If you’re looking for a new hobby that can increase your fitness and get you outside, cycling is one of the best options to consider. Whether it’s helping you with a commute, or simply just for pleasure, cycling comes with a plethora of benefits. We’ll be discussing what these benefits are below, as well as providing some top tips for getting started with it. Keep reading if you want to learn more.
Choosing The Right Bike
The first step you’ll need to take is choosing the right bike for you. In order to help you find the right bike, you need to consider what kind of cycling you’ll be doing. For example, will you be mostly cycling on roads to commute? Or will you be using your bike for off-road cycle tracks? There are different kinds of bikes suited to different terrains with features suited for the environment they will be used in. For example, offroad bikes might have a different gear system to those used on the roads, as well as thicker tires with a deeper tread. Bikes used for the use on the road will have lighter frames and narrower, shallow tires to make them better adapted for going along roads. It may be that you want a bike that can do both, so try and look for a bike that you know will adapt well to both kinds of environments.
Consider Insuring Your Bike
Investing in a good bike can sometimes be expensive, so it’s worth making sure it’s protected. Taking out bike insurance can help make sure you don’t lose money should your bike become damaged or stolen. If you’re looking for the right cover for your bike, Velosurance offers a range of cover options to give you peace of mind that your cycling investment is protected. Meaning you can get out and enjoy your bike without the worry of replacement costs due to an accident or crime. Your insurance plan will be adapted to your unique circumstances, taking into account the full value of your bike.
The Importance Of Safety Equipment
One area of cycling that it’s important not to ignore is using safety equipment. It’s easy to forget to use safety measures when cycling, especially if you’re a more skilled cyclist. However, using the right safety equipment can make the difference between life and death in the case of an accident happening. The most important piece of safety kit you will need to make sure you have is a high-quality helmet. A good helmet will help to make sure you avoid serious injury during an impact, especially involving a vehicle. Although they may be more expensive, it’s worth paying a bit more for a high-standard helmet that will provide you with the best level of protection. You may also want to consider using protective equipment such as elbow and knee pads. These will help to protect the skin on your joints that can be prone to grazing during a fall from your bike. There are also accessories you can add to the bike itself, which will make it safer. For example, use flashing lights and reflective accessories so other cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicle drivers can see you on the road or track.
Understand The Rules Of The Road
Another important safety aspect you’ll need to become familiar with before taking up cycling is the rules of the road. You need to know what rights you have as a cyclist on the roads or even on offroad tracks. This will help you to avoid accidents and know what to do should you come across other people and vehicles on the road. This is especially important should you plan to use your bike to commute to different locations. The rules for cyclists can vary according to which state you’re in, so be sure to do your research if you plan to cycle in another state.
Building Up Your Fitness Levels
Cycling has many benefits for boosting your health and stamina levels, but it can take you by surprise if you don’t have much cycling experience. If you do find that you struggle initially with your fitness levels when cycling, try to stick with it, as you will soon find your fitness levels improve with consistency. When you first start cycling, you don’t need to throw yourself in at the deep end. Start gradually and build up your fitness levels. Even just going around the block on your bike is a good place to start, and you can add an extra bit of distance each day. Eventually, you’ll find you can cycle more and more easily until you can cover long distances or steeper inclines than you could before. Cycling is one of the best low-impact sports. It allows you to build your fitness levels and take part in a form of exercise that won’t put as much strain on your joints as other activities, such as running or tennis. It also combines the benefits of cardio exercise whilst also working your muscles hard. This means that even at rest, you’ll be burning more calories as your muscles require more energy as they grow stronger.
Fueling Your Journeys
In order to get the best out of your cycling, you’ll want to make sure you have the right fuel in your body to keep you going. Foods such as bananas, nuts, and wholegrain bread make great energy sources. Foods such as porridge oats help to release their energy gradually, meaning energy supplies last longer. Snacking on sugar foods and drinks might help to give an initial hit of energy, but can also lead to an energy crash later in the day.
What To Wear For Cycling
As with any other sport, the right clothing can make a big difference to your comfort when cycling. Ideally, you want to choose lightweight, breathable clothing that will help to reduce sweat build-up and avoid overheating. You can also find clothing items such as male and female padded shorts that will help to reduce discomfort from long bike rides. Clothing that covers more skin is better as it can help to reduce the damage to your skin from grazing during a fall.
Consider Joining A Group
Cycling can be a great hobby whether you’re looking for a solo pursuit or you want to be able to socialize with others. You might have friends or family that enjoy cycling and would enjoy taking part in it with you. You could also find out if there are local cycling groups you could join to help you meet like-minded people you can enjoy your new pursuit alongside.
Training For Events
Once you start getting into cycling, you might find you want to take it to another level and start taking part in competitive events. Many towns and cities host competitive cycling events that all are welcome to take part in. You might also find there are different levels of difficulty, so you can take part even in you’ve not reached a high level of fitness. If you do choose to take part in a competitive event, it’s a good idea to start training as soon as possible. Although training for an event can seem daunting, the main thing you need is to be consistent. Training at least 2/3 times a week will help to make sure you stay in a good routine to maintain your stamina and fitness levels for the event.