Have you got that Va-Va-Froome feeling?
Get cycling with us and improve your general health and wellbeing. Need motivation? Tim Burrow, our very own PfPLeisure fitness guru gives his top tips on taking up cycling.
Set up your bike correctly
Set up is everything! Trying to ride a bicycle that is not set up correctly is like walking two steps forward and one step back. Everyone is different with respect to leg, arm and torso length, so visiting a specialist bike shop where you can have your saddle, stem and handlebar positions adjusted so that the bike is effectively tailored to your body is an extremely worthwhile exercise.
Lighten the load on your cycle
The easy way to carry any sort of load on a bike is on the bike, rather than on you! A small rucksack is fine if you’re carrying something extremely light, but otherwise it would be wise to invest in some panniers, a handlebar bag or seat-pack.
Correct cycling kit makes a difference
A small investment in a few items of specialist bike kit will be extremely useful for you to get the most out of your training. The minimum items you require are:
- Bike helmet - essential
- Cycling shorts
- Basic bike tools
- Cycling sunglasses
- Bike toe-clips or spuds
Avoid the energy zap
Running low on energy will prevent your cycling enjoyment. Cycling will increase your energy requirements, so aim to eat small, frequent meals and snacks on the go in order to maintain energy levels. On the bike, carbohydrate drinks will keep you well fuelled or you could try taking a couple of energy bars which are easy to eat in the saddle, even a small bag of sweets can help.
Other cycling options
Sometimes the weather is poor, or it's dark, or perhaps you just don't fancy an outdoor bike session. However, there is no need to let your training slip because there are several alternatives available as follows:
- Indoor Cycling or a gym bike
A great substitute, fun and can offer good variety, even if you just use a stationary gym bike you can still give yourself a good workout. Most of our bikes have pre-set programmes to simulate hill climbing or interval training and are a good alternative if you can't get out on the road.
- Cycle trainers
An ingenious device that attaches to the back wheel of your own bike and enables you to train at home. Your bike is supported in a stand and the trainer has a variable resistance. These are usually called Turbo trainers, they are not as reliable as the real thing and my advice would be you’ll probably get more out of an Indoor Cycling class at one of our sites.
Become a better cyclist
Stronger legs will make you a better cyclist over all distances. But what's the best way to build strength in your lower body, and what are the cycling benefits? Click the link below to find out what exercises you can include in your gym workout to become a better cyclist.
With any kind of sport outside there are always associated risks, this can be minimized in many ways.
- Please wear a helmet
- Be seen and heard
- Check your bike
- Be alert and plan your route
- Always follow the Highway Code
- Don’t wear headphones when you cycle on the road
Good luck, keep yourself motivated, make cycling a habit and enjoy having fun pedalling this Summer!