Category Archives: Guides/Tips/Advice

Things You Should Know When You Begin Cycling

When you begin cycling you should do your best to be as assertive and to ride as safely as possible. There are a number of things to keep in mind, and as boring as cycling safety may be, it is what will help prevent accidents.

 Lock it up
Always lock up your bike. Even if you are just popping into a shop for five minutes, lock your bike up. You might even want to use two different locks.
Be assertive
Take a cycling training course if you haven’t done so already. OK, so you may have learnt to ride a bike when you were small and how hard is it to remember?  It’s literally like riding a bike again. But, you will be surprised what a two hour course can do. It will change the way you think about cycling and the way you cycle, forever. Understand the rules of the road and exercise good cycling proficiency. This will help to keep you safe on the roads.
cycling tips
Traffic lights
When you get to a traffic light what should you do? Gear down. Pedalling in high gear once the lights have turned green is for fools. Gear down and give yourself a head start.
Punctures and bike maintenance
Part of being a cyclist is knowing your instrument; your bike. Get to know your bike inside and out. You shouldn’t set off on a ride if you don’t know how to fix a puncture. A puncture repair kit will help you, so will puncture-proof tyres. Be wise, and know how to fix one, just in case.

Athletic Success and Finding Inspiration Through Those That Reach The Top

This post comes from another writing associate and I am thrilled to get to share it. While it doesn’t speak directly about cycling – the concepts are so perfectly parallel to the struggle on the road or trail that we all encounter from time to time. I hope you find it inspirational.

Sports stories have a huge popular following. Millions of fans follow football, baseball, or hockey games every week. Yet more millions stay glued to their television sets every four years as an Olympiad rolls on by. What is it that we find so incredibly compelling and inspiring about athletic pursuits and success stories? Why do we keep watching and listening? Athletics are a smaller version of human struggling, a microcosm our lives. In a game, a race, or a ring we watch a bit of history unfold. We watch individuals struggle against others and against themselves. We watch them struggle with the weight of expectations and the weight of what others have accomplished before. And inevitably we watch as someone overcomes obstacles and fears to become a champion and hero.

Sports as Life

We love success stories in sports because they remind us about certain facts of life success. The game is always hard. The game is never over until the end, and no winner was born a winner. The win is in the training, in the practice. Just trust Muhammad Ali, who gave us this gem among his numerous inspirational quotes: “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'” When we watch feats of athletic excellence, we watch the culmination of suffering and the birth of a champion.

Success as Personal

Some of the greatest sports stories remind us that we can be our own biggest opponents. Rudy Ruettiger has been made famous through the film Rudy. He was a short, dyslexic kid in a huge family. His dream was to play on Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish football team. First though, he had to get into Notre Dame itself by taking two years of credits from a local college.

In 1974, on his fourth try, Ruettiger was accepted. Standing 5 feet, 6 inches tall, Ruettiger was too small to be a football player. Through his dedication and persistence, however, he was accepted onto the scout team, a junior varsity squad used to train the varsity athletes. His drive and energy were so enormous, however, that Ruettiger eventually got some field time; he played 3 games for the Fighting Irish in 1975-76. At the end of one game, he was carried off the field by his teammates: the first Notre Dame football player to receive that honor. His story of persistence inspired the 1993 film Rudy. Ruettiger is not the most accomplished athlete who’s ever walked the earth. He didn’t win any medals or international awards. He did, however, accomplish his dream and inspire those around him. His unswerving dedication and unshakeable will power, in spite of failure and obscurity, make Ruettiger the success story that we remember today. We remember Rudy Ruettiger because he has what so many of us lack: the strength and patience to weather the odds. So often we’re tempted to quit, believing that it’s not meant to be, that we aren’t good enough. Ruettiger’s story should remind us to be persistent and to trust in ourselves.

Top Tips to Avoid Cycling Injuries

I have been particularly busy with some other projects the last few weeks – directing a soccer camp among them – so I apologize for the lack of new articles.

Fortunately; I have colleagues like Mike Roberts to help bridge the gap. Mike Roberts is a writer for Priority Legal.

I am happy to have his contribution here and hope you enjoy it. My only editorial addition would be to also consider proactive injury prevention in the form of getting a proper and thorough bike fitting.

If you are a keen cyclist then you will know that there is a chance you may have a cycling injury. If you are new to cycling, or you only cycle occasionally, then you may not be so aware.

cycling injuries

Although you can’t stop cycling injuries happening altogether, there are a few things you can do to help prevent cycling injuries from occurring. Here are our top tips:

Equipment

When embarking on a cycle ride it is vital that you have the best equipment that you can. Many cycling injuries occur when equipment is faulty. So, have your bike checked to make sure that the tyres are pumped up enough, that the brakes are working and that your gears are in check. Ensure that your saddle is at the right height and that your feet can still touch the ground. Tightening any bolts and screws will also help to keep the bike secure. As you begin to cycle any loose screws will inevitably become loser.

Equipment also includes your helmet. You should be doing all you can to protect yourself, in the event of a cycling injury. Make sure that you are wearing as much protective equipment as you can.

How to Avoid Accidents While Cycling

No matter where you ride your bicycle, whether it’s on a quiet road in a rural area, along the suburban streets where your home is, or in a busy, crowded city, there are certain precautions that you need to take to avoid accidents as best as you can. If you aren’t riding as safely as possible, you’re increasing the risk that you’ll be involved in an accident, and this increases your chances of being severely injured. To avoid problems before they start, therefore, you have to know what precautions to take and how to avoid accidents in the first place.

Don’t Ride on the Pavement

Riding on the pavement may at first seem safer than riding in the street, but it actually isn’t at all. You risk getting hit by vehicles that are backing out of their driveways or swiftly pulling into their driveways without looking. And when it comes to crossing the street, many drivers don’t expect to see bikers in crosswalks,
so they often get hit by cars that are making turns. Also, getting onto the pavement on the other side of the street can also be difficult. The best thing to do is to ride with the traffic in the street and obey all traffic laws as if you were driving a car.

Invest in a Mirror

It’s very important that you look behind you before swerving to another side of the road or even to move over just enough to avoid a parked car. Not doing so may result in you getting hit by a car coming up from behind you. If you find it difficult to look behind you without losing your balance on your bike, invest in a mirror instead.

The Ideal Cycling Kit

I love the new opportunities I have had to bring you material from other writers. A fresh perspective from my old, tired, tech-heavy approach is great from time to time and this post is no different.

Pamela Simon has been hooked on cycling ever since the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and regularly blogs about her experiences in the saddle. Thanks, Pamela for allowing me to post your work. I am happy to publish it.

If you’re thinking about taking up cycling as a hobby or as part of a training regime with a view to compete, you need to make sure you’re properly equipped. Cycling has some different requirements to other sports, and a standard t-shirt and shorts combination probably won’t cut it if you want to do it properly. So, what do you need in your kit if you’re going to make it big in the world of cycling?

Of course, the first thing you need is a good bike. It’s important that this is the right size for you. While it can be OK to buy a cheap second hand bike, you need to make sure it isn’t too big or small before you agree to buy it. Going to a specialist bike shop may mean spending more on your bike, but you will know that it suits your size perfectly, so it will be perfectly safe and comfortable to ride and won’t cause any injuries from being the wrong size or shape for your body.

The second most important part of your cycling kit will be what you choose to wear. Cycle jerseys are the perfect option for a streamlined, cycle-friendly top. They tend to be tight-fitting and made from specialist fabrics so that they won’t slow you down, and they come in a range of designs to suit your style. Cycle shorts come in a variety of lengths, from hotpants to full leg length, and tend to be weatherproof and suitable for all seasons. Loose clothing might catch in the wheels, so try to avoid it.

Developing A Simple Cardio Cycling Routine That Fits Around Stressful Lives – You Don’t Even Have To Join A Gym!

This week I’m bringing you a general fitness related guest post from Alex which has some good advice for all of us.
Alex is an enthusiastic blogger and cyclist. He often takes the time out of his busy life to take part in cardio cycling sessions and has seen his health and fitness improve hugely.
I hope you enjoy it! – Matt.

Have you been amazed by the cost of gym memberships? They have spiraled out of control! The average gym now charges members £50 per month, with premium gyms bumping the cost up to a ridiculously high £100. Even for those that can afford the monthly fee, the worry is that with work and their personal life, they won’t be able to get value for money.

If you are considering doing cardio on a regular basis, then joining a gym is not necessary. Cycling is one of the best ways to improve cardiovascular endurance. In fact, getting outdoors and avoiding the gym is a lot healthier and going to be much more fun than sitting in a gym. Here is the great thing about cardio routines; you can choose exactly how you work out! Whether you are someone worried about their long term health, or someone who just wants to improve their fitness ready for an upcoming sporting event, you can tailor a routine around your every single need.

Here are some of the main benefits of cardio exercise which should push you into developing a routine that suits you:

Helps to decrease heart rate
Decreases blood pressure
Burns calories easily
Reduces body fat
Balances cholesterol
Improves breathing

The Routine
Each cardio routine should incorporate periods where you work hard and periods where you rest. Athletes tend to emphasize these periods to create an intense workout.

During rest periods, you are likely to be operating at around 50-65% of what you were working at before. The idea behind alternating is to allow your body to adjust to different output levels, but also to gain stamina at the same time. For instance, you might choose for the main work period to be a 150 metre climb on the hill that you can see in the distance!
How Long Should A Cardio Routine Be?
When you first begin your cardio routines 15-20 minutes is going to be more than enough. As you increase your cardiovascular endurance, you can change certain variables. Some people prefer to do an intense cardio routine. They will increase the time that they workout, rather than the intensity, until they get to the 30 minute mark. At this point, when they feel that they are executing the routine perfectly, they will increase the intensity. For instance, they reduce the amount of rest periods and work harder during the working periods.
Others that are not so competitive and just want to increase their endurance and health prefer to do long and slow workouts. When they are comfortable at the 15-20 minute mark, they increase their workout by 5-10 minutes. Although the focus is on consistently increasing the time they work out, generally, they are going to have to increase the intensity at some point. Otherwise they are going to be working out for hours on end, which won’t fit in nicely with their busy work/personal life.
What You Will Need to Get Started
Bike
Choose your weapon of choice. A lot of people go for racers or “road bikes”. That being said, if you find long road rides boring, why not consider a mountain bike instead. There are plenty of great bikes available from retail stores up and down the country from around £200.

Bike Insurance
Unfortunately, we live in a world where our possessions are not safe. If you train for 1-2 hours, it is likely you might have to take a break and your bike is at risk. Consider getting cycle insurance quotes from Velosure in case there are any problems.

Gear
Although you don’t need to buy every item under the sun, some items will make your life a little more comfortable. Breathable clothing, padded clothing for mountain bike riders, riding shoes for road riders and water bottles will all help to make this a much more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

How to Prevent your Bike from Being Stolen

How to Prevent your Bike from Being Stolen In the UK a bike is stolen on average every minute, with less than 6% being returned. Research studies show that cyclists are more likely to have their bicycle stolen than car owners or motorcyclists. Bicycle theft has also doubled since the 1990’s. A good combination of equipment, common sense and a bit of luck will ultimately help keep your ride exactly where you left it.

prevent-bike

Bicycle Lock

An unlocked bicycle is the most common reason a bike gets stolen; it acts as an invitation for a thief to steal and only takes a few seconds to do so. Never leave your bicycle unlocked, under no circumstances!
A poor quality lock can easily be broken. It pays to invest in a high quality lock, usually around £30-£50. It’s a smart idea to lock your bicycle to something immovable or for maximum protection use two locks.

Parking

It’s a good idea to lock your bike in a public area where there are lots of people around. Most train stations and public buildings have designated areas for bikes with bicycle racks. Plan ahead and check out the facilities in the places you are planning to leave your bicycle.
When at home it’s still important to lock your bicycle, in the garage is the safest place for your bike. If you don’t have a garage, you could invest in a ground anchor, allowing you to attach it securely to the wall or a concrete floor. Keep your bike out of view, as it could act as in incentive to break into your property.

Another idea is to lock it next to better bikes, so it appears less valuable to those surrounding it, so is less likely to be targeted.

Tubular Tire Removal – A Quick Guide

I was removing some cyclocross tubulars today and (after removing the front tire) I realized that there is a proliferation of information and guides online about gluing tubular tires and about removing glue from tubular rims – but not a lot about actually removing the tires.

So I decided to do something about that!

Some of the reason there is not a lot out there about tubular tire removal is that it really can be pretty simple and the best tool you can have is raw effort. But, it never hurts to apply a few tips along the way, right?

(The photos are large – click for super-size detail view)

Step 1: Where to start –

Give yourself some time; nothing should be done with haste when it comes to tubular tires. If you’re in a hurry to remove them; you’re probably in a hurry to glue them. Gluing “tubi” tires in a hurry results in a garbage glue job and rolled tires.

I like to begin on the opposite side of the wheel from the valve stem and work my way around the wheel using my thumbs to push the tire from the base tape away from the rim.

Tubular removal-01

This may partially be habit from removing clincher tires; but it has practical purposes too. The valve acts as an anchor point in the rim and will cause that portion of the tire to resist being pushed away from the rim.

I start at the point furthest away and work in both directions around the wheel, pushing more of the tire away from the rim as I go.

Once you’ve gone all the way around on one side – flip the wheel around and repeat on the other side; starting opposite the valve stem. You should work both sides until only the center portion of the base tape is still glued to the tire bed of the rim.

3 Maintenance Tips for Servicing Your Bicycle

Another guest post; this time from Kelly Holmes, from Australia. Kelly offers some good tips here on taking care of your machine. I’m loving the different perspective that these guest posts bring and hope you are too. Learn more about Jamie at the end of the article. Enjoy.

If you have a bicycle that you depend on regularly for exercise or transportation, it is important for you to take good care of your bike so that it will last. There are plenty of things that you can do in order to maintain your bicycle, and taking this time can help improve your bike’s performance and ensure that it will last you for many years. In fact, you might be surprised by just how well your bicycle will work and just how long you can keep it in good condition by performing this regular maintenance, and it only takes a few minutes every once in a while in order to maintain your bike. In fact, these three maintenance tips can work wonders for your bike, and you can perform all of them at home.

Take Care of Your Bicycle’s Chain

Your bicycle’s chain is an essential part of your bicycle, and a rusty or dirty chain can make it difficult for you to ride it. Fortunately, it is easy to take care of your bicycle’s chain. Every now and then, clean any dirt and grime that has accumulated on your chain off, and make sure the chain is well-lubricated. This is one of the most essential parts of keeping your bicycle in top-notch condition.

Check Tire Pressure

Keeping your tires well-inflated can make a world of difference in how easy it is to ride your bicycle. Along with making it easier to pedal, it can also protect your bike’s rims and can make your tires last longer. Over-inflated tires can also cause problems. Fortunately, it is easy to check your bicycle’s tire pressure. The recommended air pressure of your bike’s tires should be printed on the side of the tire, and a simple tire gauge will make it easy for you to check the pressure. Once you have determined how much air is in your tires, you can inflate your tire to the proper pressure. Doing so on a regular basis can make a major difference in your bicycle riding experience and can help prevent damage to your tires.

7 Tips For Staying Safe While Cycling

While cycling is generally regarded to be a relatively safe sport, accidents still happen and they can be nasty if you aren’t prepared for the worst. Here are 7 top tips to help you stay safe while out on your ride.

Always Wear An Approved Helmet

Helmets are subjected to stringent testing in order to meet the Australian Standards guidelines for safety. Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations that you can buy from overseas, unless it carries the Australian Standards sticker then chances are it will not be safe for road use. Fit is also crucial in ensuring the safety of your head during a potential impact. It should be snug but not too tight, and mustn’t move around when you try it on.

Safety-First

Invest In Road Lighting

If you ride at night, it is essential to fit lights to both the front and rear of your bike. Super bright LED’s are the most popular choice, and will ensure that all other road users will be able to see you. These can even be useful during the day as an extra safety precaution.

Armour For Off-Road

Mountain biking is an exhilarating aspect of cycling, however due to the varied terrain and obstacles, it can also be the most dangerous. Investing in good body armour can protect you from serious injury, and significantly reduces the risk of broken bones. The best styles are made from high tensile yet breathable mesh with the armour plates stitched over key areas, and a back protector built in for extra support. They are so light and comfortable that you will barely even notice it’s there!

© 2014 Road Rage Cycling Blog