Winter bicycling season is just around the corner for me and my fellow American bike riders. To me winter is horrid and cold and painful – I honestly have no likes about the winter months and it makes me want to move as south as I can possibly get during the coldness my region seems to attract every winter. Winter bicycling is extremely important though because it will help shape you into a better cycling during the warmer riding months. In this article, I will give you suggestions and tips to make your winter bicycling as comfortable and bearable as is can possibly be.
Staying Warm during Winter Bicycling
Staying warm during the winter bicycling season is probably one of the most important aspects of cycling in the cold months. Layering up comes to mind when I think about riding my bike in freezing cold temperatures. I start with the basics – compression t-shirt under my short-sleeve bike jersey with arm warmers on. I then put on my bicycle-specific jacket if it is really cold. I wear my bike shorts for the padding and put on my leg warmers to help keep my legs warm. If it is really cold, I will also put on a pair of unpadded spandex tights or insulated tights to help reduce the chill in my lower body. I wear thick and long socks and put neoprene covers over my cycling shoes. I also sport a compression but breathable cycling mask and full fingered cycling gloves as well. The reason for layering up is because if I start to get hot on my ride, I can always take things off and store them in my jersey pockets for safe keeping. If I wore a full body insulated cycling skin-suit, I wouldn’t be able to take anything off if I got hot and that would be uncomfortable.
If you are planning to ride in the winter bicycling months during rain or snow events, you need to consider the aspect of keeping yourself dry as well. You don’t want to get soaking wet only to have that wetness freeze on your body and put you in a dire situation such as hypothermia. Invest in some good rain gear as it can also act as a nice windbreaker material during your winter bicycling activities. The rain gear should protect anything on you from getting wet. Get a helmet cover to keep your head and face from being drenched in rain or snowfall. Get a rain jacket to prevent your upper body from being soaked and get some rain pants to keep your lower body from getting soaked as well. Sock people will use untraditional methods of keeping their feet dry including tying bags over their socks to help reduce the chances of their feet getting wet – it isn’t a bad idea, really. If it is going to keep your dry, then do it!
One thing to keep in mind during winter bicycling months is the sweat factor. You don’t want to focus so much on staying warm that you start to sweat in the process of being too warm. If you sweat a lot during winter bicycling and the cold temperatures come into contact with your sweat, it is going to reduce the temperature of the sweat and could possibly cause it to freeze in the process. Direct freeze to your direct skin is not a good combination and it can cause you a lot of problems and paid as well. This is why I recommend layering up more than wearing thick insulated materials while participating in winter bicycling activities. I will often start out in tights and arm warmers but return home after my ride wearing just my bike shorts with my arm warmers slid down. As you ride, your body will heat up and you will get less colder so it’s an important factor to remember with winter bicycling.
Staying Safe during Winter Bicycling
Safety is also a big deal when it comes to winter bicycling and it is important that you consider all the safety aspects of cycling in cold weather. Remember that the elements that you will be cycling in are a lot more extreme during the winter bicycling months than they are during summer cycling months. You may need to upgrade components on your bike such as the tires in order to safely ride on snowy and icy conditions. If you are sliding all over the place and wrecking often, that will only increase your chances of an injury. If you slide and wreck on the roadway and a car has to quickly stop to avoid running you over, because of the slippery conditions, that car may not be able to stop in time and then you might receive more injuries than normal because of those circumstances. The cold weather can also harm your bike so it’s important to really keep components greased and lubed with winter-specific liquids and products to avoid damage to your bike.
Hydration is just as important during the winter bicycling months as it is during the summer bicycling months. Just because it is colder and you are not sweating as often doesn’t mean that your body shuts off the switch for needing hydration replacement requirements. You need to be drinking water and a sports drink often and even when you are not thirsty. It takes our bodies a lot longer to break down and hydrate cold water and drinks and colder liquids will freeze a lot quicker in colder temperatures. So it is important that you stick to warm or room temperature water and sports drinks while you are on your ride during winter bicycling months. You might even try to fill your drinking bottles with liquids at a boiling point to ensure that the drinks are not freezing as quickly especially if you plan on taking a longer ride. Cold weather cycling is going to result in you and your body doing more work, to stay warm and therefore will require more energy and fuel – be sure to eat while on the bike as well.
While it seems that more people get out when it’s warmer outside, it is safe to say that people are still getting out when it is cold as well. If only cyclists were allowed to get out and ride during the winter bicycling season – the world would be perfect but this isn’t a perfect world at all now is it? So you need to expect the unexpected with motor vehicles and other people outside when you are biking in the winter. Cars will have a harder time stopping than they normally do when it is slippery – check. Get some good lights and reflective clothing even if it is during the day time – check. Stay in your lane and try to use greenways and bike-specific paths if they are available to keep yourself away from 4,000 pound cars on slippery roadways – check. Be careful out there and don’t be too prestigious to pull over and let a herd of cars pass you up to increase your safety on the road while commuting with them.
Extreme Winter Bicycling Tips
When the winter weather is so extreme that winter bicycling is out of the question – consider cycling inside instead. You can buy a great stationary bike or even a trainer to attach your bike to and ride in the comforts and safety of your own home without having to get out a brave the horrible cold weather of winter. If it is sleeting or freezing rain, no one should be outside because no one can get traction on those sorts of conditions. The same goes for heavy snow and extremely cold temperatures and wind chills – winter bicycling isn’t worth potentially dying for you know. Be safe out there this winter!
Thank you for reading my article about winter bicycling. I hope you have enjoyed it and I hope it helps you with your own winter bicycling routines. Please help support me for writing this article by sharing it with other cyclists, your family and your friends. You might also consider supporting me by sharing this article on all of your social networking profiles as well. If you can spare $10 or more, please consider donating directly to my blog’s hosting bill as well. Follow this blog on Twitter for more winter bicycling tips and beyond.
Your turn to comment!
Do you bike at all during the winter bicycling months? What other winter bicycling tips would you add to this article that could help cyclists beat the cold?
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Summer bicycling is probably the most favored riding season for your cyclist lifestyle. During the summer bicycling months, you can usually bike the most because the weather is nicer and it’s easier to stay cool than it is to stay warm at least as far as being outside on a bicycle goes. Unless you absolutely love to be cold, summer bicycling is going to be your best time to bike. In this article, I will give you some basic tips and suggestions on making your summer bicycling experience a great experience which should be of importance to you.
Summer Bicycling Comfort Tips
Summer bicycling is a lot better than cold weather bicycling for most riders but since the weather can usually be hot and humid during summer bicycling months, comfort is a big deal when it comes to biking and it should be. You should be able to be as comfortable as possible on your bike no matter what time of the year it is including during the summer bicycling months. What you wear on your summer bicycling excursions is going to be a big factor here. Summer bicycling apparel is the way to go and that includes padded bike shorts that can be bought at just about any length to help keep your lower body cooler in the heat. Short sleeved and sleeveless jerseys also make for great summer time riding apparel as they help to wicker sweat from your body. Ankle-styled or “no show” socks made for athletes are another good purchase to help keep your feet dry of sweat.
If you are like me then you usually take a break from riding during the cold months or you just don’t get out as much as you would like to. It happens – it’s hard for humans to tolerate cold temperatures especially when they are creating headwind on a bicycle. So when summer bicycling season finally comes around, it can be difficult to get back into the grove but if you don’t get back into it, you will regret not doing it was summer bicycling comes to an end and the cold weather starts to return to the area once again. So when summer bicycling is finally starting in your area, focus on riding. Create a schedule and calendar of days you want to ride and actually keep up with your riding schedule. If you skip a day, add a penalty to your next ride with 10 extra miles tacked on or something like that. The idea here is getting you back into the grove of getting out a cycling at any time you feel froggy enough to do so.
Summer bicycling is a great way to increase your fitness and reduce some of that winter season weight that you gained from exercising less and eating more. But to be comfortable with summer bicycling rides, I always suggest getting out there and socializing with your fellow cyclists. The summer bicycling season is the perfect time to join cycling clubs and teams, train and compete in bike racing events and participate during organized bike rides. If you want to ride solo, you can still do that but getting out there and meeting other riders can help motivate you to keep riding. Riding alone is fine with me but when I have a riding buddy, I try harder to keep up with them and ride the full amount that they do and that makes a heck of a difference when I am trying to get back into the swing of riding again.
Summer Bicycling Safety Tips
Protecting yourself during the summer bicycling months is very important. One main thing to remember in terms of safety during the summer bicycling months is that everyone is out and around. You’re getting out because it’s nice and that means other people are getting out as well. There always seems to be more automobile traffic on the roadways during the nicest days than during the worst and that is because the weather is great and people want to get out of the house and do things. With that, you need to be more concerned and aware of the automobile traffic around you. Wear bright reflective clothing and put lights on your bike even if you ride during the day because it’s just one more thing for a driver to notice when they are near you. If it sounds like it will increase your safety, then do it!
The summer cycling season usually means the sun is out more and shining on everything. In this regard, you need to consider sun safety when out cycling. Protect yourself from the sun! Wear sun protection clothing or at least sunscreen if you decide to dress in shorter or less clothing options. Get the good sunscreen that is made for sporting athletes so that it will stay on your for the duration of your ride and not come off you as your sweat. Purchase and wear good sunglasses too! It is important to protect your eyes from the dangerous ultraviolet rays produced by the sun. Take consideration of your head as well! I shaved my head this year and didn’t think about it after riding out one sunny day – had to deal with a fairly severe case of sun poisoning for about a week after that. Since then, I bought me a nice cycling-cap that protects my scalp from the mean old sun. When you are on your bike, just about anything on you can be exposed to the sun so keep yourself safe don’t get burnt!
Hydration is very important for any cyclist at any time of the year but especially during the summer bicycling months because that is usually when it is the hottest. When it is hot and you are during high fitness activities such as cycling, you sweat and when you sweat, you lose water that your body needs in order to keep acting appropriately. If you lose too much water, your body will go into dehydration mode and those symptoms are not only painful but they can result in significant damage to your body with long-term effects included. In retrospect, a cyclist should be drinking a full bottle of water each hour that they are riding and increase the volume the hotter and the more humid it is outside. You should drink constantly and even drink when you are not thirsty in order to remain fully hydrated. Sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade also help to give your body its needed electrolytes and salt that is wasted when you sweat. Eating while riding will also help keep your healthy on the bike and give you the fuel and energy you need on those really hot days.
Summer Bicycling Fitness Tips
Summer bicycling and keeping cool also helps out when you are fit for cycling so it is important to stay fit and in shape in order to have a better ride on your bike during the summer bicycling months. If you are overweight and out of shape, you are going to be working harder to ride your bike and that means you will be losing a lot more energy and water in the process. The lighter you are, the easier cycling will become. Being really skinny and in shape will allow you to shoot over hills without any issue. Focusing on building strong leg muscles and staying athletically fit will allow you to sprint faster and win competitions if you plan to participate in them. Eating healthy and dieting is your best friend during the entire year when it comes to being a cyclist and also with some additional exercise in between off the bike.
Thanks for reading my article about summer bicycling. I hope these tips and suggestions help you have a better summer bicycling routine. Please support me for writing this article and providing free for your enjoyment by sharing this article with other cyclists that you know. You can also support me by sharing this article on your favorite social networking websites and by linking to my blog on your own website, blog or message forum. You may also donate directly to my hosting bill if you wish to go that route and it is really appreciated as well. Be sure to follow this blog on Twitter for more tips on summer bicycling.
Your turn to comment!
Do you like summer bicycling season the best or are you more about cooler and colder riding conditions? What other summer bicycling tips would you add to this article?
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Bicycle components are good to know when you want to establish your cyclist lifestyle. The bicycle components of your ride makes riding possible and you should know what each of them do for a variety of different reasons. You should know what bicycle components are for those times when you need to get your bicycle repaired so that you can easily identify what it wrong with your bike. You should know what bicycle components are so that when you want to upgrade the bicycle components; you know what you are doing so that no money is wasted on bicycle components that don’t need to be upgraded. In this article, I will give you the basic grit of the basic bicycle components that your bike is going to have.
Top Area Bicycle Components
The saddle area is going to probably be your most top area when it comes to bicycle components. A saddle is a seat; it is the seat that you will sit on during your bike ride. We [cyclists] don’t call the seat a seat; we call it a saddle much like equestrians call their seat on the horse a saddle. The saddle can come as many shapes, sizes and colors for all different types of riders, body styles and genders. It is important to find a good saddle that fits you and your cycling lifestyle well so that you can enjoy your ride. The bar that your saddle is attached to is called the seat post and it usually allows you to raise the bar up and down to adjust your saddle height. Many people tend to replace the seat post with a carbon seat post to help make their bike lighter in weight. Most saddles and seat post bicycle components comes with a quick release option to allow the rider to easily change the height position of their saddle and seat post alignment to fit their needs perfectly.
The front set is the front area of your bicycle components area. Handlebar grips start off these bicycle components – these grips are what you will be holding on to when you are riding your bike. Different grips are usually put on different bikes. Rubberized grips are common of mountain bikes where tape is common on road bikes. The head tube is the tube on the front of your frame that holds and carries the handlebar system. The fork is what attached your front tire to the frame of the bike and sometimes may include an adjustable shock absorber if you have a mountain bike or some types of hybrid bicycles. There are also front brakes on the front of your bicycle. Front brakes are usually either a standard brake pad system or a disc brake pad system which is becoming a common set of bicycle components on most every type of bicycle being made.
The frame is also important to understand when tackling bicycle components on your bike. Your bicycle frame is most important to consider when you are purchasing a new bike for you to ride. You need a frame that fits you and the size of your body. Frame sizes will vary and the material to build the frame will vary as well. Amateur riders usually are fine with aluminum material frames while hardcore bike racers usually go with a more expensive carbon-fiber material frame. The top tube of your frame is the top bar of your frame that is usually position directly under you when standing over your bike in between the saddle and the handlebar bicycle components. The down tube is the bottom tube that is usually at an angel right behind your front tire. The seat tube is the tube that holds your seat post in place and is located directly under your bicycle components in the saddle area. The tube that your chain rests around is known as the chain rest or chain stay tube and the tube above it is the saddle or seat rest/stay tube.
Bottom Area Bicycle Components
The bottom bicycle components are really the most important bicycle components to consider and remember because they are often the major moving parts of how your bicycle works. These bicycle components are made up of many small pieces and will likely be the most challenging bicycle components to repair and/or replace. When dealing with maintenance of the bottom area bicycle components, it is good to know exactly what you are doing. If you don’t know what you are doing in terms of repair and replacing, I suggest you consult your needs to your local bike shop for better service and accurate maintenance work.
The rear portion of the bottom area is made up mostly by what it attached to the chain and wheel bicycle components. You have your rear brakes which work often like the front brakes. The cogset is the rear rings that the chain rests on for changing your gears and speed while riding your bike. There are usually several rings on the cogset which will help determine the speed of the bike (18 speed, 12 speed, etc.). The rear derailleur and the front derailleur are bicycle components that move the chain when you change gears. It is important that these bicycle components are in perfect condition and kept clean in order for you to have a decent bike ride. Chainrings is the component that usually comes in 2-3 rings at the middle of the bike which determine your gears and speed. The chain is obvious to know and is needed in order for your bike to move.
The front portion of the bottom area also holds many important bicycle components that are fairly technical in nature especially in terms of repair and replacing. The pedal and crank arm (arm that holds the pedal in place) is connected to your front chainrings and in between both crank arms is usually where your bottom bracket is located. If you are hearing a lot of strain-type noises on the bottom of your bike during your rides, it might quite possibly be an issue with your bottom bracket. In most cases, you will need special crank-arm tools and bottom bracket tools to replace these bicycle components. The wheels and tires of your bike also come with a variety of different bicycle components. The spokes are a component and often need to be inspected and replaced when they become an issue. The hub is the center portion of the wheel that connects to the frame. The rim is the portion in between the tire and the spokes. The tire is obvious and the tube is located in the tire resting around the rim unless the tire is a tubeless system. The value is where you fill the tire/tube full of air.
The Benefits of Upgrading Bicycle Components
Upgrading bicycle components is a practice often done by most cyclists who are really into biking. Upgrading your bicycle components can result in many different significant benefits. If you wish to make your aluminum bike lighter in weight, you can usually accomplish this by upgrading different components on your bike with carbon features such as the fork, seat post, wheel set and handlebars. Upgrading your bicycle components also helps make riding easier especially when your upgrades are to bicycle components that are better made with better quality and materials uses in the manufacturing process. However, upgrading to better bicycle components does mean spending more money. I have seen carbon water bottle holder go for $350 each and while that sounds crazy, there are extreme riders out there buying them to make their bike as light as possible.
Thank you for reading my article about the different bicycle components on most common bikes. I hope this article has helped you further understand your own bicycle components better. Please help support me for writing this article and motivate me to write more of them by sharing this article with your friends and family and especially by sharing this article on social networking pages as well. If you have some extra money to spare, you might consider donating to my blog’s hosting bill as well as all help is great help. Please follow this blog on Twitter for more tips and information about bicycle components.
Your turn to comment!
What other bicycle components do you think should be added to this list? Out of all the bicycle components out there, which ones have you upgraded on your bike?
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Cycling injury prevention is a big deal to consider when starting your place in the cyclist lifestyle. You can get hurt while riding a bicycle and it doesn’t always mean you can get hurt from wrecking, either. Cycling injury prevention tactics are important to know and consider so that you can make riding your bike the most enjoyable practice you do. In this article, I will point out various cycling injury prevention methods, common injuries from cycling and what you need to have a better ride without pain.
Common Pains with Cycling Injury Prevention
Point of contact pains is going to be one of your biggest cycling injury prevention tactics. These kinds of injuries are along the routes of how your body contacts your bike. If your buttock hurts and begins to chafe then you are suffering from saddle sore and you need a good pair of padded shorts and sometimes even some chaffing cream as well. If you clip into pedals while on your ride and you notice that your knees hurt or your feet begin to go numb, then it is likely that your cleats are on wrong and need to be adjusted in order for the pain and numbness to go away. If your neck and back starts to hurt on all of your rides – your bike seat and handlebars might need to be adjusted or you might even be too big or too little for your bike. It is important that your bike fits you when keeping cycling injury prevention in mind. If your hands start to hurt or become numb, simply moving them around from time to time on your handlebars and wearing bike-specific gloves can easily solve this problem. A bike ride should be a positive experience not a painful one.
Lactic acid buildup is one of the worst enemies a cyclist can have. This lactic acid tends to promote muscle fatigue and causes our main cycling-based muscles to be tired and hurt after longer rides. Many cyclists doing cycling injury prevention tactics counter this issue by getting massages and using kinesiology tape on their muscles before their riding takes place. It also helps to do cross-fitness type activities when off the bike to keep your muscles active and in shape in order to promote better riding strategies. You can also counter this problem by getting out of the saddle every once in a while. Ride 20 minutes sitting down and then ride a couple of minutes standing up and repeat this process. Muscles tend to tighten up on your bike rides as well and especially when you are not riding your bike. You can counter this problem often by simply stretching your body out before and after your bike rides. Stretching commonly helps to make cycling injury prevention a healthy habit.
Wrecking your bike will usually lead to some form of cycling injury. You can break your collarbone by extending your hand to catch yourself during a fall off your bike so you need to develop a habit to where when you wreck your bike; you actually let yourself fall off your bike. A head injury can also occur when wrecking your bike especially at a slow speed so it is important to wear a helmet in order to help with cycling injury prevention in terms of your head and brain. Some cyclists, men, shave their legs and other body parts because they feel that road rash from wrecking the bike is a lot easier to deal with when the skin is bare and tougher from constantly shaving it. Of course shaving your legs and other body parts is really a personal preference all on its own. Bike wrecks are not fun and often described as jumping out of a moving vehicle at 30 miles an hour in your underwear which would be quite accurate. Take all the safety precautions you can take to prevent wrecking from happening in the first place.
Cycling Injury Prevention Tactics
IT band problems, muscle fatigue, muscle stiffness and common pains when riding a bike can all be mitigated and controlled with simple every day exercise. Biking is indeed an exercise all on its own but it’s important to integrate other forms of fitness to help with your cycling routines. One thing I commonly recommend to new cyclists is to give Yoga a chance. Basic Yoga helps to stretch out areas on your body that need to be moved and stretched out. With basic Yoga you don’t have to stretch your legs over your head – it is just basic Yoga techniques to help stretch your neck, back, arms and legs and help you have a better bike ride in the process. You can also consider other forms of fitness and exercise as well such as running and swimming, two great ways to work out your body and help you become a better cyclist while helping with cycling injury prevention all at the same time.
One big cycling injury prevention tactic is liquid! LIQUID! Dehydration is a big time injury when it comes to cycling. You have to keep yourself hydrated on the bike otherwise you can do serious damage to your body including killing yourself if you are too dehydrated. It is recommended that you drink a full bottle of water each hour that you are on your bike and sometimes even more than that when the temperature is higher. However, most of us are not going to drink a full bottle each hour of water on our rides but it is important that we drink water and sports drinks throughout the course of the ride. You should even be drinking when you are not thirsty because your body isn’t going to let you know that you are dehydrating until it is practically too late. The same goes with energy – make sure you are eating right as well because food will give you the fuel and energy you need to keep riding.
Off bike routines is another big portion when it comes to cycling injury prevention and challenges. If you are not taking care of yourself off your bike, then you might have a lot of problems once you get on your bike. If you ride once a week but do nothing else in terms of health and fitness for the other six days, then each time you ride, it might become a little harder and harder. You should be riding as often as you can or doing some other form of exercise to help keep your body in shape. You should also eat and drink right when you are off the bike. A diet of fast food and a 12-pack of beer every night are going to cause a lot of problems one you get on your bike. Being a cyclist promotes a healthy lifestyle – but you need to promote a healthy lifestyle on the bike as well.
Cycling Injury Prevention Gear
There is some gear you can get for cycling injury prevention. Cycling apparel is one of these gear selections. A good pair of padded shorts will help prevent chaffing and promote better circulation to help reduce muscle fatigue. Tight fitting cycling apparel is safer than loose apparel because you don’t risk your clothing getting hung up on parts of your bike or the environment around you. Bright cycling apparel will help to keep you noticed while riding on the road. A good bike helmet will be the sole protection and guardian angel of your skull and brain and you should always wear a helmet no matter what kind of bike ride you will be on. Do the ABC quick check before and after every ride to also promote cycling injury prevention. A – Check the air in your tires and tubes. B – Check the brakes to make sure you can stop on a dime. C – Check the chain and cranks to ensure that working parts continue to work on your bike ride. And always follow the rules of the road!
Thank you for reading my article on cycling injury prevention. I hope these tips and strategies help you to prevent injuries on your bike. If you have enjoyed reading this article, can I plead with you for some support for me writing it? Simple share this article with other cyclists and on your favorite social networking profiles to help support me for writing it. You can also donate directly to my blog’s hosting bill if you want to go that route as well. Follow this blog on Twitter for more tips on the cycling injury prevention topic.
Your turn to comment!
What cycling injury prevention tactics are you using on your bike rides? Have you ever suffered from any sort of injury of your rides? Please tell us about them in the comments, below!
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Choosing a car fee lifestyle is a big step in establishing your cyclist lifestyle. When you choose a car free lifestyle, you are looking to your bicycle as your main form of transportation and that is where you really start to rely on your bike to get you from place to place. A car free lifestyle has its benefits too! It is healthier for you and your body. It is cheaper on you and your wallet and it is really friendly for you and the environment. In this article, I will give you the basics of establishing your own care free lifestyle.
Reasons to Start Your Car Free Lifestyle
There are many different reasons why you might want to start your own car free lifestyle and one big and important one is helping the environment. We [all nations] spend so much money on maintaining roads and other automobile infrastructure components. This is because of the wear and tear we bring about with our cars, trucks and moving transportation properties. Public transportation might be a better alternative but it is still harming the infrastructure and making way for more repairs. Cycling isn’t really doing much in terms of harming the environment. There is no fuel or oil being burned, no wearing out of the roadways or at least nothing like a 4,000 pound car does and fixing the cycling infrastructure verses fixing the automobile infrastructure is significantly cheaper.
Choosing a car free lifestyle and relying on your bicycle instead is also extremely healthy for you and your body. Riding a bike has its health benefits and the more riding you are doing, the more benefits you are bring to your body. Cycling can help you dramatically maintain your weight and lose any excess pounds that you would like to lose. If you were to bike 10 miles a day to and from work or more, think about all the weight you could lose during that. Cycling is like triple the fitness you get from walking. You can bike a mile and it would be like walking three miles and with cycling, biking 3 miles doesn’t take that long when comparing to walking or running. Biking is also great for the brain because it’s a thinking recreational activity – you are required to use your head and think about your every move when you are riding on the road with other commuters.
Bicycling and choosing a car free lifestyle is also very helpful in terms of saving you money. We can figure this out by doing some basic math. Let’s say you get $40 a gas once a week – that is $2,080 a year if you got $40 of gas once a week. Let’s say you pay $50 four times a year for an oil change every three months – that is $200 worth of oil changes each year. $2200+ is what you are saving about each year by choosing a car free lifestyle over driving everywhere. You could buy you a decent bicycle with that kind of money. Now to look at what you spend on your bike each year – I maybe spend $15 a year on tubes and $20 a year of grease and lube for keeping everything nice and working on my bike. So $35 verses $2,200+. I have done the math for you, who is saving more money here?
How to Start Your Car Free Lifestyle
Starting your car free lifestyle depends on your will to start it. You need to decide whether it is right to start it or it is the wrong time to start it. Don’t let some advocacy group or individual push you into a car free lifestyle because they don’t often consider the details of why you would need a vehicle or not, they just want to “make sales” in the car free lifestyle realm without thinking about the issues of other people. You need to decide on this yourself because it is a serious change to one’s lifestyle. Do you need your vehicle? Do you travel a lot in your vehicle? Can you handle riding in the elements of your geographical location? Do you plan to keep your vehicle for rainy days and farther travel and mainly rely on your bike for other transportation methods? Think thoroughly about starting your car free lifestyle and be sure to plan every detail about it.
Next you need to get everything you will need for your car free lifestyle. How about your bike, the most important aspect of this change? Do you have a good bike to ride? Remember that you will be using your bike to ride everywhere so you need to have a good bike that is durable and easy to fix when you get into a bind. I wouldn’t recommend going as cheap as you can with the bicycle route because if you have a junker to ride, then you are constantly going to have to deal with that junker from here on out. The next thing you need to get is a good helmet that is rating for maximum protection and some biking gear. Gear might include padded shorts or padded short-liners to help protect your from chaffing, full cycling kit and apparel, lights for riding your bike at night, a safety vest to help make you more visible and bike bags to help you be able to carry more on your bike. Get whatever you need to make commuting by bike easier on yourself.
Safety is a big thing to consider when starting a car free lifestyle and choosing to bike instead. Unless your area is just overwhelmed with trails and bike lanes, you will probably be riding on the road with the motor vehicles as well and safety will be a big deal to you. You need to learn how to ride on the roads with traffic – if you have any road biking friends, consider asking them to allow you to ride along with them so you can get an idea about how to safely ride on the ride with motor vehicle traffic, pedestrians and other road cyclists. Remember that cars and trucks usually weigh over 3,000 pounds more than you and bike does so always be cautious around them and known that it takes them a lot longer to stop than it takes you. If there are trails, greenways and bike lanes – try to locate them along your biking routes and use them if at all possible. The safer you can make your car free lifestyle experience, the better off you will be.
Is Your Area a Car Free Lifestyle Friendly Area?
One thing to consider when thinking about going the car free lifestyle route is the area you live in. Do you live in an area where choosing a car free lifestyle makes sense? If your area is full of narrow roads with no shoulders, hills, bad drivers, heavy traffic and congested lanes then cycling as a main form of transportation is going to be a very difficult and constant challenge for you the entire time. In some cases, to start a car free lifestyle, you might have to make huge choices about where you will be living in order to safety make this possible. I suggest that you team up with local car free lifestyle folks in your area and ask for their advice. You could also seek advice from your local officials, transportation departments in your area and of course other cyclists around you. Get all the facts before making the big car free lifestyle changes beforehand.
Thank you for reading my article on starting your car free lifestyle. I hope this article has helped you today. Please show me some much needed support for writing this article for you to enjoy. You can support me by sharing this article with other cyclists, linking to my blog on your website or blog and sharing this post on your favorite social networking sites. If you have some money to spare, you can also donate directly to my web hosting bills as well. I encourage you to follow this blog on Twitter for more tips on choosing a car free lifestyle.
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Have any of you chosen a car free lifestyle at all? Please tell us what you did to get to your car free lifestyle!
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Professional bicycling is a great sport when it’s done right and there is no doping or cheating involved in it. Each year, I wait impatiently for the next Tour de France so I can buy the package for watching it on my computer and having a good time being a fan of professional cycling. So in this article, I will cover three different parts about professional bicycling – how to become a professional bicycling athlete, how professional bicycling and scoring works and how to be a fan of professional bicycling. I really do hope you enjoy this article and that it explains a lot to you.
How to get into Professional Bicycling
Professional bicycling to me is a lot easier to get involved in than something like professional baseball or professional soccer. Larger cities and many smaller communities offer some sort of annual professional bicycling competition where amateurs can start out at and work their way to something even more professional. The first word of advice I can give you when you want to get into professional bicycling is to learn everything you can about professional bicycling and cycling all in itself. Learn all about professional bicycling riding strategies, how races and scoring works and all the history behind professional cycling as well. You can learn a lot by reading the articles on this blog, joining and participating on messages forums, buying and reading professional bicycling related books and getting hands on, in the saddle experience.
Strength and ride training is going to be a common habit for you to develop when you want to get into professional bicycling. You should be riding your bike at least 2-6 hours a day and several days a week. Don’t over-train yourself though – make sure you put a rest day in there even if it’s an active rest day where you just ride a couple of miles. You also need to train off your bike as well strengthening both your upper and lower body, too. Changing the way you eat and hydrate yourself will also be a big part of training for professional bicycling. When riding your bike – focus on hill climbing and sprinting to master your professional bicycling abilities. The younger you start out, the better professional bicycling athlete you can be but don’t let age stop you from trying. Get involved in the cycling community and become known as someone who is a part of the professional bicycling community.
Start out in professional bicycling with local competitions near where you live. Usually local competitions are geared more towards amateur professional bicycling athletes and beginners. Once you start winning more and more of these local competitions, you will probably start to get noticed by professional bicycling scouts or folks who want to get you into more professional bicycling competitions, teams and so on. If you have the money for it and the time off, I also suggest traveling around your country and/or region and entering other competitions as well. The more professional bicycling competitions you enter, the more notice you will start to receive from those looking for the next pro cyclist. Be prepared to spend money at first, though – Beginner athletes have to usually buy their own bikes and gear and pay for a pro cycling license or day pass as well.
Understanding Professional Bicycling
Now if you are just getting into cycling and wonder how professional bicycling races and scoring works, then continue to read this section of this article and I will explain how everything works in better detail. There are many types of professional bicycling competitions. There are also many different kinds of bicycles and each bicycle type has its own racing and competition disciplines. In this article I will be going over the two main types of professional bicycling disciplines – road biking and mountain biking. In the future I might start a series that goes more in depth of all the different types of bicycles and the competitions you can get into with those types.
Road bikes are a big bicycle type when it comes to professional bicycling competitions. Criterium road bike racing is where racers ride laps or a short distance and focus on speed and timing of their laps and distance. A lot of similar racing disciplines include time trials as well where cyclists win based on the time of the entire ride. Stage racing is what we commonly see when watching the Tour de France. The scoring works based on points and time for each stage the riders compete in, stage wins, stage point check points and position within the race at the end. Some professional bicycling competitions such as stage road racing allow entire bike teams to participate. Teams will often provide drafting features to important riders who are tactical on hills, sprinting and so on. It usually takes the efforts of one rider on a team to give the entire team a score during the race.
Mountain biking also has a variety of different professional bicycling competitions and types. Cross-country mountain biking is where there is a mass start of riders who are racing for the finish and some cross-country events are long while others are particularly shorter events. Downhill racing is another exciting form of mountain-bike based professional bicycling sport. In downhill racing, riders are focused on speed and must wear full protective gear in order to be safer on the bike. There are also various stage and timed racing events for mountain biking like there is with road biking. A lot of mountain biking competitions also include tricks and stunts as well where riders must make jumps and other crazy moves.
Become a Professional Bicycling Fan
If you don’t want to get into professional bicycling as an athlete, you can still become a fan of professional bicycling. Just start watching all the races, support local athletes at local races as well and buy professional bicycling gear and apparel. It is just like any other sport, you can buy cycling kits (jersey and shorts/bibs) that represent your favorite cycling team and wear them with pride.
Thanks for reading my article about professional bicycling. I hope I was able to share some knowledge with you about professional bicycling. Please help support me for writing this and my other free blog articles by linking to them on your website, blog posts and even your favorite social networking pages and by sharing my blog with other cyclists that you know. You can also donate to my hosting bill if you want to go that route as well. I encourage you to check out the Twitter page for this blog to learn more about professional bicycling and beyond.
Your turn to comment!
How much are you into professional bicycling? Do you watch it at all or participate in it? Who are your favorite professional bicycling athletes and why do you like them so much?
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Bicycling Dark Side – There is a dark side to everything. The bicycling dark side is a variety of different issues. One big bicycling dark side is doping which is something we who follow pro cyclists have heard about lately especially after Lance Armstrong admitted to it on Oprah with all his supporters and fans watching well at least those who used to support him. There are also concerns of cycling that can be put into the bicycling dark side mix. Nothing is really that fail-proof especially when it comes to fitness strategies.
Bicycling Dark Side and Your Health
Bicycling dark side issues evolve around your health and safety especially when you are a roadie. If you are like me, then you spend most of your biking time on the road with traffic. Bicyclists are getting killed in significant numbers each and every year by motor vehicle operators. Sometimes it’s the fault of the motor vehicle drivers and other times it’s the fault of the cyclists. Nonetheless, being a roadie has its bicycling dark side when it comes to riding on the road with traffic. You should always make sure you take extra precautions such as riding on the road when you are used to riding, wearing a helmet and wearing articles of bike apparel that are highly visible.
One other big bicycling dark side is our exposure to air pollution. See, we take the opportunity to ride our bikes and help stamp out our carbon footprints while being nice to the environment but yet we will still suffer. Automobiles, road building materials and a variety of other man-made and natural pollution fill the street especially where traffic is high. When you are inside a vehicle, you have less exposure to all this pollution but when you are riding your bike, you have full exposure to it all. You will see a lot of cyclists in Asian countries wearing masks with they ride and that is usually because of all the pollution over there is those parts of the world. Counter this by choosing routes with less traffic and you will be doing your health a favor in the long run.
Overdoing your cycling routines is another moment to add to the bicycling dark side area. It has been said by many in the professional medical field that cycling does have some health effects on men who overdo it in terms of how they perform in the bedroom. While sitting in the saddle for long periods of time, men could be doing some damage to their sensitive parts. Cycling too much can also affect your joints, bones and muscles if you are not too careful. If you have bad knees, cycling too much can harm your knees even more. The best way to prevent these medical problems is to rest when rest is needed. I ride two days and then I rest 1-2 days and then repeat.
Bicycling Dark Side in Professional Cycling
Doping is a major bicycling dark side in professional cycling. For many years, many professional athletes have cheated their way to better performance for winning with the use of steroids and other doping-related means of enhancing their performance. Performance enhancing drugs are illegal and banned in most professional cycling and professional racing settings. Lance Armstrong has since been banned from professional cycling altogether for life because of his use of performance enhancing drugs, dishonesty of using these drugs and refusal to cooperate in the investigations put on by the United States Doping Agency. If you are thinking about doping whether you are a professional cyclist or not – remember that these performance enhancing drugs can kill you suddenly so it is always a good thing to keep that in mind.
Another bicycling dark side in the world of professional cycling is race buying. Some athletes in the cycling arena have bought and sold their races in the past. This is basically a cyclist helping another cyclist in an attack or allowing another to win for a sum of money. For example, John Doe asks Joe Smith to lose against him in a road bike race in return John will pay Joe $2,000. Joe agrees to lose and let’s John win the road race even though Joe is a stronger cyclist and easily could had won the race but he was just doing it for the money. Now to some people, it doesn’t seem all that wrong since the cyclists are making deals about it. However it is wrong because it’s cheating other riders and it’s cheating the fans of the riders involved in the scandals. Don’t ever practice this kind of deceiving work because if you get caught and lose the trust of your fans, you probably will never be able to build that trust up again.
Fans of the pro cyclists also create a bicycling dark side from time to time. Some hardcore fans of different riders have even gone as far as assaulting some of the professional bike riders. During one Tour de France, one fan threw urine on Mark Cavendish because they didn’t agree with his tactics. Throwing urine on an opposing athlete is not only disgraceful but it can pack some jail time if the perpetrator was caught doing it. And some fans watching the tour at the tour location as well as other races go a bit too far with their support for the riders. Fans will block the lane of riders, cause accidents after trying to touch or interact with riders and so on. So if you’re a fan of pro cycling, it’s good to support your sporting idols but you should do so with some common sense.
Avoid the Bicycling Dark Side
The best way to not experience the bicycling dark side for yourself is to avoid the bicycling dark side altogether. You can do this by using common sense as a cyclist. Don’t do drugs and don’t cheat especially if you are getting into professional cycling. Don’t over-train or push yourself over the limit because you can hurt yourself especially if you are already an adult. Always consider your health and safety when you are a cyclist and always try to do your biking activities in the safest manner possible and you should be fine.
Thank you for reading my article about bicycling dark side issues. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and I hope you have gain new knowledge from it. Please help support me for writing this article by linking to it on your website, blog and social media profiles and by telling other cyclists to check out my blog. You can also donate directly to my hosting bill to show your support as well if you want to. Follow this blog on Twitter for more tips and stories about the bicycling dark side and beyond.
Your turn to comment!
How do you feel about the bicycling dark side? Have you ever been a witness or victim to the bicycling dark side at all? What other items of interest would you add to the bicycling dark side?
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Basic bike repair is something you should consider mastering when attempting to master your cyclist lifestyle. Basic bike repair will not only make you more aware of cycling in general but basic bike repair skills will also save you money and even quite possibly help you make money. I once purchased a book on basic bike repair instructions and then took an old mountain bike that someone gave me and stripped it and then put it back together, changed the tubes, changed the chain and so on and so on. I then realized I got really good at basic bike repair and started researching advanced bike repair. Long story short, I started learning basic bike repair and ended up opening my own bicycle repair shop in the process. And I make a profit, too! That was a plus for me!
Basic Bike Repair Tool Kit
In order to start learning basic bike repair, you need a basic bike repair tool kit to get you started. You should focus on three main toolsets when it comes to your basic bike repair tool kit – bike specific tools, all-purpose tools and liquid tools. As for the bike specific tools, you need basic bike repair tools that are specific to your bicycle’s needs. Hex keys and torx keys are wonderful basic bike repair tools to add to your kit because most of what you have to loosen on your bike is going to require those keys. A floor pump with a gauge on it is also going to make for a great tool especially if you want to put the correct pressure into the tires. A chain tool is also a common basic bike repair tool used to break your chain, add new links and shorten it if need be. Tire levers will also help you get the tube out of your tire – try doing it without them and you will understand. A nice little multi-tool will also be a good investment and you can even take it with you on your bike rides. And finally, spoke wrenches because your spokes will essentially need repair over time especially when it comes to mountain biking.
Basic all-purpose tools are also needed in your basic bike repair tool kit. One of these tools is a simple crescent wrench which you will find yourself using many times during basic bike repair tasks. I sometimes use my crescent wrench to assist my other bike repair tools when performing maintenance tasks on customer bikes. A good set of sockets is also needed and you need a variety of sizes for a variety of bike. Socket sets are good for just about anything so I would recommend getting a good kit with many options. Screwdrivers of all natures are also a good investment. A good rubber mallet is also a good investment and a lot safer than using an actual hammer to beat something down or off from your bicycle. Lastly, get you a great toolbox to put all of these basic bike repair tools in. Protect your tools and keep them safe.
Liquid tools are basically the liquid products you will be using to keep your bike going. For example, you are going to need to purchase some good lubricant for your bike. I suggest buying specific-purpose lubricant more than buying all-purpose lubricant. Basically, buy one lubricant for summer riding and another lubricant for winter riding, one for road riding and another for dirt riding – you get the idea here. Another liquid tool to purchase is some good grease because when you replace a lot of parts, bolts and components on your bike, you are going to need to re-grease these things otherwise breaks in these parts will be possible. Lastly, get you some good bike cleaning liquids. It is important to keep your bike clean otherwise it may run, crack and be unusable a lot quicker than it should be.
Basic Bike Repair Scenarios
Knowing how to change a bike tire’s tube is one of the most important basic bike repair tactics that you need to know about even if you have you local bike shop do this for you because if you break down on the road or the trail, it’s you who has to change the tube. So to start, on most bikes, you simply loosen the nuts of the wheel’s axil that attaches to the frame – then you should be able to pull the tire off but be careful with the chain and/or breaks as you will need to get those off and open as well. Next, take your tire lever tools and stick them in your tire to loosen it off the rim so that you can pull the tube out of the tire. Remove the tube completely and you may need to remove the nut around the stem in order to do so pending one what type of tube you are using. The tube is probably flat because of a hole so inspect the inside of the rim and tire to find out what caused the hole. Take the new tube and put it in the inner upper wall of the tire and replace the stem into the rim hole. Use the tire lever tools to get the tire back on the rim but be careful not to pinch the tube – counter this problem by putting a little bit of air in the tube. After that, air the tube up the rest of the way – inspect the tire to make sure nothing is protruding out and enjoy you fixed flat tire!
Basic bike repair on your wheel bearings is also an essential thing you should know about. Greasing your wheel bearing can be the ultimate solution to a wheel bearing problem and it can save you quite a bit of money in the process. Wheel bearings are more technical and that often discourages people from messing with them but you’re a cyclist – you’re tough! Take your tire off for this procedure and then loosen the nut on the wheel bearing completely off. Now you should see the bearings unless you need to remove another piece. Once you are able to locate the wheel bearings, simple grease them. Don’t put too little of an amount of grease on it, put a lot. More is better than less when it comes to greasing your wheel bearings. After you grease the wheel bearings, put the nut back on and tighten it up and then install the wheel back on. Ride your bike a few times around the block or up and down the street to get the grease spread out through the bearing and it should be good after that.
Prevent the need to do basic bike repair by inspecting your bike on a routinely basis. I often inspect each of my bikes at least before any ride I take them on, so several times a week and sometimes once a day. You can never be too careful when it comes to inspecting your bike. Work from the bottom up – check the tires to make sure no foreign objects are in them or that they are not worn out. Then add air to the tube if it is required. Check each spoke to make sure they are on tight on not broken. Inspect the wheel attachment to the frame – make sure the wheel is properly secured. Now check the brakes, make sure they are catching the wheel and not rubbing – make sure the brakes are not worn out. Next check the saddle, pedals, crank arms, handlebars and anything that could be lose enough to come off or move and cause you to wreck. Lastly, make sure everything is lubricated and greased especially the chain because not taking care of the chain will lead you to problems.
Further Your Basic Bike Repair Skills
I am not sponsored or endorsed to mention this book but I highly suggest you purchase Bicycling Magazine’s Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair for Road and Mountain Bikes. This book is what I started out with learning about basic bike repair and even the advanced stuff. This is really the book that helped me generate the idea of creating my own bicycle repair shop, Gossman Bikes. Owning a bicycle repair shop is a great hobby and a low costing business, too. So if you are interested in that as well – I recommend you get into it. You can do your basic bike repairs in your garage or you can go the route I went and purchase a portable building or workshop. You won’t get rich fast but you can make a nice little profit.
Thanks for reading my basic bike repair tutorial article. I hope you enjoyed this piece on basic bike repair and I hope it can help you with your own basic bike repair activities. Please support me for writing this article by sharing it with other cyclists that you know and by linking to it on your favorite social networking profiles. You can also donate directly to my hosting bills which is also very supportive of my free bicycling-related article. Follow this blog on Twitter for more basic bike repair tips and beyond.
Your turn to comment!
What sort of basic bike repair skills do you have? What basic bike repair activities have you done to a bicycle on your own?
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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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