Road Biking Is Fun For Everyone
One of the most popular forms of cycling is road biking (also known as racing). Many celebrities have taken to the joy of Road Biking, including Chef Gordon Ramsay. (Oh to ride next to him one day…)
Cycling, a pastime enjoyed by many for pleasure, transportation and competition, is a fun way to burn calories, build muscle, take in the scenery and learn a bit about aerodynamics. Getting acclimated to road biking is easy for both new riders and well-seasoned athletes. (I went from 2 miles to 15 in just 2 weeks!)
Equipping yourself adequately is essential for a proper ride. After getting measured by your bike shop professional for your bike frame, you’ll want to focus on purchasing the lightest frame with optimized geometry. Most beginner cycling bikes are pre-configured with decent components and only need to be adjusted to your height. Next, you will need a well-adjusted, aerodynamic helmet. (It is important to note that helmets that have been dropped or are older than 3 years may be considered unsafe.) Depending on your bike’s pedals, you may also need a good pair of cycling cleats to go with your slim-fitting biking apparel. Other things you may want to include in your purchase list include a light kit, full sized and a mini bike pump, on-the-go repair supplies, a sturdy bike lock (U-Locks work well), a vehicle bike mount, and a cyclometer or smartphone handlebar mount.
Once you and your new ride are equipped with all of the essentials, it is time to start riding. You should tailor the first rides to your fitness level. If you have never ridden a road bike, you’ll want to get your body used to the racing position, which is similar to a runner’s stance. If you’re an equestrian, it’s also similar to the 2-point or jumping position.
The First Ride:
Your first ride should take place in an area that does not increase and decrease rapidly in elevation. I suggest you ride a few laps around your home first (should you find yourself tiring faster than expected or need to make alterations to your bike). Practice reaching for, drinking from, and replacing your water bottle(s) to resting position if you are not wearing a hydration pack. Practice your hand signalling and start to familiarize yourself with traffic signals and road surfaces, noting potholes, cobblestones or otherwise tire-popping areas.
Once you’re comfortable riding a few miles at a steady pace, push yourself to go faster at certain intervals, then gradually decrease the length of relaxed-paced riding between intervals during each next ride. To attain best cadence, you’ll want to make sure you are riding in an area that you do not have to make frequent stops (such as in a busy city with red lights and stop signs). You can also limit your amount of stopping by riding a route that is mainly right turns.
Plenty of cyclists tend to take a longer route and enjoy a ride at a comfortable pace. The speed you choose is up to you, however it is important not to overexert yourself, especially on hotter days. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of water for longer rides, as well as a topographic map or GPS enabled smartphone as you may wander into unfamiliar terrain. It’s also good practice to have a miniature bike bump and an emergency-repair kit on board.
Enjoy The Road Biking Journey:
Whether you’re pushing the speed limit, pushing boundaries or a mix of both, always be prepared. Prep your mind and body before your ride. Ride with others when possible, let others know when to expect your return (and provide them an emergency plan if you go MIA), remain visible to vehicles with bright lights and reflective items, wear or bring some sort of identification, obey all traffic signals and know more than one way to approach your destination.
Do not forget to have fun! Inhale fresh air, enjoy the sites, and invite your friends!
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