Exercise Resources: Guide to Cycling
Cycling is one the most popular sports in the world. While there are people who take cycling seriously like professional cyclists or ardent cycling enthusiasts, it can also be enjoyed by kids or old folks. For people who are interested in cycling, it’s important to know something about sport. Let’s look at the health benefits, the different types of bikes, bike buying information, safety advice, cycling tips, competitive biking, and biking trails.
There are many health benefits associated with cycling. It’s known to strengthen the immune system and muscles. A stronger immune system is more effective in protecting the body from diseases and infections. Cycling gives a good workout to all the muscles, ensuring that the muscular system functions efficiently. It’s also useful in strengthening the skeletal system and bones, thereby increasing mobility. People who suffer from back pains and spinal ailments can benefit from regular cycling whereby posture is improved and muscles in the lower back are stimulated. Other health benefits of cycling include balance, equilibrium, stress relief, better circulation, weight reduction, blood pressure reduction, and stamina improvement.
There are many different types of bikes. A utility bike is a simple bike which is mainly used for commuting and running errands so it’s usually fitted with a basket. For off-road cycling, there’s the mountain bike. It has a sturdy frame and wheels with low to mid ratios gear systems. Some sub-types of mountain bikes are Downhill, Freeride, and XC. If speed is a consideration, then the racing bike is the answer. Commonly used in the sport of road racing, it has a lightweight frame, drop handlebars, narrow high-pressure tires, and medium to high ratios gear systems. In the bigger cities where traffic is heavily congested, messenger bikes are used to deliver priority mail or parcels. In the US, these bikes are usually the most basic track-style bikes. For long distance cycling, the touring bike is perfect. Specially designed to carry a heavier load of baggage, it offers maximum comfort and durability for all your touring needs. The BMX bike is normally used to perform tricks or stunts. It’s also used in competition on hilly dirt BMX tracks. The BMX bike has a smaller frame and wheels with a single gear ratio. Other types of bikes are the tandem bikes, recumbent bikes, safety bike, bamboo bike, electric bicycle, rowing bikes, art bikes, chopper bikes, clown bikes, and hybrid bikes.
If you are planning to buy a bicycle, here’s a simple guide to help you find the best bike. Since there are many different types of bikes, the first thing to do is to decide the type of bike for your purpose. A road racer would definitely need a racing bike. A mountain bike can be used as a utility bike or a messenger bike. Once you have settled on the type of bike, the next thing is to look for a specific model. This is where the budget comes into play. As you are looking at various bicycles, you will find out that there are some bikes which cost less than $100 and some bikes which cost more than $10,000. After you have shortlisted a few models, go to the store and try out the bicycle. If possible, go for a test ride to find out if you are totally comfortable with the bike. Test the gear system and the brakes. Generally, it’s safest to go with the proven and trusted manufacturers.
When you are cycling on the road, it’s important to follow the safety rules. Before you go out on the road, take some time to learn the basic traffic rules. Clothing is an essential element in bicycle safety. Try to wear bright or fluorescent clothing so that other motorists can see you clearly, even when the light is poor. Always wear clothing which allows you to cycle freely without the danger of it being caught in the chain or wheels. If you are carrying a backpack, make sure that it’s not too big or heavy because your balance may be affected. For the best protection, it’s highly recommended that you wear a helmet. Fit your bike with lights and reflectors at all the required places in the front, rear, pedals, and spokes. On busy roads, ride decisively and positively. Be alert and cycle clear of the curb. Before starting, stopping or turning, look and signal. Let drivers know that you have seen them by making eye contact. On shared paths, always be prepared to stop of slow down. To warn people, use the bell.
To enjoy cycling to the fullest, you have to take care of the bike well. Make sure that the tires are fully inflated because it can be hard to cycle on deflated tires. Always check the bike to see that everything is working well, especially the brakes and gears. When a part needs to be replaced, it’s best to get it replaced before you go cycling. Otherwise, it can be dangerous.
Cycling is a major competitive sport. It’s competed at the highest level at the Summer Olympic Games every four years. Some of the cycling events in the 2008 Summer Olympics are the Road Race, Points Race, BMX, Keirin, Madison, Sprint, Team Pursuit, Cross-Country, Individual and Pursuit. There are also famous road cycling events like the Tour de France, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, and Milan-San Remo. Another top competitive cycling event is the World Cycling Championship which is held annually.
One of the best things about cycling is the fact that riders can enjoy some of the best sceneries along the best biking trails. From Alabama to Wyoming, there are countless bicycle trails for the cycling enthusiast. Some of the popular biking trails include the Pinellas Trail in Florida, the Silver Comet Trail in Georgia, the C & O Canal in Maryland, the Paul Bunyan State Trail in Minnesota, and the Mon River Rail Trail in West Virginia.
Cycling is a great sport and pastime. It can help to keep the body, mind, and spirit healthy and well.