Are you a cyclist? If so, congratulations! Cycling is one of the most eco-friendly modes of transport on the planet. Not only this, but in comparison with driving a car, a bicycle is 20 times cheaper to maintain. That’s without mentioning that cycling can enhance circulation, improve lung capacity, and boost heart health.
Over the last decade, U.S. bike commuting inflated by 73% in the nation’s largest cities. To this day, approximately one billion bicycles are being used across the planet. Cycling is a hobby that people of all ages can enjoy.
As Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle; to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Whether you enjoy cycling as a means of exploring new territories, maintaining optimum health, or broadening your social circle, preparing for your two-wheeled adventure is critical.
Tips for Improving Your Cycling Experience
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Everybody has to start somewhere when it comes to cycling, whether by riding with stabilizer bars or by riding on a lightweight bike. Nowadays, it’s even possible to ride bikes with electric pedals — perfect for people interested in getting a battery-powered boost for uphill cycling!
In 2018, Denise Mueller-Korenek went down in history for accomplishing the fastest speed on a bicycle at 296.009 km/h (183.932 mph). Some of the world’s most famous cyclists include Eddy Merckx (“The Cannibal,”) Fausto Coppi (“Il Campionissimo,”) Binard Hinault (“The Badger”), and Miguel Indurain (“Big Mig.”).
If you aspire to be like one of these influential athletes, there are a few things you ought to know.
- Essential Accessories – Planning on organizing a cycling trip with fellow bicycle-loving friends? If so, consider investing in a bike carrier for ute, A.K.A., a “utility vehicle,” and set off on a family trip to your favorite destination. Some other recommended accessories for bicycles include cyclo-computers for calculating/displaying trip information, helmets for safety, light fittings for night exposure, and bells for alerting others when you’re on the road.
- Cycling Etiquette – Unless you’re cycling in a pretty secluded location, such as alongside an isolated lake or in a non-residential area that doesn’t attract much road traffic, you should practice cycling etiquette. Sharing the road with other drivers or cyclists means that you need to take precautionary measures to reduce the risk of jeopardizing your or somebody else’s safety. Riding in the direction of traffic flow (as opposed to against it), paying attention to drivers who are ignoring their blind spot, and leaving plenty of space while passing others are just examples of the unwritten cycling rules. Make sure you refrain from tailgating other drivers and cyclists, too!
- Comfort is Paramount – Avoid hunching your shoulders when riding a bicycle since this will leave you in a world of pain afterward. With your shoulders straight, a stern upper body, and an adjusted bicycle saddle, you can target different muscle groups and prevent injury. You can also maintain a comfortable position on the bike by investing in gel and memory foam padded bike seats, as these products will make the cycling experience more comfortable.
- Energy is Everything – Since cycling can cause you to sweat proficiently (mainly if it’s hot outside), it’s essential to stay hydrated. Not only will water help replenish your body, but it will also improve stamina, energy, and focus. Don’t forget to snack on high-energy foods throughout your ride, too. Dried fruit, granola bars, nuts, and seeds will enhance overall performance and prevent you from losing pedal power.
- Cyclists are Bike Doctors – You don’t have to be trained as a mechanic to figure out why your bicycle is making a strange noise or is performing poorly. A little bit of research will help you to identify problems before they become serious. For example, squeaks usually arise when the pedals need lubricating; tight chains that need loosening will usually make a clicking noise; dented/bulging tire rims tend to cause a thumping sound; rattles normally occur when a bag isn’t secured properly.
Interesting Facts About Cycling
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The two-wheeled contraption, the bicycle, was invented in 1817 by a German baron named Karl von Drais and, according to Britannica, the sport officially began on May 31, 1868. Since the Tour de France – an annual men’s multiple-stage bicycle race primarily held in France, which lasts for 21 days and stretches over 3,000 kilometers – was established in 1903, the global popularity of cycling has continuously surged.
Unsurprisingly, China – where half of the world’s bicycles can be found – the European Union, Japan, India, and Taiwan are responsible for 87% of the world’s bicycle production. Australia stood out on 14 November 2020, when native Bernie Ryan won the Guinness World Record for riding the longest bicycle, measuring 47.5 meters (155 feet 8 inches) long.
Cycling is believed to be three times faster than walking, and approximately 15 bicycles can fit inside a car parking space! Research indicates that tripling the number of cyclists on public streets slashes motorist-bicyclist crashes by 50%, thus suggesting that this sport is as safe as it is convenient.