Riding a bike – for pleasure or performance.

Riding A bike

The days have started to get warmer again recently, and they are getting longer; you’re looking at that bike in the garage and wondering if you should have another go at riding it. There is always an excuse not to ride during the winter months and seeing it gathering dust in your headlights every time you put the car away gives you a little pang of guilt.

 

It’s not difficult to see that riding a bike is going to be good for you. Unlike running, where you stand a good chance of a muscle or tendon injury with all that pounding on hard surfaces, cycling is a sitting down pastime which, on its own, makes it quite attractive. Most people will have ridden a bike when they were a child, so the difficult part has already been done. Once you’ve conquered the initial challenge of riding a bike then, as they say, ‘you’ll never forget’.

If you haven’t ridden a bike before, then don’t fear, as it’s not that difficult and there are plenty of people who will be happy to help you.

So you’ve made the decision to go for a ride. What next? Well, it depends. It depends on whether you’re a competitive type or not. If you’re not, then quite quickly you’ll learn to realise just how much fun there is in mooching around the town or going for rides in the countryside under your own steam. The fresh air will feel great and, after a few rides, your body will start to feel the benefits of the increased blood flow and the muscles working in your legs. If you start to get the bug, you may even decide that you want to go a little further afield; you could even plan a tour. You’ll grow to love your bike.

If you decide that as soon as you get on the bike, that no one is ever going to overtake you, come what may, then it could be that your riding is going to take on a different course. Very quickly, you decide that you’re going to need a better, faster bike and that you need to be wearing the correct, most suitable, clothing.

There will inevitably be some investment required, which a cyclist can always justify; it is the reason why many cyclists end up a with a collection of different bikes….one for every eventuality. There is even an equation thought up by some ardent cyclists for working out how many bikes you need. It is n + 1, where n equals the number of bikes you already have, and +1 is the next bike you need.

 

You may by now have now joined with a group of other like-minded riders or even a cycling club. Competition beckons, but you’re finding that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get the necessary miles in – and when it rains you’d prefer not to take your pride and joy out in case it ends up on the floor.

Now you’re in trouble. Now you’re starting to think about indoor training. You’ve heard from the other riders about how you can, with the modern indoor trainers, hook up to the internet and race other people in real time. The volume of data available from these machines will allow you to create training plans that suit your busy life. Power outputs, heart rates, cadence and, speed are all available. You’ll want, of course, to have the best exercise bike that money can buy.  You’re committed to being the best you can. Now you are racing cyclist

If you’re not going to commit to cycling in this way, but simply want to lose some weight or increase your general health without having to take to the roads, then join a local gym and use an exercise bike. There is no need to put the resistance up high or spin your legs too fast – simply find the level of work that causes you to sweat a little and make you breathe a little more than usual and you should be fine. You’ll only need to spend twenty to thirty minutes every other day, and after a couple of weeks, you should feel the difference. If this doesn’t sound too exciting, then remember that you can read a book or listen to music while you ride indoors.

The action of riding a bike is undeniably beneficial for our health. How much we end up making cycling a part of life is up to us; from regular sessions on the exercise bike to Wednesday night chain-gang sessions with the local cycling club, we can all find what suits us. Ride a bike, change your life!

The days have started to get warmer again recently, and they are getting longer; you’re looking at that bike in the garage and wondering if you should have another go at riding it. There is always an excuse not to ride during the winter months and seeing it gathering dust in your headlights every time you put the car away gives you a little pang of guilt.

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