How is your day going so far? I started mine off with a 15 mile bike ride and I am going to be doing a few miles later after B gets home from work.
Sense I have been having some running issues, biking has been my form of exercise for the past couple of weeks. I have always loved cycling, and now that it is basically the only thing I do, I really love it!
I feel a lot more comfortable writing about running and all the things dealing with running. But I thought I would post about some of the things I have learned since starting to cycle.
1. Just because you know how to bike, does not mean you know how to road bike!
I learned this one pretty quickly! I have always known how to bike; I loved biking when I was a kid and going out on bike rides with my family. However, once you get a road bike and you are on the road with the cars it is totally different. Paying attention is key to riding on roads, and making sure the driver is aware of you!
2. Just because cars are supposed to “share the road” does not mean they will!
A lot of drivers feel that only cars should be on the road, thus pushing the biker closer to the curb and allowing for a higher percentage of an accident to occur! I have been run off the road a few times and it is not fun. I have learned to allow the car to pass and I just be the bigger man and go along with the car/cars.
3. Bike gear is very important if you want to be successful at road biking.
I am not saying to go out and buy a $1,800 bike, but I am saying that you need something better than a Wal-Mart bike. Something made with carbon fiber will make the bike lighter, and allow for faster speeds. A bike helmet that fits the right way is super important just in case an accident does occur.
For your pedals, if you don’t have clips I would suggest getting shoes without strings. If the strings come undone, they will eventually get caught up in the gears and cause a huge accident.
Bike shorts are important especially if you are riding 25+ miles at a time. You will start to have a lot of pain and potentially chafing. The initial cost of bike shorts is expensive, but they last for a few years. I bought mine in 2011 and I am just now buying another pair.
Wearing a shirt that is tight or a jersey is pretty important. Being on a bike you catch a lot of wind, having something that is close to your body and not flowing allows for less resistance. I have a few specific bike shirts, but I also will wear a tight dri-fit shirt or tank top if I am going on a shorter ride.
4. Bringing fuel is a must!
I have learned this lesson more times than I would care to share. You think “Oh, I am going out to ride 20-30 miles I will be fine.” WRONG. Your body is burning a lot of calories on the bike, and if you go out without eating something or go out without fuel you will feel fatigue setting in. Think about it, on the bike you are constantly peddling, doing the same motion for sometimes hours at a time.
The wind can also be deceiving! You think you’re not thirsty because you have a nice breeze; you’re not really sweating, and BAM! You get off the bike and you’re dying of thirst! I make sure to take a water bottle and drink every 5 miles or so to make sure I am staying hydrated!
5. If you can, try to go out sooner than later!
I have learned that the sooner I hit the road, the better the traffic. Drivers get nervous around bikers; I can understand that, I sometimes get nervous as well when driving. In the morning there is traffic for work and school, but if you are flexible and can hit a time when it is pretty low-key, you and the drivers will both appreciate each other more!
I rarely go out at night. When people are getting off work, they are tired and less likely to watch the road as well. If I am going out at night, I make sure to watch the drivers even more closely, wear bright colors, and have a blinking light to warn others.
These are just a few of the tips and tricks I have learned over the years, and now that I am cycling a lot more I thought it would be fun to share!
I hope you guys have a great day!
What are your tips for cycling?
Do you enjoy cycling or running more?
If you cycle, what type of nutrition do you take with you on the bike?