travel. Many people are choosing to ride bikes as there are many advantages that can be gained.



cycling vs running

Cycling Versus Running

Cycling or Running? There is much debate whether cycling is better than running as an exercise or vice versa.

Cycling and running are two of the most popular choices when it comes to staying fit as they are the most accessible and affordable. Both forms of exercise can improve health and promote fitness. Cardiovascular system can also be better with the help of regular cycling or running.

However, some people wonder which of the two exercises is better for them.

In comparing cycling to running, one should take their priorities into consideration. There are many factors that can affect your decision when choosing between running and cycling.

If your priority is to burn as much calories as you can in a short period of time, then running is the better choice for you. Running burns more calories because you support your own weight when you run as opposed to cycling, where the bike itself carries your weight. Running is also considered a full-body exercise whereas cycling is not because cycling is more focused on the lower part of the body like the hips and the legs.

Cycling is more suitable for you if your priority is to build muscles. You can’t keep going and maximize your stamina with running because it puts strain on knees, legs and feet. Running also causes muscle soreness that can lead to muscle damage and inflammation. Most injuries encountered by runners result from muscle overuse.

If availability and convenience is what you want to consider first, you may want to choose running. Obviously, cycling requires a bike and an acceptable area where you can ride a bike. With running, all you need is a good pair of running shoes and you’re good to go because you can practically run anywhere.

Possibilities of getting an injury should also be considered when deciding. According to research from Appalachian State University Human Performance Laboratory (ASU HPL), more muscle inflammation, soreness, and damage are experienced by long-distance runners than cyclists. Professor David Nieman at the ASU HPL therefore advises long-distance runners to switch to cycling instead because it allows the body to exercise longer. He also stated that cycling is better for the muscles. Beginners in running should be careful not to do too much too soon to avoid getting injured.

In the end, it will always be your choice. You have to know your own body, your capacity and what you enjoy doing more. Whether you decide that running or cycling is a better fit for you, both exercises are still great paths to a healthier life. You may also want to try mixing up the two instead of choosing between them to get to experience them both. This way, you get a closer look and better understanding on how both exercises work. You can also tell the difference effects cycling and running have on your body. You may also decide to just keep doing both as part of your fitness routine to have variations in your workout.



advantages and disadvantages of indoor cycling

Advantages and Disadvantages of Indoor Cycling

One of the best aerobic exercises that you can try is cycling. Regular cycling can help improve cardiovascular fitness, which is good for your heart. Cycling is a great form of exercise as it allows you to get the exercise you need and build the muscles you want without putting too much strain and pain to your joints, legs, knees and back.

Another good thing about cycling is that you can also enjoy the workout indoors. Indoor cycling, whether joining in spinning classes or just cycling in the comforts of your home is becoming more and more popular because it can be very convenient–especially to some people who don’t particularly find going outdoors pleasurable.

Another benefit of deciding to try indoor cycling in your home is that you need to buy biking equipments like stationary bike, gloves, etc. These equipments can be used for a long time with proper care and maintenance.

Unlike road cycling or mountain biking, you have freedom from hassle of packing food and preparation when you opt for indoor cycling. Preparation for long distance biking can be time consuming. You don’t have to worry about bad weather either.

Indoor cycling also provides non-stop workout for you unlike outdoor biking where you can encounter traffic jams. You can focus more on working out this way. You can also stay focused on working out—free from worries of being hit by cars or falling from your bike.

You may also ride on a stationary bike and proceed with your workout with your house clothes on, whereas you have to wear proper sport clothing with complete biking gear if you plan to do outdoor cycling. This is also one of the great things about preferring indoor cycling.

The safety of being indoors is one of the most important advantages of indoor cycling. Outdoor cycling comes with the risk of getting involved in road accidents. According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, around 19,000 bikers or cyclists are getting killed or seriously injured due to involvement in road accidents.

Outdoor cycling also exposes the bikers or cyclists who ride on the road to pollution. Being constantly exposed to pollution can lead to lung problems.

Of course, despite having many advantages, indoor cycling also has its disadvantages.

One disadvantage of indoor cycling is that it can get very boring. Sometimes, even when you put on good music to put you into rhythm, nothing can beat cycling with the view of nature and challenge of a rough terrain.

If you want to be a skilled cyclist, indoor cycling may not be the best for you. Another disadvantage of indoor cycling is that you don’t get to experience and learn how to descend, turn the corners, and go uphill.

Every person has a different perspective when deciding what fits them best. Factors such as schedule, availability, comfortability of a person should be taken into account in choosing what type of exercise to try. Without a doubt, cycling, indoor or outdoor, when done properly and regularly, has positive effects on the body.