Bike racing is a wonderful sport to get into when you want to begin a lifestyle in cycling. Bike racing is not only fun but its highly competitive and allows you to get a full workout while you are doing it. Bike racing doesn’t mean you have to compete in the Tour de France, either. There are plenty of bike racing events and competitions all around the world and I am sure there are a few even close by to you as well. If you haven’t given bike racing a shot yet, you should try it out because you might find out you really like it a lot.
Bike Racing for Beginners
Training is probably going to be your number one lesson when it comes to bike racing. You need to train yourself how to race and how to ride for long periods of time. Just by going out and riding, you are training really but for bike racing, your training tactics will have to step up a little bit. If you are preparing yourself for a basic bike race, focus on riding 7 days a week – seriously! The first few three days should be about speed and climbing, wear yourself out because that will help build race power for your bike racing strategies. Then take an active race day – what I mean by this is ride that day but not very fast and not very far. The next three days should be about distance riding, ride as far as you can on each of those days. It’s okay to take a rest day here and there where you don’t ride but don’t rest too much otherwise you will have to start all over again.
Eating and drinking is also important for bike racing. Obviously you don’t want to get drunk the night before your bike racing event only to be hung-over during the race. Eating a lot of pasta before the big race isn’t always a good idea either, sure the pros may do it but they are used to doing it before all of their big rides. If your body is not used to a nutrition change, it will let you know it isn’t used to it and you might have a bad experience rather than a good one. If bike racing is short, hydration during the race is going to be your main focus – such as an hour long criterion or something in that nature. If you are going to be riding in a long road race – then you need to be consuming food and drinks each hour that you ride (or whenever you can eat per race rules). Bring sports drinks, water, gels and even good power bars to help load you up with calories and carbohydrates which translate into your fuel for continuing to be in your bike racing event.
Be prepared for the race itself! If it may be chilly at the start but warmer later on, try wearing arm and leg warmers instead of choosing tights. If it’s going to be super cold during the race, then choose warmer clothing for bike racing. When it’s warm or hot out, I always turn to a trisuit when I race – its shorts and a tank top together as one and skintight for better aerodynamics. The pad is a lot thinner though but if you need a thicker pad, they also make cycling padded skinsuits as well. Watch what you bring with you bike racing because weight is always something you want to consider and consider reducing. Be prepared to ride close to other riders so you need to have experience in that before you actually do it otherwise you might make people wreck including yourself. Be prepared to forgive yourself if you lose especially if it’s your first couple of times. Bike racing should be fun; it shouldn’t make you depressed if it doesn’t go your way.
Different Types of Bike Racing
There are many different types of bike racing events to participate in. One of these main events is road bike racing which is common among the cycling sport. With road bike racing, you usually either race in a short sprinting-focused (speed) criterion or an actual longer road bike race which can be anywhere from 15-100 miles. You should focus on road bike racing events that you are comfortable riding. I always suggest that you choose to ride in a couple of non-racing organized road rides first and try to make your own race out of it. Just try to be the first one back to the finish line, that will help get you into feeling what it’s like to race your road bike.
Another form of bike racing is dual sport racing that involves cycling. One of these sporting events is known as a triathlon. Triathlons are bike racing, swimming and running events all crammed into one big racing event. So usually you start off with a nice long swim and then transition over to bike racing and finally end the race by running. There are basic triathlons which are shorter in all three racing discipline and then there are longer ones such as Iron Man which require you to really train hard and be fit in order to finish them. There are other multi-sport events as well. One event around my parts is known as the Union County Colorfest Biathlon which entails a 5k run and a 17.5 mile bike racing ride. These types of events are usually scattered all over the place and you shouldn’t have any issues finding one near you.
Give other types of bike racing a shot as well. Mountain bike racing is another thing to look into. This is where you usually race on a mountain bike specific trail and usually have plenty of obstacles, hills and challenging paths along the way. Mountain bike racing can be a lot of fun but be sure that you look into all the protective equipment and apparel you might need before participating especially with the downhill mountain bike racing events. Cyclocross is another challenging but fun bike racing event. Basically you are bike racing with a road bike but the skinny tires are more treaded like mountain bike tires. In Cyclocross, you go through the mud, water, up hills and down hills and you can really have a lot of fun doing it. Give the entire lot of bike racing events a chance if you are able to and find the one or many that is right for you.
Bike Racing 101
Bike racing is a great way to begin your bicycling lifestyle but you need to make sure you fully research it. I suggest that you find a local cycling club or bike racing team in your area and start tagging along with them. Extra support to help you become prepared for bike racing events will really help you out a lot. You should also know that bike racing is usually not free – you will need to acquire a license to be able to compete in bike racing events. In most cases, you should be able to purchase a one-day bike racing license that will be significantly cheaper than other longer-term bike racing licenses.
Thanks for read my post about participating in bike racing events. I hope this article has helped you today I hope that you go for a couple of bike racing events and become addicted to them. If you have found my article to be useful at all, please consider supporting me for writing it. You can do this in many ways! You can share this article with other cyclists that you know. You can post a link to it on the various social networking sites you are a part of. If you have a website or blog about cycling, you can link to my blog. I also welcome donations, more information can be found here. Follow this blog on Twitter for more bike racing strategies.
Your turn to comment!
Have you ever participating in bike racing before? What sort of bike racing events is in your area? Do you have any additional bike racing tips that you think riders should know?
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A century bike ride is a big trophy in the lifestyle of a cyclist. A century bike ride is when you ride 100 miles in one day. My first century bike ride added up to 110 miles that took me 7 ½ hours to ride. Riding a century bike ride sounds like it would be impossible especially to a new rider but it isn’t as impossible as it sounds, especially when you actually take the time to prepare for one. In this article, I am going to show you how I prepared for and completed my first century bike ride. I might also add that my first century bike ride wasn’t painful and it was a very positive experience so don’t be too worried about it because if I can do it, so can you!
Before Your Century Bike Ride
Before you start your century bike ride, you need to prepare for it at least a week before the day you plan to do the century bike ride on. Check the weather – make sure it isn’t going to storm on you or if the winds are going to be bad or not. I did my century bike ride on a calm wind sunny day with temperatures in the lower 80s (F) and it was perfect. Do a checkup on your bike; gear and extra stuff that you plan to carry with you on your century bike ride! If something goes wrong with the bike, you need to have the tools and parts needed to fix it. Plan and preparing ahead of time will mean that you have the available tools and knowledge at the time of the ride.
It’s good to train for a century bike ride before you do it as well. I would suggest training for a month, personally. Here is what I did – The first week of my century bike ride training was riding 3 days a week, 20 mile rides each time. The second week I focused on 3 days a week riding 40 miles each time. The third week I rode 3 days a week riding 60 miles each time. The fourth week I rode 80 miles for at least one day and 40 to 60 miles for another day. Mix the days up so you can have a few rest days in between. It is also a good idea to go on an easier ride the day before your century bike ride just so you have some biking stamina ready for the big ride the next day.
The days (notice I said days not day) before your century bike ride, you should also try to carb load a little bit. What I mean by this is that you need to eat foods full of carbohydrates. Some fitness experts say to stay away from foods full of carbs but a cyclist doing that? That is just cycling terror waiting to happen. See, carbs equals fuel to a cyclist! Calories and carbs will give you the energy you need to ride long distance especially in terms of a century bike ride. You need to have fuel in you in order to ride 100 miles or more in one day. Eat what the pros eat and try eating some great pasta on the days before you start your big ride.
During Your Century Bike Ride
First thing first, a century bike ride is exactly what it is called, a bike ride – NOT A RACE! Don’t start out going as fast as you can and choosing a route with a lot of uphill directions. You need to pace yourself and have an easy ride. If you choose to go fast and uphill the entire time, you are probably going to have a miserable century bike ride experience and you might even not make it to 100 miles after all. I bet my average speed was at about 13-16 miles per hour the entire time on my first century bike ride. The trick is starting out at the break of dawn so that you have plenty of time to ride the century without having to hurry yourself back before night falls. Choose a day that you can ride the entire day without having any plans later on that day as well – pace yourself, it isn’t a race, remember that!
Eating and drinking during you century bike ride is extremely important. You need to be drinking water and a sports drink with electrolytes such as Gatorade even when you are not thirsty. A lot of experts recommend that you drink at least one full bottle of water each hour. You should choose a route with plenty of places to stop along the way to buy water, Gatorade, snacks and other thing you will need for fueling up on your century bike ride. Food is another important aspect of a century bike ride – make sure that you are eating something while you ride. Gels, granola bars, energy bars and even cookies all make for great snacks to eat on a century bike ride because they are high in carbs and calories which equal fuel for your ride. It may take you about 8 hours to complete your century bike ride so plan on stopping for a good lunch about midway through. I stopped by Subway and got a foot long and some chocolate milk for protein. I also took a nice hour break which helped out a whole lot.
Riding 100 miles is a great deal but it can get a little boring and repetitive here and there. Be sure that you bring something with you like a bicycle radio or a MP3/iPod type device with you so you have something to listen to on your ride. You should also move around a lot so nothing on your body goes to sleep, gets numb or starts to hurt. Change sitting positions and move your bottom around every couple of minutes, stand up and ride every now and then and unclip and move your feet around as well. Stay as comfortable as you can because you are going to be on the saddle for quite a while. When I did my century, I dressed for the occasion. I wore a light bike jersey and bike shorts with a good pad for distance riding. I suggest you wear these things too because they will help make the ride more favorable in the end.
After Your Century Bike Ride
After you have completed your century bike ride, pat yourself on the back! You just got done riding 100 miles in one day! That is a HUGE achievement to a cyclist! Right after the century ride is complete, go home and rest for a while – put some icy hot or something like that on any sore spots (but not anywhere sensitive!) and get a full night’s sleep. The next day, should be a real rest day, don’t worry about riding but try to walk around a little bit and be somewhat active. After that, plan for your next century bike ride – I try to do one a year at least!
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my article on riding a century bike ride. I hope to hear about you riding a century bike ride for yourself really soon. Please help support me for writing this article by sharing it with other cyclists that you know. You could also post a link to this article on your favorite social media and social bookmarking sites. If you have a couple of dollars to spare, I also welcome donations which can be done at this link. Follow this blog on Twitter for more century bike ride tips and secrets!
Your turn to comment!
Have you completed your first century bike ride yet? If so, what was the best part about your century bike ride and what was the worst part about it?
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Cyclist nutrition is very important to the cyclist lifestyle that you choose to take. Most people become cyclists because they want to lose weight or get into better health – just because the bike helps you accomplish that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any cyclist nutrition standard that goes along with it. There are a lot of tips out there to promote better cyclist nutrition and in this article I will be pointing a few of them out to help you with your own cyclist nutrition and healthy routines.
How to have Better Cyclist Nutrition
Eating right is important for cyclist nutrition and for your health. Just because you have a bike and may ride almost every day doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want without worrying about it later on down the road. Anything you put into your body will result in either a positive or negative ending. You need to eat healthy things. But don’t let this advice scare you either. You can still eat that pizza but don’t overdo it and don’t eat until you are hurting. A can of coke every once in a while isn’t going to hurt you, in fact, it’s a good source of energy for riding from time to time but it’s packed with sugar and shouldn’t be drank all the time. Candy bars, cake, ice cream and all that junk does nothing good for you or your cyclist nutrition, really so even having it every now and then isn’t doing good every now and then.
Nuts! Yeah, be nuts by eating nuts – to boost cyclist nutrition! Nuts are really good for you and just about any nut at that. The fat that is actually embedded in some nuts will be more beneficial to you than the fat embedded in a snicker’s bar – I promise you that! Research it… Prove me wrong… You won’t… My favorite nuts to snack on are Brazilian nuts (full of calories too, which is fuel for your bike rides) and pistachios. They great thing about nuts is that they fill you up and you don’t really even have to eat a lot of them. If you are hungry and your stomach is growing, eat a couple nuts and you will probably be fine after that.
Hydration is also a part of healthy cyclist nutrition. You need stay hydrated as much as possible especially when you are on a ride. Dehydration is no joke, it is painful and it can even kill you or do long-term damage to your body. Riders should be drinking at least one whole bottle of water every hour that they ride pending the temperature and how much they are sweating. You also lose a lot of salt when you sweat so it’s important to drink something that gives you electrolytes back into your body. Some people use Gels for this, some people drink Gatorade for it – some people even take those personal packets of salt on their rides and eat the salt, sounds unhealthy but it really isn’t because your body actually needs a little bit of salt here and there.
More Cyclist Nutrition Tips
Breakfast – Eating breakfast is really important because it is a really important meal of the day; in fact, it’s the best meal of the day. You should be having a good breakfast each and every morning or when you wake up. Eat your breakfast a good hour or so before you plan to ride so you have some time to digest your food. That entire calorie and carb intake from your breakfast is going to be pure fuel for your bike ride and that my friend, that is a great source of fuel to keep you from wearing out on the bike. When eating breakfast, try to stay away from fatty foods – regular bacon might be good but turkey bacon is going to be so much better for your cyclist nutrition. Your breakfast should also be low on fiber and high in carbs, remember the more carbs the more fuel you will have for your ride. Lastly, when it comes to breakfast, don’t skimp, eat a good portion because you will burn it off after a couple hours of riding anyways.
Vitamins may good for you but would you be surprised if I told you most of them don’t get a chance to do anything for your cyclist nutrition? Regular pills swallowed usually come right out of you after you have your daily break in an amount of time to where they do nothing for you to begin with. Now that isn’t to say that vitamins are not good for you, because they are but most of them are so good for you that they do nothing for you because you poop them out oh so quickly. I recommend vitamins that you can chew up because it will be faster for your body to break them down and allow them to actually do something they are supposed to do. However, if you can eat your vitamins through food instead, then I suggest doing it that way instead.
Be sure to eat while you are on the bike as well. If it’s a short ride, just pop a gel every now and then and stay hydrated. If you will be going on a longer ride, take some bike-friendly snacks with you to munch on while you are riding. When I go on longer rides, I like taking a few cliff bars, GU gels, cookies and even those sport energy jelly beans. Just make sure whatever you take on your bike is easy to eat while riding your bike because you don’t want to get into a wreck trying to cut your steak right? After a nice long ride, treat yourself to some chocolate milk if you can drink it, it is a wonderful source of protein for your recovery mode.
Cyclist Nutrition Myths
There are a few myths when it comes to maintaining your cyclist nutrition. Don’t eat carbs at night – MYTH: Why else would the pros eat pasta before big rides? They are eating it for dinner and then getting a lot of sleep right after that. Carb loading is basically loading fuel for your big ride and eating carbs before bed is a great way to do just that. You can’t get enough vitamins – MYTH: You can overload yourself on vitamins and supplements if you are not too careful. In my younger days, I would stay sick all the time because I took so many of them. You should only be taking what you lack in all fairness. Research the myths and don’t fall prey to them and you and your cyclist nutrition should be just fine.
Thanks for reading my article on cyclist nutrition and I hope it help you out some. Please support me for taking the time to write and share this article with you by simply sharing it with other cyclists. You can also support me by sharing this article on social media and bookmarking sites as well. If you want to donate some money to me, I welcome that as well; click here for more information on donating. Follow this blog on Twitter for more cyclist nutrition tips and resources.
Your turn to comment!
How is your cyclist nutrition both on the bike and off the bike? What sort of foods are you eating? Do you think eating the right foods will enhance your own cycling performance?
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Bicycling gear essentials is important as great bike apparel when it comes to your ride. There are all sorts of different kinds of bicycling gear to get and in this article I will go over a few different pieces to consider. Once think to remember though when shopping for bicycling gear is that the bicycling gear has extra weight that will be added to your bike. Whether you race or not, weight can hinder the performance of your cycling activities so be sure to watch what type of bicycling gear you are purchasing for cycling.
Basic Bicycling Gear
A great saddle is one of the first pieces of basic bicycling gear I constantly recommend for new riders. The original saddle on your bicycle might be good but it might not be so good. Most original saddles are cheaply made and for “light riders” or riding only a few miles here and there. If you plan on riding for 20 miles or more a day, you need a good comfortable saddle that you can sit in for long periods of time without having a painful experience. Now at first, any saddle is probably going to hurt especially for new riders but you need to give the saddle a couple of months’ worth of riding to see how it helps or doesn’t help you. Do your research for this bicycling gear piece because saddles comes in all shapes and sizes for the various genders, weight, body figures and needs. And if you don’t know what a saddle is, it’s a bicycle seat!
Seat bags are bike-specific bags that fit right under your saddle. Unless you are planning on doing bicycle touring, you really only need one bag and that is a seat bag because it can carry most of the bicycling gear you should be taking with you. I just use a seat bag myself on all my bikes, both road and mountain bikes. In my seat bag, I carry numerous items including spare tube, patch kit, repair equipment, my cell phone, anti-septic pads (singles) and a little bit on money for those “just in case” moments. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a good seat bag either, retail outlets such as Academy, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart sell good seat bags for low prices and that is really all you need. I buy most of my seat bags for about $10 each and they are very durable and they fit securely on all of my bikes.
A portable pump is an extremely important bicycling gear essential to take with you on your bike rides. If you get a flat tire and are out in the middle of nowhere, you need to be able to put air back into your tire after you patch the tube or replace it right? Portable pumps are inexpensive for the most part and you can easily attach most of them to your bicycle. There are also CO2 pumps that take CO2s which can be quicker for you to air up your tires with but prepare to spend a lot more on that unit. I use a basic portable hand pump and it works really well. You of course should also be carrying at least one or two new tubes and a patch kit with you as well. I store my tube and patch kit in my seat bag on every bike knowing that I am ready if I get a flat tire. Tubes are easy to change and patch as well, just get on YouTube and watch a couple of videos on it and try it yourself at home to become a master at it.
More Bicycling Gear
Every cyclist needs a basic repair kit for on the bike and off the bike bicycling gear essentials. One the bike repair kits should include tire levers, a patch kit, a spare tube, chain breaker tool with some extra chain links and multi-tool which usually includes screw drivers, Allen wrenches and stuff like that. Off the bike bicycling gear repair tools is essentially up to you and your comfort ability with repairing your bike’s problems. I am a bicycle mechanic so I have a lot of tools that most bike shops would carry. Some of the basic ones include a truing stand with spoke and a spoke wrench set, a work stand to hold up my bikes for easier repair, crank arm puller tool for taking pedal arms off and a crap load of other tools as well. The bad thing about bike tools though is the market for them; there isn’t a whole lot of bike tool manufacturers out there and most tools are specific for only one task so it can be expensive for collecting this type of bicycling gear.
Sunglasses are another great type of bicycling gear to add to your collection. If you are going to be riding outside in the day time a lot, you need to be wearing great sunglasses that are protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays produced by the sun. The sunlight commonly reflects off shiny objects as well and that could harm your eyes if you are not wearing proper protection made for them. I recommend actually buying a good pair of sunglasses and even spending a little bit more money on them than you normally would because preserving your vision is extremely important as a cyclist. You need to be able to see everything at all times in order to be safe.
Another essential bicycling gear that many riders forget about is water bottles. Usually your bike is going to come with one water bottle holder and maybe one water bottle. But there is usually always an option to add another water bottle holder and bottle to this bike especially if it’s a road, hybrid or hard tail mountain bike type. I always suggest adding two water bottles to your bike. When I ride, I have one bottle of water and another bottle of sports drink like Gatorade because I need water for hydration purposes and a sports drink for electrolyte replenishment purposes. Now when it comes to water bottled, I suggest the basic BPA-free plastic bottled. Metal bottles will eventually rust and buildup grime on them that could be potentially harmful to your body. Keep your water bottles very clean and wash them out after every ride. Take care of what you are using to hold what you put in your body.
Bicycling Gear for Night Riding
If you plan to ride at night, get the right bicycling gear for riding at night. Reflectors, lighting, high-visibility cycling apparel, reflective tape, reflective vests and even a horn make great cycling gear to add to your bike when riding at night. Riding at night, even in bicycle-friendly areas is not as safe as riding during the day in non-bicycle-friendly areas so you need to take extra precaution if you plan on riding at night. Spend a little bit more money when it comes to bicycle lights because the more expensive they are, the more likely 4,000 pound motor vehicle drivers are going to see you before it’s too late. Be safe out there at night!
Thanks for reading my article on bicycling gear and what bicycling gear you should think about adding to your collection. I hope you enjoyed the bicycling gear that I have featured in this article. Please show me a little bit of support for writing this article by sharing it with other cyclists, encouraging them to share it with others and posting a link to it on your favorite social media profiles as well. If you want to donate a little bit of money to my blog’s hosting bill, I also welcome that as well. Follow this blog on Twitter for more cycling tips and information about great bicycling gear to have in your collection.
Your turn to comment!
What all bicycling gear do you own? Out of the bicycling gear above, which do you own? What other bicycling gear would you recommend to other cyclists?
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Bicycling apparel is a big indicator of being a part of the cyclist lifestyle. You can usually identify what type of cyclist someone is based on the bicycling apparel that they wear. If they wear loose and baggy clothing on a road bike, then they are usually either new or “weekend warriors” in the world of cycling. If they are wearing normal bicycling apparel such as spandex bike shorts, jersey and gloves – then you can usually indicate that they are real full blown cyclists who live to ride. In this article, I will break down bicycling apparel more for you giving you information about all of the options and what each bicycling apparel items does for you as a cyclist.
Warm Weather Bicycling Apparel
When it’s warm or hot outside, you want to stick with summer bicycling apparel. The bottoms are one of the most important bicycling apparel portions to know about. In the summer, most cyclists wear bicycle shorts whether skin tight or loose. Bike shorts have benefits and the tighter ones have the most benefits. The tighter ones help to keep blood flow going at a better rate while also warming up your muscles for a faster recovery. The padding or chamois that is built into bike shorts also helps to keep your sensitive parts from hurting due to long periods in the saddle and chaffing. Bike shorts come in many sizes, colors and styles. Some riders choose bike short bibs for comfort around the waist line area and other riders choose the basic short style which is easier to take off during rest room breaks and what have you. There are also skinsuits and trisuits that are shorts and jerseys combined in a skin tight spandex bicycling apparel status – these suits are often reserved for racing strategies. Myself, I wear standard bike shorts on my regular rides of multiple colors to enable motor vehicle drivers to see my quicker. I wear bib shorts on longer rides and organized bike rides and a trisuit on racing rides. I get most of my bicycling apparel and shorts from Aero Tech Designs and Castelli.
Cycling jerseys are another great form of bicycling apparel. A bike jersey is made like bike shorts, usually tighter fitting and the material helps to wicker sweat from your body and keep you cooler and drier for the duration of your ride. When it is warm outside, I tend to ride in short sleeved standard bicycle jerseys but when it is super-hot outside, I always wear my sleeveless bike jerseys to have less on. Bike jerseys usually carry front zippers that allow you to unzip the jersey halfway down your chest or even completely which can be great for hotter days where you need to cool off quicker. Most bike jerseys also have three pockets located in the back of the jersey which cyclists often use to carry various items they may need quick access to such as gels, protein bars, snacks, CO2 pumps and other items you might want to bring with you on your bike rides. Bike jerseys come in all sizes, styles and colors and many riders tend to purchase and wear bike jerseys that come with team names on them to help support their favorite racing team. I acquire most of my bike jerseys from online stores such as Swim Outlet and Amazon.
A great pair of bike shoes is another great addition to your bicycling apparel. Most riders choose to wear “Clipless shoes” which are bike-specific footwear that allows you to “clip in” to the pedal on your bike so that your foot can remain secure while riding. These shoes are usually vented well and made specifically for cycling and cycling benefits. Now many riders, especially beginners, fear being clipped into their pedals because they feel they might fall and not be able to get out. The truth is, from my observation, it’s not as difficult to get unclipped as it might seem and it’s a little bit safer as well. If you put your foot down in the wrong position when wrecking, you could fracture your foot or leg. If you are clipped in, you might just get a skinned up knee. After riding the first day with my bike shoes, I feel in complete love with them. If you do get some, I recommend you go to your local bike shop to try them on and buy them from there. Most bike shoes have way different sizing options than our regular shoes so you need to be there to ensure the shoes fit properly. Wearing something that doesn’t fit is only asking for problems!
Cold Weather Bicycling Apparel
When it’s cold, you shouldn’t have to put the bike up and quit cycling – there are numerous features for cold weather cycling in terms of bicycling apparel. You can get a good pair of ¾ padded cycling tights (we call them knickers) to help keep you warmer on cooler days or you can get full-length tights. Most riders buy unpadded tights or knickers and wear them over their bike shorts in case they get warm enough where they want to peel them off and just ride in shorts. Another option is leg warmers which are basically just the leg portions of tights but often made with wool, fleece or some other form of warm insulation to help keep your lower body warm. There are also longer bib-style padded tights too if you are really into bib bicycling apparel bottoms. Get some warm insulated socks and bike shoe covers for your feet because if your feet get cold – usually it ruins the entire ride at that point.
A good cycling jacket is needed for your bicycling apparel inventory. My cycling jacket cost about $100 which I purchased from Aero Tech Designs a few years ago. I like it so much that I tend to wear it even when I am not on the bike. I have worn it riding numerous times and always stay pretty warm when I am wearing it even in snowy and blistering cold conditions. Get you a good bike jacket no matter if it’s the one I have or another one you like from another company. Make sure the material is made to wicker sweat off of you though because moisture being held in will only make your colder and uncomfortable during your ride – so don’t think wearing a heavy non-whickering hoodie will be the best idea for your winter bike ride. You might also look into long sleeve insulated bike jerseys and even arm warmers as well. You can wear a little bit of everything but remember that you need to control your sweat factors so it doesn’t freeze up and make you cold.
A good pair of bicycling gloves is also needed for your bicycling apparel collection. The cut off ones are good for summer months but a lot of riders anymore are choosing not to even wear gloves. It is really a personal choice kind of thing but I would suggest getting a decent pair of winter bicycle gloves at least. If your hands get cold during your bike ride – it might ruin the entire ride. I know that when my feet or fingers get cold, I am spent and all I can think about is getting inside in the heat – a lot of people I know are like that and something tells me that you are the same way. I have had the best experience in terms of bike gloves with the lobster claw looking gloves. Insulated and broken up into three sections – two sections for separating your right two fingers and left two fingers and the other section for your thumb. You just need to make sure you get insulated gloves that are going to keep your hands warm. Moving your hand around on your handlebar is also going to help you keep it warm because it keeps the blood flowing.
A Helmet is Bicycling Apparel
You’re probably sick of all my articles including something about wearing your helmet. But though! I am a pro-advocate when it comes to wearing a bike helmet and it’s an important piece to your bicycling apparel collection because it might save your life one day. You can wreck all day and slide on the road and that spandex are going to peel right off you leaving you skinned up a partially naked on the side of the road but that will heal up. Wrecking on your head without a helmet might mean your skull fractures or cracks and you brain matter is what gets stuck on the side of the road. A helmet can be what stops you from being dead to brain dead. Who cares if it messes up your hair because without it, wrecking may cause doctors to be required to shave your hair off in order to get to your fractured skull and bleeding brain! Don’t be a dummy – wear a helmet!
Thanks for reading my article on bicycling apparel. I hope this article has helped you decide on what type of bicycling apparel you want to be wearing on your rides. Please support me for writing this article for you by simply sharing it with another cyclist that you know and especially on your favorite social network profiles as well. You can also help support me by donating to my hosting bill which is always very helpful and appreciated. Support yourself with more cycling and bicycling apparel knowledge by following this blog on Twitter.
Your turn to comment!
On a typical summer ride, what type of bicycling apparel can others find you wearing? How about on a winter bike ride? Do you ever wear any bicycling apparel off the bike to support the cycling lifestyle at all?
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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 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 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 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 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 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?
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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 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 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 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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