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11 Most Common Winter-Cycling Blunders

Irrespective of the experience on bike, we all make some obvious mistakes especially during the cold season as we don’t know how to deal with it. Winter is the beginning of the cycling season. It is the time when you need to work and prepare yourself for the summers.

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It is also the hardest time of the year to train which makes it most important to maneuver without making obvious mistakes every year. Base mileage, avoiding cold weather weight gain, etc. would keep you on track for the summer. So, we present you few of the clichéd mistakes of winter cyclists and how to avoid them.

WRONG KIT

A very common mistake by most of the riders is that they either wear a wrong kit or don’t wear enough of the necessary kit.  The most intimidating thing for a cyclist can be a change in weather with no layers packed. This results in riding cold or soaked through.

The only rescue to this is carrying spare clothes with you. This doesn’t mean sweaters or many layers but you can carry a waterproof or lightweight gilet as it’s better to have something than nothing. Also when it gets cold, hands and feet are the coldest so you can invest in good winter gloves along with socks and overshoes.

TOO HARD TOO EARLY

Riders often make a mistake of riding to their heart’s extent as fast as they can. But what they don’t understand is that the body requires warming up. An ideal time is required for the body muscles to warm up and then push the boundaries.

Even the well-trained athletes can harm themselves if they don’t warm up as the muscles wear and injuries take place. So take 10-15 minutes and ride at a moderate pace before you start training yourself.

NOT USING ALL THE GEARS

You should make use of all the gears your bike possesses. If you use gears poorly, it stresses your muscles and injures your joints. Be confident and use your full range.

MATCHING PACE

Cyclists often try to match others’ pace but what they don’t understand is that they should stay in their zone of comfort rather than putting their muscles to the risk. It’s your comfort level and your pace which you gradually push. Pace doesn’t come to you in a day.

AVOIDING HYDRATION

We know its winters and you may be thinking you wouldn’t sweat a lot but that is just a misconception. In winters the difference is just that sweat cools easily on your body itself. To avoid this you should wear layers as that enhances the quality of your workout and makes you sweat more. And we all know we need to hydrate to balance that. In fact, hydration is many more things involving proper functioning of your body, better workouts, enhances weight loss, etc. Even a little dehydration can harm a rider and cause injuries. If your body is working out, it will sweat so hydrate.

POOR PEDALING

Are u pedaling efficiently or wasting energy? Pedaling doesn’t mean simply pushing vigorously on the pedals with all your power. In fact, this may hurt your joints. Efficient pedaling involves putting consistent power to the gears on all 360 degree of the movement and enhances smooth pedaling in a circular motion.

You can either concentrate on pedaling for the starters or monitor your feet by fitting a video camera or a mirror to keep an eye on maneuvering them.

POOR POSITIONING

You need proper positioning when you have to deal with road curves. Especially, when you go downhill, there’s a need to keep an eye on the upcoming traffic so keep your posture upright.

OPTING FOR THE INSIDE BEND

While riding uphill curves, first mindset would opt to take the inner curve. This happens because people think it would be a shorter distance to cover. But what actually is a smart choice, is the outer curve as the inner curve is steeper and requires more stamina to cover while outer curve requires less stamina and safer as riders can get a better view of the oncoming traffic.

AVOIDING INJURIES

While heavy workouts, people are so focused on their goals that they neglect the pain signals sent by their body. Rest more  as muscles require proper resting hours to function properly and start the burning process again.

PUTTING ON TOO MUCH WEIGHT 

Over indulgence in riding or under-indulgence has a similar outcome on the body. You gain weight. The cold weather makes you procrastinate and is less appealing to go on a bike ride. But it is always possible with the correct kit as mentioned earlier. Sitting home and lying like a couch potato can only make you gain weight.

Worst case scenario is the festive season which brings sweetness and alcoholic drinks at parties. You can alternate between drinks and water to prevent hangover. There’s a need to control those calories. Also, you can keep yourself motivated by having group goals to meet up for a ride, a race or anything similar. Plan new rides, this helps keeping your socialization exciting and keeping you indulged in your riding.

BEING OVERCONFIDENT

Some riders are too proud of themselves that they can manage to train amazingly in all weather conditions. Our point is that it is okay to skip training outdoors sometimes when the weather is very harsh. You can improvise by working out indoors. There is no use of riding in bad weather and harming oneself.

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On a low budget? Check out these bikes

So do you love riding bikes but just not willing to buy one? Well the question is why? Is it the budget? If yes you are in the right place. Well what if I told you that you can get an equally awesome looking and high spec bike even at a lower cost?

Now how awesome is that, right? So before you give up on the idea of going for your early morning rides check out these bikes that you can buy for below $1000.

Pinarello Lungavita

Yes you are reading it right. You can get a Pinarello for that too as low as $950. Though it may not be the high speed racing bike you want but for a bike that’s low costing it is just amazing.

It is a single speed bike that allows you to opt for a free or static wheel/ hub alternative. The bike is built using 6061 T6 aluminum and I love the colour patterns this bike has to offer. Also the white rims add to the overall looks of the bike.

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Kona Zing

Though Kona has a wide range of trail and cyclocross bikes the Zing stands out and that is not only because of its low cost but also because of its really good specs. It is a perfect bike for first time riders and also for riders having trouble with climbing.

It’s specially designed crankset makes climbing really easy. Apart from that the cockpit is also bigger and it would just cost you about $900.

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Schwinn Coffee

Well the bike is as classy as the name is and what I really love about this bike is its retro look. Apart from that the bike is quite light and yet strong and the rack has enough room to ensure you get a comfortable ride.

The bike also has good looking brakes, pedals etc. and comes in all sorts of sizes and would cost you just about $450.

More Bike Recommendations by BodyGearGuide.com:

 

 

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Marin Ignacio

Well if you love retro bikes and have a slightly higher budget and are looking for something better than the Schwinn Coffee well then I am sure you will love the Marin Ignacio. Though this bike will cost you about $900 it is worth the price.

The bike comes with toe clips to ensure your feet remain rooted to the pedals ensuring a better ride. It also comes in really cool retro colors. It is a single speed bike and is solidly built.

 

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Novara Transfer

If you know about the Transfer Fusion well the Novara is actually very similar to it except that this one will cost you less. The Novara is priced around $650.

The bike comes with both headlights and taillights that are battery powered which makes it a perfect bike if you love riding at night. The bike is light, strongly built and can be bought in various different sizes.

 

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Why a bad weather is no reason to stop riding

All of us love going to for an early morning ride on bright sunny, breezy mornings but what if one day you open the curtains and it is actually raining? Well now that’s a bummer isn’t it?

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Most of us hate going for rides when the weather outside is bad but what if I told you it is all the more reason to get out there and get riding. Still not convinced? Well here are 5 reasons why you should be riding even in bad weather.

It is a challenge

So are you looking to take your riding up a notch? Do you feel you are ready for a new challenge? Well why look for a new road or bike instead try riding in winters or during heavy rains and yes it is not as easy as you may have first thought.

Only the pros take on the weather so get the right gear, put on the mudguard on your bike and get on the saddle.

Indoor cycling can get boring

Yes indoor cycling does have its own fair share of benefits but then how long can you do the same thing over and over again at the exact same place? Well I guess there will come a time when you just won’t feel like it.

Personally I love to ride outdoors and riding in rain and the cold weather well there is hardly a better way to train and get fit.

Your handling gets better

Most of us hate riding in the rain because it needs extra care and better handling but if you are looking to be pro and want to get better well then that is exactly what you need to do. Keep in mind you only get better with practice.

Also you will find yourself thinking and using technique you may not have tried out otherwise. Apart from that riding under harsh wet conditions will only make you a better rider under normal conditions too.

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It is peaceful

Now if you live in the midst of the town finding peace might just be very tough irrespective of when you go out but believe it or not riding in the rain has a special kind of peacefulness about it that I love.

Now I usually ride with friends which is fun but riding solo with rain making its drizzly sound and water splashing around is at times the best feeling and gives me the boost we all need at times.

It is not really that bad

Well the weather outside may look horrible from your drawing room window but is it really that bad after all?

Well there is only one way to find out so stop being a couch potato, get your bike out of the garage and get riding. Trust me sometimes it really is not as bad as it looks like. All we need to do is be a little brave.

Want to learn to ride in the rain?

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Because Cycling is Better Than These 7 Alternative Means of Travelling…

Here are a few alternatives which, when compared to cycling in terms of commuting, prove that cycling is a better choice.

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RUNNING

Commuting with the idea of running can be very challenging. Carrying a backpack which would continuously brush against your neck and result in a graze that’d make your colleagues judge you is another issue with this choice of commuting.

Also, you don’t want to sweat and look like a total fiasco when you enter your office because running is something you can’t help with perspiration. Moreover, you’d have to carry spare footwear for running too.

ROLLERBLADES

This choice of commuting may be dangerous for everybody. As it demands perfection and experience with rollerblades, carrying them in running traffic or busy pavements is yet another challenge.

SCOOTER

Scooter commuting may seem completely normal, but it isn’t. It’s definitely a faster mode than walking but technically not faster than cycling. Also, it looks silly as it only allows one leg to be exercised at a time. So, it’s like a one-legged fitness mode of transport.

CAR

Car is definitely a more comfortable choice on a sunny day. But during rush hour, poor drivers watch cyclists swift through the traffic easily. Also, cyclists get an advantage to move through pavements or take shortcuts which are inaccessible for car drivers.

Another disadvantage of taking a car to commute is finding a safe and suitable car parking as every office doesn’t reserve or provide parking for your car.

BUS

Well, travelling by a bus has its own challenges. Waking up early in the morning and getting ready in haste to catch a bus at a certain time. Even if you do, it isn’t necessary that you’d get a seat. Also, one cannot guarantee the behavior of the crowd in the bus along with the interior conditions of the bus. Such as a chewing gum beneath the seats, sweaty and rusty poles, speed of the driver, peaceful environment, etc.

TRAIN

The conditions and challenges of commuting in a train are pretty similar to that of a bus. Too packed to get a seat, unsuitable environment/crowd, fixed time that you would have to adhere to, unhealthy seating or travelling conditions, etc.

SWIMMING

Swimming isn’t much of an available option for people to commute. A minority of people commute through swimming that too when they have to work in waters for e.g., fishing. So swimming cannot be your option anyway as it requires an expansion of water from your home to your office.

Keep in mind these alternatives to travel to your office if you don’t like cycling as a choice and you’ll get your answer.

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Top 10 Myths About Cycling Busted

We all are certain with the basic benefits of cycling. But there may be a few myths that proliferate among the rookies or the non-cyclists. Here we are to expose such myths.

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CYCLING IS RISKY

Cycling is actually a very safe thing to do. It may sometimes feel dangerous but it isn’t. And the chances of crashing one with a motor traffic are pretty rare. It partially depends on who is riding, the experience and where the bike is being ridden.

If you’re a rookie, cycling maybe trickier to handle in traffic. Try to avoid fast traffic if possible. Consider riding on footpaths if you strike a heavy traffic. But the key is to keep yourself away from busy roads if you have not gained confidence in yourself till date. It can be great if you’re riding on a separate cycle path as it is not dangerous at all.

CYCLING IS SLOW

Well, people believe that cycling compared to other modes of transport, can be slow. But we all have observed that during rush hour, cycles move swiftly among the cars stuck in traffic.  Cyclists also have a benefit of shortcuts which cars don’t get. They also get to sneak through pathways.

IT’S NEVER TOO FAR TO CYCLE

Most trips around the town are nearly 5km or less, a distance that can be easily traversed by a bike within 20-30 minutes at a gentle speed. If you’re new to cycling, start small. Plan short trips first, and eventually your commute when you gain confidence in cycling.

HARDER IS  BETTER

If you try filling your tires with a high pressure, you may experience an uncomfortable and bumpy ride. This happens because you will have no suspension to cushion the blows and feeling every bump in the road will eventually slow you down and worse, damage your bike.

CYCLING MAKES YOU SWEAT

The first thing you want to know is that cycling is not sweating. It totally depends on your pace. In fact, cycling is like walking. If you walk or run faster, you sweat. It’s a similar case with cycling.

In addition to this, you can wear light clothes; get yourself an electric bike, etc. to avoid sweating if you pedal faster.

Moreover, perspiration mainly depends on your weight and experience. After repeated training, your body becomes more capable at cooling. So the fitter you are, the more you will sweat.

CYCLING IS UNSUITABLE FOR HILLY AREAS

If you live in hills, take example of people who cycle at hilly regions of other places. All you have to do is figure out the easy and gentler paths to your destinations. Also, it’s okay to get off the bike and push it a little. And in worst case scenarios, buy you an electric bike.

YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO WEAR CYCLING ATTIRE

It is completely contradictory that you should wear cycling clothes while cycling. It is good get the necessary gears but not all of them. You can always wear comfortable clothes that you have in your wardrobe.

SHAVE YOUR LEGS

Shaving your legs maybe good for fad. It does display your toned muscles, indulge you in “riding socialization”, but it has nothing to do with speed. You simply want to go out on the road; it’s absolutely alright if your legs aren’t shaved. Go ahead and enjoy your ride.

IT IS OKAY TO EAT BEFORE OR AFTER CYCLING

If you eat a certain amount of calories per day, cycling burns those calories irrespective of the time you cycle. Even if you go cycling in the morning and burn fat, you will add those calories throughout the day. It is nothing like you need food inn your stomach to burn before exercising.

BALANCING WITH A WEDGE

Many people are advised to wear a wedge because of their hip, leg or foot injury which makes one leg slightly shorter than the other. Well, it’s only true in a few cases. The problem lies with the pelvis which demands to be corrected with exercise or diagnosed properly instead of wearing a wedge suggested by a salesman.

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10 Common Beliefs About Road Biking that Aren’t True!

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CYCLING IS DANGEROUS

When you conduct a survey of the literature on cycling accidents you discover that cycling safety statistics are pretty dry. But there is more to each accidental experience. It is not the entire contribution of the car in an accident, its partially you or entirely you.

It maybe the adverse weather, rolling a stop sign by you on a residential street or you may be cycling in the dark without being careful.

A significant contributor to cycling risk creed is social media. It forms the opinion out of people by displaying several accidents and scaring them. Cycling is not dangerous, it just requires being careful in different conditions and experience.

CYCLISTS  PAY ROAD TAX

Car drivers pay VED which depends on the vehicle’s carbon dioxide emission. Since bicycles produce zero emission, they aren’t supposed to pay VEDs.

CYCLISTS SHOULD ONLY USE CYCLE LANES OR CYCLE TRACKS

Only motorways are built for cars and not bicycles. Cycle lanes are the painted areas on the road while cycle tracks are separately built on the side of the road or away from it. 

But you are suggested to use them only when they are “practicable” as per the Highway Code. As we see some cycle lanes are narrow.

CYCLISTS HAVE TO KEEP LEFT

Sticking to the kerb might feel safer but a certain distance should be maintained. You should be away from the kerb, about a meter or more while cycling.

Also, when you opt for the lane, you make yourself more visible to the drivers in the centre of the lane which forces them to react to your presence and there comes their need to overtake you properly rather than sifting past from the side when there’s not enough room.

TRAFFIC LIGHTS ARE NOT FOR CYCLISTS

Cyclists should abide by the traffic rules as they indirectly induce car drivers to jump signals as well when the cyclists do.

Some offences yet, are not applicable to cyclists for example, crossing a certain speed limit on public roads, talking on mobile phone while riding, etc. But they can be fined for minor offenses and dangerous cycling.

CYCING MAKES YOU PERSPIRE

Cycling is not sweating. It totally depends on your pace. In fact, cycling is like walking. If you walk or run faster, you sweat. It’s a similar case with cycling.

In addition to this, you can wear light clothes; get yourself an electric bike, etc. to avoid sweating if you pedal faster.

Moreover, perspiration mainly depends on your weight and experience. After repeated training, your body becomes more capable at cooling. So the fitter you are, the more you will sweat.

A CYCLIST MUST BE FIT

Frequent cycling sessions will enhance your health and tone your muscles but that doesn’t mean you have to start with being fit already.

Cycling is a fun activity you’d love to do on a daily basis. Also, what makes cycling difficult may depend on the quality of bike. A nasty, badly set-up bike may give you a horrible experience but properly set up, good bikes are a breeze.

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Want to be a happy cyclist? Here is what you should do

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There are 2 kinds on cyclists in the world, one that just do it to stay fit while others like you and me who do it because it for us is an important part of our lives we have fun doing and want to improve at but has there ever been a time you haven’t felt so strongly about it?

A time when it seems like you are stuck in a rut, when a trail seems too much of an effort? Well if yes then you are in the right place. Here are few ways to help you stay happy and get back on track.

Know yourself

The key to being happy actually depends on how well you know yourself. Be true to yourself about cycling, your limitations etc. and trust me you will be way happier than most cyclists. Always remember why you started off in the first place.

Now have your long road trips with friends been replaced by races and time trials? Well then I guess it is time you took that long awaited road trip to get your head right.

Stop competing

Yes races are fun, quite a lot of fun especially when you are up against a couple friends but is racing and winning all that matters? I started cycling because I loved racing and I am sure most you out there love it too but sometimes we get too caught up in it.

What really matters is that you have fun and if racing no longer seems fun then it is time you reconsidered your cycling goals.

Manage your time better

Another reason you are probably not feeling the same love towards cycling is because it may have turned into a hindrance. Is it taking too much of your time? Is your work or home suffering because of it?

Well relax you do not need to stop it. All you really need to do is manage your time better. Instead of an hour long ride divide it into shorter intervals.

Be organized

How is easy is it to find something in a mess? Well quite tough isn’t it and believe it or not it is the same when it comes to your cycling as well. One thing that makes cycling fun for me is a smooth and well maintained cycle but if your cycle is not well-oiled and the parts are well below par then I can see why it seems more like chore.

So get up, get it repaired, clean it all up and trust me a couple of minutes into your ride and you will feel a whole lot better about it.