Bicycling can be a great way to incorporate exercise into your life. You can even choose to invest in a top-of-the-line model for sports-oriented cycling. If you are new to the world of bike riding, some useful tips can help you make the most of your ride.
Check Items Before You Ride
You want to check the wheels of your bike before taking it to the road. Wheels should always spin freely without the brakes locking them up in motion. You also want to check the brakes to make sure they do not stick, and the pads are in good condition. Your bike chain should be well lubricated to prevent it from rusting or breaking, but be cautious of over lubricating the chain, which could cause more dirt to accumulate on it.
If you are going to participate in cycling for sport, you want to eat lightly before racing.
Some professional trainers advise beginners to eat energy bars during training and drink about 500ml of water while cycling. You can also satisfy your nutritional needs by drinking sports drinks that contain essential nutrients and electrolytes lost by your body while training.
Stay Loose on the Downhill Slopes
Beginners tend to freeze up when speeding down on slopes. It is better to keep your body loose and relaxed to avoid mishaps. When racing downhills, you should focus on your outer foot and inner hand to maintain control.
Keep Your Wrists Flexible
Some professional cyclists wear arm warmers which they can remove as needed. You can practice removing your arm warmers while riding by using one hand to pull the warmer down to the wrist for removal slowly. To discard them both, you will need to alternate the hands you use to keep one hand on the bike at all times.
Most average bike riders are not aware of the pressure they place on their bikes by the position of their feet. If you have your feet in the positions of a clock at 6 and 12, you do not place as much pressure on the bike, making it easier to change gears.
Ride in Intervals
When training to ride, you will find it helpful to change the speed you put forth. Alternating a few minutes of hard riding with easy riding will actually give you a good workout.
Pace for the Long Climb
Alternating speeds are also helpful when you have to do an uphill climb. Trying to take a long climb at a single fast speed will only tire you out for the rest of the race. Pace yourself by alternating your stride and speed.
How to Handle a Flat
You want to anticipate getting a flat tire even if you never do. You can carry the basic tools for changing a flat with you so you will always be prepared. You can also practice at home, so you know what to do if you ever need to change your tire while on the road.
Your First Race
To finish your first bike race, you should maintain a good pace and stay well hydrated. The biggest mistakes beginners make being too excited to focus on what they need to do to complete the race successfully.
Keep Your Training Fresh
Experiment by riding on different terrains or different roads that offer more challenges. The more diverse your routes, the better your cycling experience will be.
Some Basics of Road Cycling Training
When you want to improve your cycling performance, you need to consider some of the basic road bike training exercises to start with. As your fitness level improves, then you can move to more advanced mountain bike training.
2 main areas are basic to improving ones cycling performance. These are speed and endurance/strength. This depends mostly on what type of cycling you are targeting either, sprint-like riding or cross-country-like riding.
Speed training is vital for those who want to compete in flat trails and increase their cycling sprinting speeds. To improve your cycling speed, you need to:
Ride on flat terrains mostly
This is because it will help to focus your training on improving your speed.
When riding, pedal as fast as you can, as this will condition your legs to pedal faster, and with time, you will be pedaling faster and riding faster than before.
Ensure that you do not wear out your legs. To ensure that you do not wear yourself out, you can decide to do only 5 reps of this exercise 2- 3 times a week.
Be consistent, and you will improve your cycling speed gradually
Endurance training is meant for those who aim to ride over long distances, like in the cross country and especially in highly elevated terrains. It would be best if you had the stamina and leg power to ride through these courses. A good road bike training exercise is;
Ride on flat terrains mostly. This is because it will help to focus your training on improving your speed.
When riding, pedal as fast as you can, as this will condition your legs to pedal faster, and with time you will be pedaling faster and riding faster than before.
To ride in elevated terrains. The resistance provided by elevated terrains will help you improve your legs’ muscle power and help you ride over long distances with more stamina.
Make sure to start with lowly elevated trails and then gradually increase to highly elevated trails/paths.
Repeat this exercise 5 times per training session. Do this 2 -3 times a week, and with consistency in your training, you will see improvement when you ride your bike over long distances.
Whatever road bike training you implement, ensure that you take breaks in your training session and rest to help your body recover and catch your breath. Remember not to overdo your road bike training.