Cycling is more than just a mode of transportation. It is a mental ecstasy that creates a therapeutic feeling of freedom and independence. As the sport continues to grow year after year, I cannot help but reminisce about my first time on the bike. Something about hopping on a two-wheel motion produces a sense of inner-childhood joy that we have all shared when we were kids. But, once you begin take the sport seriously and begin incorporating it in your weekly schedule, you will find that things are incredibly different then biking to Johnny’s house back in the day.
Below, you will find the four big things you will learn when you start cycling. Regardless of how tough or regiment it gets, the passion of riding will always push you to the next level, and of course, push you over that next hill.
When you start cycling, you will find out…it is hard.
Like many novices to the sport, you may be a bit overly excited to test out your new wheels on the road. While the sense of exploring is a great way to start riding, you need to keep in mind your stamina and expertise to the field. To start off, play around with your gears. Understand what they can do for you and how you can best optimize them as you ride. Then try and challenge yourself by attempting to ride up a hill. If you find that it is too much for you, try and push yourself. If, however, you are still struggling, turn back and continue to ride around different paths. As much as this can be exhausting, you need to keep in mind that you are new to cycling. The first time is always the hardest. Do not let those failed attempts deter you from trying another time. There is no shame is not being able to do it. The only shame is not trying.
When you start cycling, you will find out … that you will buy more new cycling gear.
If you are really invested in the sport, you will find out quickly the financial investment you will be spending every time you ride. This can range from the cycling attire, such for climate restrictions, helmets, and gloves, to overall bike modification, such as flat pedals, seats, reflectors, new wheels, brakes, etc. Regardless of the expense, do not see this as a waste of money, but an investment into your passion.
When you start cycling, you will find out…that you will change your diet.
Like any type of exercising regiment, your diet will be expected to change. Immediately you will find that heavy or fatty meals can often deter you from riding at your leisure time. That being said, eating health, especially those that give you a boost of energy, will be a main source before and after your ride.
When you start cycling, you will find out…you will be addicted to cycling.
No matter who you are, there is no escaping the passion and addiction you will have for cycling. The joy to travel and explore the unknown paths will always be in the back of your mind. At the end of the day, it is inevitable. Don’t fight it. Instead enjoy every ride like it is your last.
There is no secret to living a healthy lifestyle. To be fit and healthy, you need to be physically active. While dietary restrictions are half the battle, regular physical activity is vital if you are looking to make a change in your life. By adhere to such a schedule, you are not only shaping how you look, but also how long you will live.
Because of these reasons, many people have taken up the activity of bicycling or cycling within their daily routines. Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. In addition, it is also entertaining, cheap, and good for the environment.
To be fit and healthy you need to be physically active. Regular physical activity can help protect you from serious diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes, and arthritis. Riding your bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle. That is why it is no surprise how regular cycling has helped many people lose weight, reduce stress, and improve their overall health and fitness.
So what are the positives of cycling? Why is cycling more beneficial than going to the gym or running?
As a form of exercise, cycling has a broad of appeal to a variety of people. Regardless of your age or your background, it is simply the easiest and entertaining exercise to do. As stated above, cycling is a low-impact type of exercise. What this means is that cycling is one of the easiest ways to exercise. With a bicycle, you can ride it almost anywhere at any time of the year without spending monthly fees or annual gym payments. In addition, because it is so easily accessible, many people will favor this type of exercise. Take for example the gym or a certain recreational sport. Because those activities take some high level of skill, people are either turned off or intimidated in committing to that type of pressure. For cycling, all you need is a bike, a path, and a bit of confidence.
Now, while the overall concept of cycling is easy, the consistency and level of fitness needed for long period rides ask for a higher demand of physical fitness from the rider. With cycling, each time your push your pedals, you are building your strength and muscle tone all throughout your body. Beyond the legs, cycling demands a a gradual change in the muscle tone of your legs, thighs, rear end, and hips. In addition, you will begin building up strength in a holistic manner throughout your body to keep that level of stamina.
In addition to the physical development you will have, cycling will also improve your cardio-vascular fitness and reduce heart health problems. Regardless of whom you ask, cycling is a heart pounding exercise. By doing this exercise, especially at a consistent basis of cycling just 20 miles a week, you are able to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%.
Last but not least, cycling can improve a person’s mental state by reducing his or her stress or depression, thus in turn lowering coronary problems. This is because at the end of the day, cycling is simply a stress reliever. In fact, it is just simply fun. By taking your bike for an early morning ride or a late evening stroll, a person is able to clear out their minds and rejuvenate their soul with a new outlook and perspective on the world.
Cycling has become a very addictive and incredibly popular trend all throughout the world. No matter what the weather is or how you feel, cycling has become a part of your way of life.
So, what makes it so special? Why has this trend caught on now?
This idea of life on the two wheels could have been sparked for variety of different reasons. Some people see cycling as a part of the health regimen to increase their strength, improve their stamina, and provide a different type of exercise. Others however use the bike as a destination for peace and tranquility within a stressed state of mind. But, one thing that all cyclers share is the passion and desire the get the minute they hop on their bike. This feeling of freedom is something that should be cherished especially during after a busy workweek.
In a recent article in CCN Travel, they highlight some the best bike routes that every cyclist should experience. Below, you will find five of the most breathtaking cycling paths in the world. Some will provide you with spectacular scenery. Others will provide you with a sense of adventure. No matter what place you pick, just know freedom is just one pedal away.
If you are looking for a physically demanding bike riding challenge, I would suggest you check out the Great Ocean Road. The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National heritage measuring to be over 150 miles. This road stretches along the southeastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford. There, you’ll cycle through the fresh air and countryside as you enjoy the sweeping ocean views from various cliff tops.
Udaipur, also known as the Venice of the East, is a major city found in western India. Cycling in Udaipur is a very popular tourist activity and arguably the best way to explore the city of lakes. With its rustic romantic charm, rich history, and beautiful lakes, it is no wonder why this city is high on many cyclists’ must-see list. The city’s itself gives cyclist the scenic value of riding past ancient forts, temples, and majestic palaces. In addition to bypassing herdsmen, goats, camels, Udaipur is a perfect place if you are looking to be one with nature.
Also known as the road of the great wines, provides rolling hills, wooden paths, and expansive vineyards. Route des Grand Crus provides 800 kilometers of leisure biking. Similar to Udaipur, biking gives tourist and cyclist the best opportunity to explore Burgundy’s vineyards and wineries. One thing to note is that the road is punctuated by thirty-three villages that give you that rustic cultural setting to bike, eat, and relax.
This 320-kilometer ride is one of the most physically demanding and brass adventures any cyclist can ask for. Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand. The Molesworth Road provides refreshing downhill runs overlooking the countryside and farmland. But make no mistake, you will be expecting some strenuous climbs with its large hills and winding and zigzagging roads. In addition, the journey is said to take roughly five days to complete. If you are one of the gallantly confident to handle such a task, make sure you prepare for this journey through logistical planning before and during your ride.
Known as the longest off-pavement bike route in the world, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route was developed by the Adventure Cycling Association to be one of the most arduous and taxing rides you can ask for. This epic ride ravels from Banff, Alberta to Antelope Wells, New Mexico on a 4×4 road, dirt road, ravel, single-track, and pavement. The complete route is 4,418 kilometers long with altitude topping at 3,600 meters. The toughest and steepest sections of the journey can be found in Montana which testes a cyclist endurance and experience.