Bicycle riding has become a common practice all over the globe. It is being exercised not only in every continent, but also in each city of every country. If you don’t do it, you need to know what you are missing. Each and every cyclist has his or her own reasons for bicycle riding. Some do it for fun, others as a sporting activity while others consider it as a convenient means of transport. Nevertheless, bicycle riding offers various health benefits. It is recommended by health experts as one of the effective natural ways of losing weight. Below are some of the improvements that cycling has to your health.
- Engaging in bicycle riding is a natural way of burning calories.
- Cardiovascular fitness is improved through cycling.
- The enjoyment brought by cycling and the effects that result from the exercise itself can help reduce stress.
- Joint mobility is also improved during the actual riding thus making the joints more flexible.
- Cycling also enhances the muscle strength.
- Regular cycling helps to reduce weight.
Other health benefits associated with bicycle riding include: Disease prevention and management, reduced depression and disquiet, improved coordination and as a training for other sporting activities such as athletics.
As a cyclist, you need to know how to make your ride enjoyable as well as safe. It doesn’t matter for what reason you are riding the bicycle. Your wellbeing is very important. Don’t allow your fun turn into distress. Observe all the cycling safety tips to realize the optimal enjoyment of your ride. First and foremost, you should ensure that your bike is in good condition. It takes a very short time to inspect your bicycle or perform easy maintenance checks. Just preserve some time to do it for your own safety and keeping your bike’s working condition in the top. If your bike is ready for the tour, wear the right cycling clothes. While on the road, observing the traffic rules is also very important as it prevents you from accidents that may capsize your special day. Now that you want your bicycle riding adventure to be awesome, let’s see what you need to do.
Inspecting your bicycle before the ride
It’s a safety precaution to check and ensure that your bike is in good condition whenever you rides it. By performing a safety inspection ahead of your ride, you are able to detect and revamp regular mechanical failures that may result to break down. Below are some of the checkups that need to be performed to avoid bike failure during your ride.
Wheels and tires
Punctures are very common while cycling. They can make your adventure very boring. However, you can avoid them by simply inspecting your tires for proper inflation. Check whether there are points of failure in each of the tires. There should be no cracks on the rubber tires. Also, check for secure fastening of the wheels by tightening any loose nuts, but ensuring that the wheels can rotate easily. By performing this check, you are in a better position to avoid flat tires.
Brakes are meant to increase your safety as a cyclist. To ensure that the brakes are perfect, confirm that the brake levers are in place and that they can initiate a sufficient amount of pressure to stop the bike at any instance. Effective braking system improves safety besides protecting the bicycle from damage.
For an effective control, the handle bar should be at the right place. The handlebar should be set at the precise height in relation to the height of the seat to ensure that you are comfortable while riding your bicycle. Fasten the stem firmly so that you can control the bike easily as you ride on any road.
Gears and the Chain
Before leaving your driveway, it’s essential that you check whether the chain and gears are working properly. Ensure that the chain rolls modestly through the sprockets. The gears should operate properly and issues like chain slippage and rough shifting avoided. Confirm that the drive train is well lubricated and that it doesn’t have any undue dirt. After this inspection, there are high chances of having a safe adventure. This inspection doesn’t guarantee that your bicycle will not have any mechanical failures. Therefore, you should be well equipped to ensure that you can handle any kind of failure that your bike may face. Take with you a pump, a spare tube and the toolkit so that you can personally perform the basic bike repair in case your bicycle fails.
Now that the inspection is complete and your bike is ready for the ride, it’s advisable to be in the right cyclist attire. Many people think that only cyclists who participate in racing competition are the ones who should wear protective clothing clothes. In order to increase your enjoyment and safety while cycling, you should be in the right bike clothing including cycling shoes. However, the type of clothing may depend on the weather. For instance, you can’t wear a heavy jacket when the weather is hot. The bike cycling attire includes the following:
A protective helmet to protect your head and brain in case of a fall. During cold weather, you should wear a head cover under the helmet to protect your head.
- Specific sunglasses that keep off sun rays, bugs and dust that may get into your eyes.
- A bicycle jersey.
- Bike shorts which can be either tight or loose. It will depend on your preference.
- Cycling socks.
- Specific cycling shoes
- Cycling gloves and face masks.
It’s advisable that you dress properly according to the weather. Brighter colors increase your visibility, thus improving your safety. Make sure that the bike clothing allows you to stretch to avoid difficulties in controlling the bike.
While bike shoes are important assets for cyclists, some of them ignore this fact and ride their bicycles in any shoe that they have. It’s okay that any shoe can ride a bicycle, but why don’t you think of your safety and efficiency. As a regular cyclist, you should make use of specific cycling shoes instead of using regular sneakers. Even if the sneakers can do it, they don’t perform better that the cycling shoes .
What are cycling shoes and why are they essential cycling equipment?
Cycling shoes are special purpose shoes designed for riding bicycles. These shoes are not just a fashion statement. They are essential cycling equipment. They make your ride better by improving the efficiency, comfort and safety as well. These shoes are available in different designs with varying features. Cyclists have different tastes while choosing cycling shoes. The tang may depend on the type of riding, whether mountain, touring or casual. Moreover, you can also ride your bicycle in regular sneakers. They are simple and don’t require spares as compared to cycling shoes. However, this is not a wise choice, especially if you are cycling for long distances.
Cycling shoes are better than regular sneakers in many ways. They help you achieve bike riding goals. Below are some of the reasons why you should use cycling shoes while riding a bicycle.
Easy pedalling leads to a great bike tour. This is only possible if pedaling is efficient and with less fatigue. With cycling shoes, either clip or Clipless, the feet and the pedals are intact such that. The uppers of cycling shoes are rigid and the soles are stiff. These features ensure easy transfer of power to the pedals and offer additional support for the feet while riding.
With cycling shoes, the contact between your feet and the pedals is secure. This prevents the feet from sliding while pedaling and you don’t have to concentrate much on the balance of the feet. Instead, you focus on power generation and alignment, which leads to a better and smoother ride. Slipping may lead to loss of control. Cycling shoes, therefore, help to improve the control compared to regular sneakers which are not firmly attached to the pedals.
Push and Pull
Cycling shoes clips your feet into the pedals. Thus, both the portions of a stroke transmit power. This is not the same with regular sneakers because they only transmit power during the forward portion of the stroke. With your feet clipped into the pedals, you can push down as you pull up. This also increases the speed and promotes muscle balance.
Better Bike Handling
As the feet are tightly held to the pedals, steering and controlling the bicycle becomes easier as there is an enhanced coordination between the feet and the legs. Regular sneakers make handling difficult as they can sometimes slip and lead to loss of control.
Cycling shoes are designed with unique features and specifically for bicycle riding. Your feet are more comfortable in cycling shoes compared to the regular sneakers. The sneakers are made of cushioning materials and flexible soles. These features are not good enough to protect your feet from the stress on the pedal’s pressure points. For this reason, cycling shoes are better as they prevent discomfort and improve the enjoyment.
Better Power Transfer
With the help of the rigid soles and firm connection between the shoes and the pedals, most of the power initiated during pedaling is directly transmitted to the steering of the bike giving the rider a smoother, faster ride. Since the cycling shoes maintain a contact between your feet and the pedals, there is no energy wasted while pedaling.
Cycling shoes are more durable compared to regular sneakers. They have stiff soles which can resist wear due to friction. The sneaker soles are not strong enough to withstand the frictional force between them and the pedals. Bike shoes have a longer lifespan and therefore saves you money. You don’t need to replace them every now and then. So long as you maintain them, they will serve you for long.
Cycling is enjoyable but sometimes dangerous. You should observe safety precautions while riding a bicycle. This can be achieved by wearing the right cycling attire including footwear. Regular sneakers are not compatible with Clipless pedal systems, which are the common systems nowadays. However, cycling shoes are designed to fit in these systems. They keep your feet tightly attached to the pedals even if you hit obstacles on your way. Regular sneakers on the other hand places your feet at high chances of flying off when you hit obstacles. This may harm your feet and overturn your cycling adventure. To avoid this, wear the right footwear while cycling.
Fresh Feet breathe
Bike shoes are usually made from a breathable material such as a mesh. This ensures that there is always fresh air in your shoes. It also prevents your feet from sweating as air circulates in and out of the shoes. This feature lacks in regular sneakers and you should, therefore, use cycling shoes.
Cycling shoes provide a stable connection to the bike which creates smooth pedaling. This allows proper coordination of the leg muscles.
Cycling shoes are essential cycling equipment for you. You should have a pair or two in your house. Maybe you don’t know where to get cycling shoes! They are available in local shops that sell sportswear at reasonable costs. You can also buy them online from reputable sites . There are unlimited choices to make depending on your taste and purpose of cycling. Now that you have cycling shoes in hand, you need to maintain them so that they can serve you for long.
Bike Shoe Maintenance
Cycling shoes should be kept clean and dry. Use a rag or towel to wipe grime and grit particles off your shoes. After cleaning, dry them properly. Don’t assume that your shoes are dry. A little moisture can make your shoes stinky. Avoid using direct heat to dry your shoes. Using a shoe dryer is the best way of drying your shoes. It takes a few hours for the dryer to parch your cycling shoes. Well maintained cycling shoes will definitely give you a long service.