Cycling is a great sport for people of all ages and from all walks of life. It is convenient, fun, relaxing and more importantly, it offers health and fitness benefits that people can enjoy with a group of friends or with family members. An average ride of 5km at a normal pace of 10-15km per hour can burn up to 300-400 calories.
What’s more with new improved models of bikes constantly hitting the retail floor, you are spoiled for choices and can expect innovative features on bicycles to provide a smooth and comfortable ride all the time.
To optimize your ride, provide a smooth and danger-free experience, here are some cycling tips to adopt.
Tip #1 – Wear a Helmet
Sounds obvious but over 70% of cyclists don’t wear helmets while cycling leisurely. You never know what’s round that bend or how the environment around you could react that is out of your control. The best way is to take precaution and simply wear a helmet.
Tip #2 – Choose the right frame size
Choosing the right frame size to match your height and body length is important to a comfortable ride.
First, ensure you are able to straddle the bicycle and stand flat-footed on the ground when stopping. Also, ensure 1-2 inch of clearance between your groin and the top tube while your handlebars should be slightly lower than the top of your seat.
Tip #3 – Get a bike seat that screams comfortable!
Depending on your size and bone structure of your buttocks, choose a bike saddle that can let you enjoy a comfortable ride throughout. Get something with quality cushioning that can reduce pressure and friction while riding.
Tip #4 – Choose something easy at the start
When you first start out cycling regularly, choose a shorter distance from point A to point B where the duration is around 25 minutes. Also, choose a terrain that is flat. Lastly ensure that you don’t over-exert yourself, slowly increase intensity as you go on more rides.
Tip #5 – Pick a set of comfortable clothes
It is best to wear something specially made for cycling. Ensure that such attire doesn’t cause you skin irritation as you will be sweating in it. Also, make sure your clothes have padding or protection for your crotch and other parts of your body.
Tip #6 – Wear bright colors and install lights
Cycling on the road can be intimidating especially when traffic is heavy at night or when there is fog. Cyclists are in danger when drivers can’t clearly see them. Thus it is best to wear bright colored attire and install headlights and blinking tail lights on your bike so that you become more noticeable in dark conditions.
Tip #7 – Know the roads and traffic signs
Before you cycle on the road, you need to know the rules of the road, etiquette and the route you are traveling on. You don’t want to be deciding and figuring out which directions to turn towards when you have cars zooming past you. Also knowing how to read the road signs and knowing basic road manners can save you the horns.
Tip #8 – Shift to lower gears
It is inadvisable to pedal in high gears for a long duration as this causes tension and puts pressure on the knees, especially if you are not competing or in a hurry to get somewhere. The best way to sweat it out is to shift to lower gears which gives you the opportunity to pedal more and faster as the number of revolutions increases while the force needed to push against the pedal decreases. To put numbers into perspective, an average cyclist rides at 60 to 80 revolutions a minute while someone who races at speed will ride at 80 to 110 revolutions per minute.