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Bike Ride Tracking – 30 Days to a Cyclist Lifestyle

Bike ride tracking is a great way for you to keep track of your cyclist lifestyle by keeping track of your cycling mileage. Bike ride tracking usually requires you to have some form of device and application that uses GPS in order for your bike ride tracking to occur. With bike ride tracking, you can keep track of your cycling mileage and attempt to ride various goals each month and year. I try to keep my bike ride tracking at about 100 miles a week and 2,000 to 5,000 miles a year if possible but you can do anything you want to do. In this article, I will show you how to easily accomplish bike ride tracking.

 

Bike Ride Tracking

 

Bike Ride Tracking Applications

I use Map My Ride which is an Under Armor product. It has a free service that is widely used and it have a premium paid service as well. The paid service comes with different features such as coaching programs, live tracking and no advertisements. However, the free service is just as good as the paid service in my opinion and it gives you the basic abilities for bike ride tracking which is really all you need. Map My Ride is a great source for bike ride tracking and it uses satellite GPS to track your mileage, speed, and other elements. My favorite features are the bike ride tracking displays elevation, average speed, maximum speed and exact mileage. I have used Map My Ride bike ride tracking applications for a while now and I highly recommend it.

 

Strava is another great application to consider using for bike ride tracking capabilities. Most of the pros are using Strava and it is a very popular bike ride tracking app among the cyclist community. Strava has a free application and a premium application as well. Some of the features of this great bike ride tracking app includes the ability to compare your rides against previous rides you have done to help increase your riding efforts, various challenges to accept while bike ride tracking is in progress, great privacy features and the premium version include extra features as well including leaderboards, custom heart zones and personal goal setting. If you haven’t used Strava yet for bike ride tracking, you might as well give it a shot because you might find out it is all you need to track your mileage and cycling adventures.

 

The company who brings you Road ID, a popular cyclist and athlete identification gear service also provide a great application for bike ride tracking. This bike ride tracking application is free for anyone with most mobile devices. I find this application to be very unique because it has a feature that allows your phone’s contacts to be notified if you stop cycling for five minutes. Basically, if you wreck, this app is going to probably help others know that you have wrecked which may be critical information if you are knocked unconscious and no one is around to help you out. Plus Road ID is a company that you can trust – I am many other cyclists use Road ID for our identification bracelets to tell first responders who we are if we are involved in such an accident at which we cannot talk to responders. The free Road ID application could be a life saver if you really think about it.

 

Bike Ride Tracking Devices

When it comes to devices for bike ride tracking, there are quite a few different options. The most used one I accompany with is my iPhone. A mobile device such as an iPhone or an Android phone is really all you need as long as you don’t mind using its battery and data for bike ride tracking purposes. I carry my phone with me on my rides anyways just in case to need to call someone for assistance so why not use it? Using my phone just means that I don’t need another bike ride tracking device to weigh my bike down even more! I am not a weight weenie by any means but I do believe if the weight isn’t needed on the bike, why continue to let it take up space? You can practically store your phone anywhere too and the bike ride tracking features still work whether you mount it on your bike or throw it in your jersey pocket or saddle bag.

 

Another option is purchasing a bicycle computer for bike ride tracking purposes. If you have never done this, don’t be afraid of how it sounds. You don’t have to spend $800+ on a computer, it is not like that! A bicycle computer is a small device that uses GPS to monitor your bike ride mileage and other numbers such as speed, heart rate and so on. You can usually get basic ones that work great for bike ride tracking at retail outlets that sell bicycles such as Walmart, Academy and Dick’s Sporting Goods. The basic bike ride tracking computers sell anywhere from $20 to about $100 – I acquired one for about $25 and it worked really great but I ended up using my phone instead in the end. The more you tend to pay for a decent bike ride tracking computer, the more features and accuracy you will likely get. Garmin is one of the top brands for bicycle related computers, too.

 

If you have money to spend, a bike ride tracking power meter might also be the hot ticket item for you. Power meters usually range in the prices upwards to $1,000 but they are heavily accurate and packed with all sorts of features. These devices are usually installed into the bottom bracket, wheel set and/or crank arm locations on your bike. They are like bike ride tracking computers on steroids. They are usually at least 99.9% accurate more so than your standard $100 bike computer and they are super friendly for cyclist racers who want to improve for racing strategies. If you are a bike racer, then you know significant accuracy is very important and power meters recording your bike ride tracking information will usually give you the significant accuracy you are looking for. If you are just a regular bike rider, a power meter can help you too but a cheaper bike ride tracking computer or phone application is going to do just as good for what you need it for, too.

 

Bike Ride Tracking Goals

One of my favorite parts about bike ride tracking capabilities is the ability to set goals for myself at an easier level. If I ride 20 miles today, I can use my bike ride tracking technology to measure up a ride for 30 miles the next day. To a cyclist, every portion of your mileage counts for your rides. If you are recording your bike ride by hand, you might think you have gone 20 miles but have actually went 20.8 miles which is nearly 21 miles. That counts towards your annual mileage and could be an increasing or decreasing factor against past efforts. So I highly recommend that you have some sort of technological method of bike ride tracking implemented with your cyclist lifestyle because it’s good to know how far you are actually pushing yourself, precisely.

 

Thanks for reading my article on bike ride tracking applications, devices and tips. I hope this blog post has helped you discover bike ride tracking importance and I hope to see you tracking your rides as soon as you can. If you have enjoyed reading this blog post and gaining access to the resources within it – please support for writing it by sharing it with other cyclists and especially on your favorite social media profiles as well. You may also donate directly to my blog’s hosting bills which helps out too. I encourage you to follow this blog on Twitter for more bike ride tracking resources, tips and secrets.

 

Your turn to comment! What are you using or what do you plan on using for your bike ride tracking capabilities? How important is tracking your rides to you as a cyclist? Do you look at the stats of other cyclists that you know and how they have tracked their bike rides at all?

 

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Bicycle Touring – 30 Days to a Cyclist Lifestyle

Bicycle touring is a big step towards an ultimate cyclist lifestyle. If you can get the time and money for bicycle touring, then you should try it out. Bicycle touring is basically riding your bicycle through multiple communities, regions, states – you get the picture here. You could do short distance bicycle touring by riding from your state to the next state over and back or you can do long distance bicycle touring by riding across an entire country. Bicycle touring really comes in all shape, sizes and types. In this article, I will share with you some great bicycle touring tips, strategies and resources to help you decide your best bicycle touring advantage.

 

Bicycle Touring

 

Bicycle Touring Tips

Planning your bicycle touring activities is going to be your best bet. You need to pick a date, confirm that you can go bicycle touring on that date and plan ahead for it. You need to start saving money when planning to go bicycle touring because there will costs such as bicycle repairs, eating, lodging and unexpected expenses as well. Longer bicycle touring adventures should mean you need to save up even more money for it. You should be planning your route as well and research each road or highway you plan to ride on – make sure you are not riding through a bad neighborhood or a road that is extremely dangerous for cyclists. You need to plan where you are planning to stay and make reservations early if need be so that you don’t have any issues when it comes time to lodge and so on while bicycle touring. Planning ahead of time will get you prepared when the bicycle touring trip is actually taking place.

 

Have you decided what type of bicycling touring you are going to be a part of? Are you going on a solo or self-supported ride where you choose your own route and you are by yourself or with other riders? Or maybe you are going to have vehicle support for your bicycle touring activities and have you talked to anyone to provide that? If you are worried about your first bicycle touring event and worried about getting things wrong – I suggest you look up some organized bicycle touring companies and consider riding with them as they are fully supported and will tell you exactly what you need to be doing. Organized bicycle touring companies usually cost less against you bicycle touring on your own without any type of support.

 

Make sure your bike is bicycle touring ready long before you actually start your bicycle touring. You need to be used to the bike you will be touring with otherwise you might have a bad experience while bicycle touring on a strange bike that you are not used to riding. Most of the time, road bikes or bicycle touring specific bikes is what you want to be taking with you. You don’t want something too heavy but you also want a bike that is going to last on the road for several days. If you use a road bike, I suggest considering different handle bars that bring you more into an upright position – like mountain bike or hybrid bike handle bars since you will likely be on the road for long periods of time and all. You need to get the right bicycle touring gear as well which includes bike bags, better components, hydration gear, riding apparel and so on. Plan on what you will be taking with you on your bicycle touring trip and make sure you are actually going to be able to take it with you in the first place.

 

Save Money on Bicycle Touring

Lodging can be expensive especially if you are doing a self-support bicycle touring type event. To save money, I highly recommend you consider bicycle touring during fair weather and choose to camp out at campgrounds instead of hotels and B&B type establishments. There should be plenty of campgrounds stretched all across your route no matter what country you plan to do your bicycle touring in. A lot of these primitive type campgrounds are really cheap and some are even free. You could also ask land owners for permission to camp on their land but make sure you do actually get their permission first so you can avoid any problems that could arise by not getting permission beforehand.

 

Tap into your inner redneck! If stuff breaks down on the road during your bicycle touring extravaganza, save money by fixing thing on the cheap because you’re not exactly bicycle touring in an RV right? Duct tape is a wonderful tool to carry when bicycle touring. You get a hole in your tire – duct tape that baby up and you’ll be able to ride and ride and ride like there is no hole to begin with. Zip ties are also a wonderful quick fix when it comes to bicycle touring. If cable holders and brackets fail, you can zip tie those babies up and not have to worry about them again. As long as the cheap measure isn’t threatening you safety when bicycle touring, I always recommend using tactics to save you money.

 

Pick routes with plenty of rest areas, cafes and businesses with electricity and free Wi-Fi. Don’t use up your phone or internet data if you don’t really have to when bicycle touring. Fast food places are great for this even if you are against eating fast food. You can still go it and buy water or sweet tea or juice or whatever and drink it long enough to snatch their free Wi-Fi and also plug your phone in for a quick charge. This especially is ideal if you don’t plan on staying in any hotels and plan to be camping your bicycle touring days out where there is no electricity. I do recommend bringing your phone though because in this day and age with all the crazy drivers, you might need it for an emergency.

 

Log Your Bicycle Touring

One free website that I often recommend to bicycle touring folks is a site call Crazy Guy on a Bike. It’s free to join and you basically create your own online journal for bicycle touring activities. You can add text, photos and even videos. I plan on using the site myself when I do any bicycle touring adventures in the future. I will also be including a bicycle touring community within my upcoming Cyclist Ville Town Hall premium membership feature. Sure, you have to pay a small monthly fee to use it but it will be jam-packed with a lot of great unique features that are not found anywhere else. Look for it to come out sometime before 2015.

 

Thank you for reading my post about bicycle touring. If you plan on doing any bicycle touring yourself in the near future, I’d love to hear about it. Please show me support for writing this article by sharing it with other cyclists and especially on your favorite social networking profiles. You are also free to donate to my hosting costs if that is what you would like to do – I appreciate it and every little cent helps! Be sure to check out this blog on Twitter as well for more bicycle touring tips and resources.

 

Your turn to comment! Are you going to be doing any bicycle touring this year or in the near future? Have you ever been on any bicycle touring trips in the past? Tell us all what places you have been or plan to go to in terms of bicycle touring!

 

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Off Bike Cycling Fitness – 30 Days to a Cyclist Lifestyle

Off bike cycling fitness is very important for your health cyclist lifestyle. You need to be focusing on off bike cycling fitness just as you are focusing on fitness while riding your bike. Off bike cycling fitness will help to keep you stronger and healthy for when you are riding your bike and focusing on fitness in that specific area of your workout strategies. Off bike cycling fitness isn’t as challenging as you might think, either. Off bike cycling fitness is making about making choices about your fitness, health and dieting routines that you know will benefit your cycling and that you understand how it will benefit your cycling. In this article, I talk about various tactics for off bike cycling fitness that you can try out on your own.

 

Off Bike Cycling Fitness

 

Off Bike Cycling Fitness Tactics

Yoga is a great way to practice off bike cycling fitness. Yoga is great for anyone of any age and there are tons and tons of different routines in Yoga that you can practice. Yoga benefits cyclists because it allows you to help stretch your body and loosen up stick muscles and joints. There is nothing worse than riding your bike and your body feeling all stiff the entire time. That can make you not want to ride and not wanting to ride is just one big bummer. I focus on basic Yoga that aims at my back, legs and neck areas because I feel those are the most important areas that relate to my cycling interests. And don’t worry, you don’t have to stretch your legs behind your head to do Yoga – unless of course you want to and can survive afterwards!

 

Old school exercises are great for off bike cycling fitness routines. Why buy expensive gym memberships and outrageously priced gym equipment that takes up half your house when good old fashion exercises are available at your free will and disposal. If you’re around my age or older, you remember these exercises from P.E. class back in our school days! Sit-ups, Push-ups, Jumping Jacks, Jump Roping, Stretching and Planking! You don’t need a whole lot to do any of these great exercises so there are no reasons to take out a loan for them. All you need is a good Yoga mat to protect yourself when on the ground, a $5 jump rope from Walmart will do and maybe some stretch ropes. Needless to say, I bet you spend well under $50 for everything you need to stay in shape and concentrate on off bike cycling fitness tactics.

 

A lot of cyclists are also triathlete and it is not a bad idea to look into it yourself if you haven’t already. Biking, swimming and running is what makes up a normal triathlon. For off bike cycling fitness, I often to recommend running and swimming because its two great exercises that works out your entire body especially swimming. In the winter time, when it is way too cold to bike and I am bored of spinning inside on the trainer – I look to running as something to increase my off bike cycling fitness routines. I can’t stand being cold and when I am on a bike riding 20 miles an hour in 20 degree weather, I get cold really fast and then I get uncomfortable. I don’t run 20 miles an hour so I can easily slap on a pair of tights, put my running jacket on and focus my off bike cycling fitness on a good 5k. I suggest you try it too!

 

Off Bike Cycling Fitness and Dieting

Dieting is just as important as the workouts you do for your off bike cycling fitness strategies. You need to be sure you are eating right. The most important meal of the day is breakfast and you should eat it every day. My breakfast usually consists of a couple of scrambled eggs, some turkey sausage, whole gain toast with lite butter and a coffee. It is good to eat a good breakfast because that is really your all day energy or at least the important parts of your day’s energy. After that, I’d look to snacking more than focusing on lunch and dinner. Snacking – Eating small proportions throughout the day instead of big meals that fill you up and make you hurt. If you plan on doing a big ride the next day, I would recommend a big dinner like pasta for example, a dish many professional cyclists prefer before big races and rides the next day.

 

I could have had a V8! But I didn’t because I ate fresh veggies and fruit and knew it didn’t include anything else like V8 probably includes. You need a good proportion of fruits and veggies each and every day. They also should be fresh! Walmart and other known retailers usually sell frozen fruit which have no added sugar or junk (make sure the packages states that) and you can unthaw and eat and then freeze the rest so you have plenty throughout your day or the week. I buy tomatoes from farmers and farmer markets (much fresher!) and tend to end them throughout the day. They taste great with salt – easy there partner, salt isn’t that bad for you, in fact you need it to survive. Too much salt in most cases is better for you than not enough salt.

 

Stay away from crap that will just rot your gut! What is this crap I speak of? Fast food is crap. Fried food is crap. Sugar loaded food is crap. High fattening food is crap. Candy is crap. Soda is really crap. Beer is crap. If you need any of that above, then your off bike cycling fitness routines will show to be very challenging and there is no way to avoid that besides not eating that crap to begin with. It’s okay to cheat every now and then but when you make it a habit, it’s not doing you any good what so ever, in fact, it’s ruining your dieting strategies altogether. Look for alternatives to those things you really love but you know is crap. For example, I freaking love ice cream and it is my weakness but now I buy healthy frozen yogurt and I think it tastes better than ice cream. Treat your body well and diet with some sense.

 

Off Bike Cycling Fitness Warning

Just because you are focusing on an off bike cycling fitness routine doesn’t mean you are racing anyone. Please be sure that you are careful about your fitness routines and focus on working out slowly and at your own pace. You don’t want to hurt yourself and risk not being able to get back on the bike, now do you? I would probably cry if that happened to me! So don’t overdo anything and be sure to keep it fun and interesting so you don’t get burned out about doing it.

 

Thanks for reading my post on off bike cycling fitness strategies. I hope this article helps you develop your own off bike cycling fitness workouts. If you have enjoyed reading this post, please help support me for writing it by sharing it with other cyclists and by sharing it on social networking websites as well. You can also donate to my hosting bill if you want to help out a little bit more. I recommend you check us out on Twitter too for more off bike cycling fitness tips and beyond.

 

Your turn to comment! What is your off bike cycling fitness routine? What exercises and fitness activities are you doing when you are not riding your bike? How do your routines benefit you as a cyclist?

 

Creative Commons Image Credit: Edson Hong

 

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Cycling Fitness Strategies – 30 Days to a Cyclist Lifestyle

Cycling fitness strategies are very important in terms of being all that you can be with you cyclist lifestyle. Cycling fitness strategies cannot only improve your overall health and fitness but great cycling fitness strategies can also improve your overall cycling abilities and bike handling skills altogether. However, there are some cycling fitness strategies that are good for one type of cyclist and then there are some cycling fitness strategies that are not good for a specific type of cyclist. To gain an insight of great cycling fitness strategies to adopt for yourself you need to determine what type of cyclist you actually aim to be. I wrote this article to help you out in determining your best cycling fitness strategies to focus on.

 

Cycling Fitness Strategies

 

Cycling Fitness Strategies for all Cyclists

All cyclists can relate to some cycling fitness strategies. One of these are frame fit! Your bike frame needs to fit the frame of your body and physical appearance. If you ride a bike that is too little, you will have a bad and probably a painful experience. The same can go with a bike that is too big for you. You need to take proper measurements to determine your fit and the bike frame fit in order to start developing great cycling fitness strategies and to have a great experience on your bike. The best way to do this would be to go to your local bike shop with the intent on looking to buy a bike and get measured by the shop clerk in order to get your right dimensions. You can always say you’re just looking today and you might be back later on.

 

Saddles will do a lot in terms of your cycling fitness strategies. The saddle (or the bike seat) needs to fit you and adjust to your comfort level. If you are having a hard time sitting on your bike, you are going to have a hard time with your cycling fitness strategies due to discomfort from a bad saddle. Be wary though because saddle selection isn’t always as it seems. For example, I sport saddles that have no padding and are particularly hard and quite small. I find that padded saddles are uncomfortable for me and usually result in chaffing on my sensitive parts. I wear padded bike shorts to help prevent chaffing and saddle sores so I really don’t need any extra padding to sit on while riding my bikes. There are many different types of saddles – the important thing is to give them all a chance. At first, it may be uncomfortable but that is because you need to get used to it, first.

 

You are not superman or superwoman! Don’t jump on your bike and push yourself to an extreme right from the get go even if you are very used to cycling. Your cycling fitness strategies should be tactics to where you are comfortable working on your bike. If you rush into it at the beginning, you will not only wear yourself out a lot quicker but you also risk injuries from rushing into it too fast. When I road bike or mountain bike, I always try to take the first couple of miles slow and at my own pace in order to warm up for my cycling fitness strategies. After a couple miles of warming up on the bike, I will then focus on going faster and increasing my cycling fitness strategies to get better workout results on the bike. Don’t treat every fitness event on your bike as if it is a race because like I said, you are not superman or superwoman and your body will make sure that you know that after you are done.

 

Cycling Fitness Strategies for Different Riders

Mountain biking is great when it comes to practicing your cycling fitness strategies. Mountain biking is not only fun but it can often be a full body workout if you play your cards right. In most cases, mountain biking fitness will includes hills and mountains that you will be required to climb in order to continue on the bike trail. Focus on mastering climbing! You need to be able to stay on your mountain bike and climb hills without having to get off and push up the hill. Sometimes you need to put it the lowest gear possible and even stand up and ride for that extra boost of power to get you up the hill. Focus on smaller hills, master them and then move on the bigger hills and so on and so on.

 

When road biking, speed is a big factor that you should include in your cycling fitness strategies. Speed or sprinting will really help boost your fitness as a cyclist. While road biking, on each ride you do, focus on cycling intervals. For example, choose a landmark on the road to start the interval at (such as a road sign or a mail box) and then start riding fast, as fast as you can at that point to an end point, which should be another landmark that you see on the road. As you get better and better at sprinting, try to make your sprinting intervals longer each time you do them. The faster you can go at longer distances, the better you cycling fitness strategies will be for you and your overall health.

 

Wear the right apparel and gear for the right ride. For road biking, I highly suggest spandex biking apparel – it’s tight and it may seem embarrassing but you’re a cyclist and other cyclists are used to it, who care what another non-cyclist civilian thinks about it. Tight fitting biking apparel will do so much for you in terms of your cycling fitness strategies including protecting you from chaffing, helping to keep sweat off your body and protecting your from getting into a wreck because there is no loose clothing to get caught in something or on something you ride close to. I even wear tight apparel when mountain biking as well. Always wear a helmet – if you don’t, good luck protecting your skull from the pavement or jagged rocks on a mountain bike trail.

 

Cycling Fitness Strategies on Hydration

Lastly and probably the most important aspect of proper cycling fitness strategies – make sure you are hydrating yourself properly while riding your bike for fitness. You need to be drinking at least one to two bottles of water each hour that you are riding. You also need some sort of sports drink or power to give yourself your needed electrolytes back as you lose so much salt from your sweat – your body needs salt, don’t let anyone else tell you any differently. Food on the bike is also important because healthy food will give you more fuel for your bike ride.

 

Thanks for reading my article on cycling fitness strategies. I hope this post has helped you with your own cycling fitness strategies. Please help me by supporting me for writing this article for you by sharing it with other cyclists and especially on your favorite social media networks. You can also donate money to me if you really want to. I use donations to help pay the hosting costs of having this blog. I encourage you to follow my blog on Twitter as well for more tips on perfecting your cycling fitness strategies.

 

Your turn to comment! What are your cycling fitness strategies right now? Are there any cycling fitness strategies that you would like to be added to this list at all? What is important to you when cycling in terms of your own fitness?

 

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Cycling Safety – 30 Days to a Cyclist Lifestyle

Cycling safety is an important factor to consider when you want to enter the cyclist lifestyle. Cycling safety not only helps to keep you safe while on your bike but it also promotes cycling as a safe activity which helps the rest of us look better to the world. When a cyclist gets involved in some form of accident and their cycling safety is considered negligent, it makes all cyclists look bad because people get to point a finger at us – most being quite uneducated. But if you get enough ignorant people pointing the finger at cyclists, more and more people will take notice and take their side. So use your common sense and consider cycling safety measures before getting on your bike each time.

 

Cycling Safety

 

Cycling Safety the RIGHT Way

Right – That is where you need to be when riding your bike in traffic, at least in terms of the United States. Some European countries are different but whether you are on the right or left, it is safe to say that you need to be on the very edge of that right or left. In most areas, internationally, motor vehicle drivers are legally supposed to give you 3 feet of space in between you and their side-mirrors but often the case is that they don’t. Riding at the very edge (right or left, pending your country) will help increase your cycling safety around the numbskulls who are not giving you plenty of space in between them and your bicycle. If you ride out in the road, you might risk being hit a lot more than you would be on the very edge. If there is a cycling lane, use it for your own cycling safety – and sometimes to avoid being fined!

 

Riding against traffic isn’t as safe as you might think it to be – which is why you shouldn’t do it. Let’s say this for cycling safety sake… An average motor vehicle, weighing 4,000 pounds hits you as you are riding with traffic. You and your bike go forward and you skin yourself up a bit and maybe even break your wrist or something like that. Next scenario, you are riding against traffic and notice a car coming right for you. It’s moving 55 MPH and your riding 12 MPH – You think you can swerve out of the way but then realize that the car is going much faster that you and you and the 4,000 pound car connect. You and your bike have nowhere else to go accept into the front side of this 4,000 pound object moving at 55 miles per hour. Something tells me that riding with traffic is safety that riding against traffic but I could be wrong – hitting a 4,000 pound object going 55 MPH might be like hitting a 100 pillows, right?

 

Increase your cycling safety by obeying traffic laws! Just because you are riding a bicycle doesn’t mean that you are exempt from traffic laws. If you don’t stop at a stop sign and that 55 MPH 4,000 pound car runs you over and kills you, you died at your own fault, not at theirs. Stop at stops signs, stop at stop lights and signal when you are going to turn. Some areas allow you to go through red lights but all of these areas require you to make a complete stop first and check to see if it is safe to go through them – research your local laws on that before you try it as not all areas are the same. You also need to see every motor vehicle driver as a texter because quite a bit of them are texting a driving or just simply not paying attention to you. Riding on the road for me is like a strategic bran exercise each time – I see a car and instantly strategize of how I will avoid being killed by the car whether or not they see more or not. I look at every driver as a potential 4,000 pound death machine and I am very cautious of them. The moment you ignore them or think you are safe if the moment they run your down.

 

Cycling Safety Addons

Dress to the occasion of cycling safety! When I am on the road, I am sport bright colored spandex bike shorts and jerseys. People often instantly notice me because I am wearing skin tight clothing and they are extremely bright in color. They might laugh at me, scream profanities or remarks about my attire or think I am weird but guess what? THEY SEE ME and they don’t run me over. Wear bright colors because they don’t blend in with everything else and they are usually eye catching. I have red bike shorts, purple bike shorts, royal blue bike shorts and a whole lot of different bright colored bike jerseys. I even buy those neon yellow cycling socks. I want to be seen by people even if it’s only to be laughed at by them because at least they are not seeing me until I am underneath their cars.

 

Lights are great addons for cycling safety even if you don’t plan to ride at night. Many day time riders increase their cycling safety by riding with lights on anytime they ride even when it’s the brightest outside. A red flashing light on the back of a bicycle is likely going to grasp the attention of a motor vehicle driver better than no light, right? When we see flashing red lights we think about break lights or even emergency vehicle lights and we slow down, right? That is pretty much the theory behind the red flashing lights on bicycle in the day time – no they didn’t just forget to turn off their lights, it’s a matter of cycling safety and being seen quicker. The same goes for front headlights on a bike especially those that flash. Now if you are worried about weight, when you get hit by a car, a lot of weight is going to be taken away – aka, YOU!

 

Components and extra parts should be added to your bike when necessary to promote cycling safety. If your bicycle’s brakes are worn out and inoperable – that means they need to be replaced. They are probably not going to work right at that split second that you might need them the most like riding fast into an open manhole cover on the street – like, ouch! Check your tires, brakes, chain, lube and components that can easily break off if they are not maintained correctly. Keep your bike clean too so that it doesn’t rust out and start to deteriorate on the frame. Maintain your bicycle like you would maintain your car or truck to keep it riding as good as it rode when you first bought it.

 

And the Number One Cycling Safety Rules is…

WEAR A HELMET!!! Seriously, people – wear a freaking helmet. Who cares if it messes up your hair! Who cares if it is too hot! Who cares if it infringes on your fashion! Who cares if you’re riding a trail and not going to go that fast! A helmet is a protective material in between your skull and the pavement. Without a helmet, you have the pavement – your skull – your brain. I would rather crack a $60 helmet than crack my skull and have brain bleeding. I mean I can go to the local bike shop and replace my helmet but I don’t have any local skull and brain shops to replace them when I am too stupid to wear a helmet and crack them open from a wreck. In my opinion, cyclists who don’t wear a helmet and wreck with head injuries should be responsible for paying all the medical bills out of their own pockets just for being that stupid. Be smart – wear a helmet!

 

Thanks for reading my article on cycling safety. I hope you enjoyed reading it and I hope the information I wrote about sinks in to your mind because it might save your life one day. Please help support me for writing this article by sharing it with other cyclists and especially on your favorite social media websites. I also encourage you to follow this blog on Twitter for more cycling safety tips.

 

Your turn to comment! How much cycling safety do you consider when you ride your bike? What other cycling safety tips would you add to this article?

 

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Organized Bike Rides – 30 Days to a Cyclist Lifestyle

Organized bike rides are one the best types of events for you to participate in when entering the cyclist lifestyle. Organized bike rides are great for training, they are great for meeting more local cyclists, finding new cycling routes and best of all, organized bike rides are fun because the entire event is dedicated to you, the cyclist. Most areas all over the world offer organized bike rides and other related cycling events as well. I probably ride anywhere from 5-10 organized bike rides and related cycling events each year around my area and I live in the rural southern Midwest where there isn’t a whole lot of nothing but corn and country. Find some nearby organized bike rides in your area, try them out and see what I mean by falling in love with them.

 

Organized Bike Rides

 

Tips for Riding in Organized Bike Rides

Organized bike rides are group rides and there is often pace lines and groups of riders who ride fairly close together the entire ride and route. Don’t be afraid to ride in the back of the group if you are unsure of riding with others or have no experience in riding with groups. Once you are in the back, you can gradually move up and ride beside other cyclists in the ride while talking to them and gaining some experience of riding with others. If you are comfortable with riding in the group, the draft effect is a really great benefit to keep in mind. You simply ride directly behind another rider, closely so that their draft can basically “pull you” allowing you to not have to do so much work. Don’t do this the entire time though as many riders consider it rude.

 

Most organized bike rides are just bike rides and nothing else. Don’t expect organized bike rides to be organized bike races because most of the time, people are not on them to race you. You don’t need to be the first rider back or finish the race long before anyone else because that just ruins the ride for you. Organized bikes rides are meant to be able to ride with others while you are having a good time and a nice easy ride. I myself enjoy riding with others on organized bike rides, talking to new people and checking out the great sceneries that are often picked for the riding routes. I am always encouraged to choose the longer routes so I can enjoy them at a nice easy pace with other riders. I ride 60 mile routes for the most part but I can ride 60 miles in one day and be okay with it – make sure you choose a comfortable route, don’t hurt yourself just to go the same distance as everyone else is.

 

One of the best things about organized bike rides is the SAG STOPS! Sag stops – remember that phrase! A sag stop is basically a rest stop on organized bike rides. Pending the distance of the bike routes, there are usually 2-6 sag stops on most organized bike rides. At the sag stop, you can rest, use the rest room, eat some snacks to help fuel you up for the rest of the ride, refill your water and sports drink and socialize with other cyclists participating on the ride. I will make it a habit to stop at every sag stop I see on any of the organized bike rides I participate in. The organizers are usually at these sag stops as well and it gives you an opportunity to thank them for organizing the ride and learn more about their cause or charity for the ride. Plus, sag stops are full of free stuff and who doesn’t want free stuff?!

 

Organize some Organized Bike Rides

If your area lacks organized bike rides then maybe you should be organizing some of the local organized bike rides, then! If you the money or you know organizations and businesses that will give you the money and supplies as a way of sponsoring the event, then you should go for it. Organize your own organized bike rides based on a local cause, charity or an organization. Most organized bike rides I attend are for causes such as the Kiwanis organization that helps children, the Masonic fraternity that also helps kids and even causes for fighting various cancers such as breast cancer awareness rides. Choose a great cause and people will want to attend to help be a part of that cause.

 

When doing your own organized bike rides, be sure to be generous about them. Don’t charge an arm and a leg to ride the event – most events costs anywhere from $10 to $35 a person. You should also make sure that you provide t-shirts for the event as well because a lot of riders expect them and plus they are great marketing devices for your cause and for future organized bike rides you plan to continue. You can usually get t-shirts made in bulk for a decent price and make that money back through registration costs. You should also setup great sag stops because that will often times encourage riders to keep attending your organized bike rides. My sag stops would have water, Gatorade, bananas, granola bars and maybe even some energy gels. Keep your riders happy throughout the entire event!

 

Consider all the legal aspects when forming your own organized bike rides. Do you need to get single day or event-type insurance? Do you need to get some sort of a permit for hosting the event? Do you coordinate the event with local police and fire-rescue for first responder support? Are you choosing routes that are enjoyable for all levels of cycling but are still extremely safe for cyclists? Do you have event-specific medical, emergency, security, repair and sag personnel to volunteer their services? Be sure that your organized bike rides are safe, legal and well-staffed so you can avoid any issues or legal problems that could occur during these ride events. I would suggest contacting your local city council or officials and asking them more about what you would need to do before you actually start planning your organized bike rides.

 

Organized Bike Rides are supposed to be Fun

Remember – organized bike rides are supposed to be fun cycling events. Don’t think that just because you have a different kind of bicycle or that you are not as advanced as other riders, that you cannot participate in organized bike rides. The first time that I did an organized ride, I did a road bike ride with a mountain bike. I rode 40 out of 60 miles before I gave up but those 40 miles were rode with a MOUNTAIN BIKE and that is something that I am still proud of myself for today. In the end, I had a lot of fun even though I was wore out and tired for a week after the fact. The next two times I rode that ride, I had a road bike and I enjoyed the full 60 miles both times even that big hill at the end! The point is that you should be enjoying organized bike rides and having fun more than anything else.

 

Thanks for reading my article on organized bike rides. I hope this article has helped you and encourages you to participate in as many organized bike rides as you can find. Please help support me for writing this article for you by simply sharing it with other cyclists that you know and by linking to it on your favorite social networking profiles, pages and groups. I encourage you to follow this blog on Twitter for more tips and resources about cycling and organized bike rides.

 

Your turn to comment! Have you ridden on any organized bike rides yet? Have you ever organized a bike ride before? If so, tell us about and what the cause of your organized bike ride was for!

 

Creative Commons Image Credit: woowoowoo

 

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Promote Cycling Awareness – 30 Days to a Cyclist Lifestyle

You should promote cycling awareness every chance you get when developing your cyclist lifestyle. The only way to encourage more people to become cyclists or know the rights of a cyclist is to promote cycling awareness when it is appropriate. I not only promote cycling awareness probably every day but I talk about cycling on a daily basis as well because I am hooked and I want to promote cycling awareness to get more people involved in the cycling lifestyle. If you promote cycling awareness and get more people into cycling in your area, then that will mean that you have more people to ride with.

 

Promote Cycling Awareness

 

Promote Cycling Awareness by Encouraging Cycling

One great way to promote cycling awareness is to encourage other people to become cyclists. It isn’t hard to promote cycling awareness and encourage others to ride as well because there are so many benefits of riding a bicycle for health, finance and even for sustaining the environment. The more you can promote cycling awareness, the more people will start to catch on and become interested in riding bicycles more often. Some people might have seen cyclists and thought to themselves that cycling is way too hard and it might be too late for them to start but if you promote cycling awareness to them and show them how easy it is to become a cyclist – then you will probably increase the local cycling infrastructure for your community.

 

Like I said, promote cycling awareness by promoting the health, financial and environmental benefits of bicycling. Cycling helps to keep your body strong, your lungs and health healthy and you can lose weight just by cycling a few hours a week – ride a few hours a day and it will really benefit your health. Financially, cycling is awesome! My mom lives 20 minutes by bicycle from me in the next town over – I can ride up to her house and see her without wasting gas and putting wear and tear on my vehicle. I do a lot of odd and ins on my bicycle and I save quite a bit of money. If you are able to safely ride to and from work every day, you will really start to notice how much money you are actually saving. Cycling is also great on the environment because you are not leaving a carbon footprint with a bicycle with any motor, fuel or oil to pollute the environment. Encourage cycling and promote cycling awareness by promoting the benefits of the bike.

 

One way to promote cycling awareness and encourage cycling amongst your friends, family and neighbors is to offer to ride with them. Most beginners have an issue riding alone whether it be they’re scared to do so or that it feels awkward and alien to them. Offer to go on an easy ride with them and help train them to be able to ride farther and faster as time goes on. There should be plenty of cycling lanes, paths or trails in your area or maybe even a great park that has low traffic that you can ride around? Pick a great place to ride and start riding with people you know to promote cycling awareness and shape more locals into cyclists.

 

Promote Cycling Awareness by Living the Lifestyle of Cycling

When I promote cycling awareness, I tend to tell a person that the great thing about cycling is that it has its own lifestyle to it and that lifestyle is pretty cool to be a part of. Most of the time, every time you pass a cyclist on the road – you both wave at one and other! Once you get to understand more about the cyclist lifestyle, you also tend to notice other cyclists more often. The cycling lifestyle is about having a purpose when you ride your bike and deciding on what kind of rider you want to be. Do you want to be a “weekend warrior” or do you want to be a full-blown cyclist? The cyclist lifestyle pretty much takes over your life, too but it’s a good thing because it changes the way you eat for the better, the way you rest improves, the way you look and cycling even allows you to increase self-discipline which is something everyone needs a little bit of here and there.

 

One way to tell I am a cyclist is to look at my tan! I have the full cycling tan going on – whereas you can tell I wear bike shorts and a jersey, you can tell I wear bike gloves and you can tell I wear a helmet most of the time. I tend to look around at peoples tans when I suspect they are cyclists and I go from there. I also promote cycling awareness by dressing like a cyclist off the bike as well. No I don’t sport spandex when I am not running (most of the time) but I do sport bicycle-related t-shirts, my cycling cap and a Road ID around my wrist. I practically sign up for every organized bike ride that I can because I usually get a t-shirt with it which looks great to wear and helps to promote cycling awareness when I am wearing it out in public.

 

Promote cycling awareness by becoming a cycling expert! When I first bought a bicycle, I bought it for once a month fitness and then fell in love with cycling after my first ride. Now I blog about cycling here, run a message forum about cycling in my area and even own my own bicycle repair shop. Soon I will be fixing up and selling used road and mountain bikes, too. I have an entire library of bicycle-related books, CDs, DVDs and magazine subscriptions to Bicycling, Velo News and others. I’ve seen most (if not all) of the cycling-related movies and watched most of the documentaries. I watch the Tour de France every year and I actually understand what is going on. I love cycling and I love becoming an expert on cycling because it gives me more fuel to promote cycling awareness and you should be doing this, too!

 

A Bike Snob doesn’t Promote Cycling Awareness

Don’t make the mistake of becoming a bike snob, for the love of Bikes! Don’t become stuck up and snobbish around other cyclists because they are not at your riding level or because they don’t sport the same bicycle frame as you do. A bike snob isn’t out to promote cycling awareness the way it should be promoted – a bike snob does nothing more than give actual cyclists a bad name. Listen… Cycling is about having fun, staying young and staying healthy – you should never think that you are better than the next rider and treat people like garbage, that isn’t a real cyclist – that is a real jerk! Instead of being a snob, be cool and promote cycling awareness as a cycling friend to anyone interested. The more people we get interested in cycling – the safer it becomes and the less people get upset about us being in their way or something like that.

 

Thanks for reading my article on how you can promote cycling awareness to others. I hope this article has sunk in and that you will promote cycling awareness as frequently as you are able to. Please help promote my articles as well by sharing them with other cyclists and on social media networks. The more people that visit my blog, the more motivated I am to keep writing more helpful articles for you to enjoy. You might also consider following this blog on Twitter for more tips on ways to promote cycling awareness and beyond.

 

Your turn to comment! What are you doing to help promote cycling awareness? Do you think that promoting cycling awareness encourages other people to give cycling a chance?

 

Creative Commons Image Credit: downatthezoo

 

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