Come summer and the holidays, and biking is near the top of the list of popular recreational activities. Apart from the pleasure you derive when riding a bike with the wind in your hair, this low-impact exercise offers many health benefits. It is an excellent workout that can contribute to your physical and mental well-being.
Biking can help you lose weight, regulate cholesterol levels, and strengthen your legs. It may reduce the risk of cardiovascular ailments while helping improve your posture and balance. And for the summer, it offers a great way to avoid the roads and head down those quiet, paths.
Get the Right Gear
As with any hobby or fitness regimen, it is essential to do it the right way to derive maximum benefits. For this, you must have the right equipment and gear. The first thing you need is the right type of bike for your specific goals.
Bikes can be broadly categorized into two – road and mountain bikes. The distances you will cover on each ride and the type of terrain you will use your bike on are other deciding factors. Cervelo is a leading name in road bikes, Santa Cruz is for mountain bikes, and Trek is popular in both segments.
You might also want to shop for helmets, shoes, gloves, and apparel. Again, the type of accessories you need will depend on the kind of biking you plan on doing. REI and Kryptonite are a couple of reputed brands in this segment.
Staying Safe When Biking
Make every ride memorable by taking all necessary safety precautions. Before you hop on your bike, run a quick check every time to make sure everything is in order. Your pre-ride inspection must include checking the tire pressure, setting the seat at a comfortable height, and functioning brakes. Always wear a helmet when you’re out biking. It can protect your head from injury even in case of minor falls.
If you will be out riding after dark, your bicycle must be equipped with lights to help you see the way ahead and also to make you visible to other motorists. Ensure that you are aware of traffic rules and follow them strictly whenever you are out biking. At the same time, do not stress out about it. Learn to go with the flow and enjoy yourself each time you set out biking.
Planning a Bike Trip
Bike tours are a great way of combining adventure, fitness, and fun! You can plan and tailor your bike trip to suit your needs and goals. It could be an impromptu weekend jaunt or a well-planned vacation. When planning your bike trip, think about whether you want to travel solo or in a group. If you opt for the latter, consider the size of the group and the people you’d like to be with.
From half-day or full-day trips to full-blown camping adventures, the world is your oyster when it comes to choosing bike tours. If planning and execution are not your cups of tea, you could sign up for one of the many organized trips offered by commercial outfitters or tour agencies.
Spice up Your Trips
Doing the same thing every time can take the fun out of biking and make it seem like a monotonous task instead. Add a dash of fun and adventure to your biking with one or more of the following:
- Ride with a group of family or friends occasionally and club the ride with a fun activity such as camping or a visit to an attraction. This is also a great way of bonding and strengthening relationships.
- Challenge yourself every time with a new goal and reward yourself for achieving it. For instance, aim to cycle in increments of half a mile and stop for your favorite beverage or snack afterward.
- Set off to explore new routes every few days. This will make your rides adventurous and help you discover new things.
- Mix it up a little by riding up your favorite descent and zipping down your favorite climb.
- If you are running short of time for your favorite pastime, get your daily fix by hopping on your bike to run errands. This way, you will get your chores done while indulging in some much-needed leisure time.
Biking is a great hobby and a fun way to stay fit. With these tips, make your journeys more enjoyable this summer.