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3 Ways to Improve Your Cycling Speed

3 Ways to Improve Your Cycling Speed

Cycling has become a very popular sport these days. Many people are taking up cycling either as a hobby or going competitive. Just look at the major cycling events such as the Tour De France and you can see how many people are into cycling. There are many benefits to cycling such as it provides an excellent cardiovascular exercise that build stamina as well as a good lower body workout. Whether you are a cycling enthusiast or just starting out on your bike, here are 3 ways that you can improve your cycling speed.

You need to ride uphill. Yes I know that everybody hates the climb but if you are serious about improving your cycling speed, you have to do laps in area with hills. You legs will get stronger when you cycling with resistance and hence enable you to pedal harder and faster. For more intensive training, you might want to try wind sprints up a steep gradient and repeat it until you pushed past your threshold. Repeat the process after a day of rest. You might want to alternate this technique with some longer distance endurance workout to break the monotony of training.

Interval training has been another effective training method that professionals use. First you have to pick a time for example 30 seconds or 1 minute then alternate between sprints and recovery for at least 5 minutes. For example if I choose 30 seconds as my interval, I would start off by cycling at my fastest speed for 30 seconds then ride at my recovery speed for another 30 seconds. I would repeat the process for another minimum of 5 times.

Lastly, do full body workouts in the gym at least 3 times a week helps to build up muscles and burns fat. Lower body workout is important but you do not neglect the need to train your upper body as well. Rotate between lower body workouts and upper body workouts in between sets.

Cycling training requires consistency and I hope these tips will help you see some improvement in your cycling speed.…

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What to Wear When Mountain Biking

What to Wear When Mountain Biking

Ah, the good old British weather, it’s always a topic for conversation, especially if you spend your weekends on a mountain bike. Whatever the time of year, one thing you can depend upon is the changeability of the British climate. So, what cycling clothing should you be packing for that cross country ride?

The whole point of a mountain bike is to ascend then descend steep and difficult terrain, a typical 300 metre climb, according to weather experts, will see a typical reduction in the air temperature of 3 degrees centigrade. This in theory is fine because as you climb your body temperature will also rise a few degrees so in one should cancel out the other. If only!

In reality there are a multitude of things to consider before you pack your clothing. Even in the height of summer when there’s not could in the sky an early morning start in the valley as the sun is low could start off fairly chilly but as it reaches the afternoon it can become really hot. In winter the wind chill can really cutting, especially as you leave the shelter of forests or reach the open summit. Autumn and spring can bring a concoction of weather conditions with huge and sudden variations of temperature. And let’s not forget the good old dependable British rain.

There is no two ways about it; because you are burning energy you are going to get hot on a ride. So does it not make sense to dress so as to not feel the cold? There is really no right answer as to what to wear, after all we all have our individual styles, but there are simple defences you can apply cheaply. Leg warmers and arm warmers for example are great and inexpensive additions to your kit, they are very easy to carry too. A waterproof gilet can be purchased fairly cheaply, it will not only give you basic protection from light rain it can save you from a uncomfortable soaking from mud splashes thrown from your wheels after a storm. Even a basic cycling jacket can be used as an additional layer as the evening sun sets.…

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The History of Cycling

The History of Cycling

Lance Armstrong is one of the most famous cyclists in recent years. The fact that he is one of the most winning racers on the cycling circuit is a testament to how well trained and physically able he is, regardless of his cancer diagnosis.

Cycling could not have begun without the invention of a bicycle. In 1816, a man named Draisine created the first bicycle to have a steering apparatus, thus, the rider of the bicycle had a distinct advantage for controlling the bicycle with hands instead of relying solely upon the needs and hips, as one does in a unicycle. Kirkpatrick MacMillan improved upon the bicycle in 1839 when he invented a bike which could allow movement and propulsion, which was similar to how a pedal works. In 1861, the first pedal and crank bicycle was invented by Pierre and Ernest Farthing. James Starley made several contributions to the improvement of the bike over the span of a decade. His first improvement was in 1870 when he created the first bike which utilized gears to aid in the stopping of movement. He named this bicycle the Penny Farthing. Then, in 1874, he created the first spoked wheel for a bicycle. Finally, in 1879, the very first bicycle which was chain-driven was created. This is the modern equivalent of what most cyclists use today because they have more control and power when using the chain and the gears to control the chains. That aspect of cycling is very important in competition, as the power of the cycler is channeled through the bike when racing.

Cycling had been a sport of overwhelming odds and physicality since its beginnings in 1868. The first cycling race ever held in history was held on May 30 of that year. It was a 1,200 meter race in which Mr. James Moore won the race. The next year, on November 7 saw the first city to city race which was over 135 kilometers. Mr. Moore won that one as well, winning it in 10 hours and 25 minutes. Ever since then, the cycling races have been very long and prestigious to win.

Once organizers caught on to the idea that spectators liked to watch the cyclists, but did not like to have to move every few miles to see the race, they realized that track cycling would solve this problem. The organizers could create a venue where the spectators could watch the race from one seat without ever having to miss part of the race because the cyclists would race around an indoor track. The spectators would have seats above the track, similar to the Roman coliseum where the crowd watched from the safety of above the arena, while the action was down below them. Because this was an indoor attraction, the organizers could charge for admission and many people would gladly pay it so see how well their favorite cyclist did in the race. This race made its Olympic debut in 1896.

Because the indoor track racing was different from road racing, changes to the bicycle have been made to make the bike lighter, faster, and more aerodynamic. The reason for this is simple. Make the bike lighter and it will ride faster.…

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My Butt Hurts – How to Choose a Bicycle Saddle That Will Be Comfortable

My Butt Hurts – How to Choose a Bicycle Saddle That Will Be Comfortable

Bike Saddles sure have changed over the last 10 years. It used to be saddles came in a handful of styles and if it wasn’t comfortable you have to toughen up. Now we have so many designs that it’s confusing. You need a saddle that is the right width for your sit bones, has the right padding for your weight and the shape suits your backside.

In addition to the saddle itself, the position it’s in as well as what type of shorts you wear will make a difference in comfort.

Saddle Selection Criteria

Width

When no one is looking, bend at the waist and feel the bones in your butt that bear the weight when you sit on a bike seat. Those bones are your ischial tuberosities, the points of the pelvis that we cyclists call the “sit bones.” This is wear your weight should be when you sit on a bike saddle.

You need a saddle that is wide enough so you sit on the sit bones. A saddle that is too narrow will push up on the soft tissue between the sit bones causing pain or numbness. For both men and women, if your junk falls asleep you aren’t getting enough weight on the sit bones.

On the other end, a saddle that is too wide can cause numbness of the legs as the back of the thighs are getting pressure as you pedal. Another thing to bear in mind is body position. The more upright you are the wider saddle you need and vice versa. Running a narrow race saddle on a cruiser is a sure fire way to get a sore butt.

Shape

Look at the saddle from the back at eye level. The saddle should be relatively flat across the middle. If it has a high point in the middle or slopes away sharply at the side, it may lead to too much pressure in the middle.

Now look from the side. If the the saddle dips down in the middle or is curved like a banana then you will find yourself sliding forward into the dip. As the saddle narrows towards the front you will end up with the same problem as having a saddle that is too narrow. For most people, as saddle that is relatively flat from front to back will be more comfortable.

A cutout in the middle can help with pressue from the nose of the saddle but you will need to try it to see if it works for you. Not all cutouts or grooves are created equal.

Padding

You need enough padding to cushion the sit bones but too much will cause pressure some where else, which is usually forward in the crotch area. If your sit bones sink in your will usually get more pressure up front. Once again, sitbone pressure good as the body will adapt, crotch pressure bad as you will never get used to numb cajones or lady bits.

Overview

Following these guidelines will help you understand what you are looking at when you look at bike saddles. Find a shop that has demos or will let you exchange a saddle if it doesn’t work for you. And don’t forget if you are riding any distance, bike shorts have padding for a reason.…

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Methods For Improving Your Muscle Gains

Methods For Improving Your Muscle Gains

Body building is a requirement for all categories of people, be it an adult or a child provided they have to keep the body fit and grow in a balanced way as they perfect their health. The only problem with the profession is that you have to get the best ways of doing your different trainings and this is the challenge for all people in different age groups and conditions. Mums are one category of people who need care attention and they need to perfect their body building so as to keep their bodies as healthy as possible in the process of bringing up children.

There are very many ways through which women can take simple steps to exercise and do their routines until they get their bodies worked out. The first thing is to deal with the different challenges of diet which has been costing them a great deal. Many mums are finding themselves in tight spots where they are feeding on unplanned meals because of the high appetite and they later succumb to fat and weight gain losing their body shape and endangering their health. It is for sure that if a mum wants to do away with all these circumstances, you have to sit down and structure a dietary plan which will act as a good guideline to healthy eating.

Working out is definitely the other best body building approach. The secret is to know how simple as a mum you can perfect a certain routine and use it for fitness. Mums normally have a lot to do in the morning and they have to prepare breakfast, tidy up the house and take the kids to school and this is what they should take as the points of strength. Once you are done with taking kids to school or your daily routine, there is some time that you spend on your own, this is when you can take a walk, cycle or do any other activity which will involve motion for your body and this will help do some workout on your muscles.

Another simple way that you can also engage your body in a workout is cutting the grass around the compound, work around the house, and this will reduce and burn any unnecessary fats. The problem with mums is the way they have been employing house girls and this has made them lazy and unfit and this should be totally avoided because it is the cause of all body building problems.

Since as mum you do not have enough experience on body building. It is important to purchase a video which will give you guidelines at home as you train. These videos are important since they give you guidelines and as you follow the way instructors are doing it, it becomes very easy to perfect the art and become the expert. The video is advantageous since it also reduces your chances of causing injuries or wrong body building which might lead to fatigue or poor form.…

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Body Types and Genetics – Pros and Cons for Becoming and Staying Fit

Body Types and Genetics – Pros and Cons for Becoming and Staying Fit

Basically, there are three basic body types:

– ectomorphs

– mesomorphs

– endomorphs

Ectomorphs are blessed with fast metabolism, so they can stay lean with ease. They have long legs and arms and narrow shoulders and chest. Ectomorphs are eating everything and can’t gain a mass. Although they are eating what they want, in reality they are not eating enough. They have to eat plenty of carbs (~50% of calorie intake), some protein (30%) and fat (20%). They have to eat 4-5 times, not more, but these meals have to be large and relatively fast digestible. Problems with ectomorphs is that they should eat plenty of good, clean calories and promote muscle gains by heavy and intensive workouts with some cardio exercise. Since metabolism is so fast, cardio should be kept low. Although ectomorphs can eat junk food without gaining fats, in the long run even their metabolism will slow down and insulin sensitivity deteriorate.

Mesomorphs have great genetics. Naturally, they have strong bones, wide back, wide shoulders and chests, low body fat, relatively fast metabolism. They have to eat 6-7 meals a day with 40% being carbs, 40% protein and 20% fat. They easily gain muscle and lose fat – good for them. Any athlete of this body type has advantage over other athletes, but if you are not mesomorph, don’t despair – they also have to keep eye on their nutrition and workout hard in order to have lean and muscular bodies. If they stop working out and stop eating properly they will lose muscle mass and strength faster than endomorphs and gain fat faster than ectomorphs.

Endomorphs have heavy bones, wide hips, plenty of fat – very slow metabolism. It is not best option if you want to stay lean year long, but we gain muscles easily and keep them easily. Even after not working out for months, endomorphs lose very little of muscle mass and not much strength. Also, strong muscle memory allows us to regain muscle and strength within several weeks even if we are 35+ years old. Endomorphs have to eat 6-8 meals a day, ~20% fat, ~30% carbs (even less) and rest of the calories must come from protein. If 20% of fat is too little, eat more healthy fats and less carbs. If you are reducing your carbohydrate intake, don’t do keto diets, not at least for longer period of time. Truth is that endomorphs, in order to have more or less lean body year long, they have to be on a diet all the time. Constant dieting is in my opinion easiest with carb cycling diets, when individual eat more carbs before and after workouts and rest of the time tries to keep consumed carbs as low as possible. After some time many endomorphs don’t consider it as diet, but more like a life style.

There are other body types that come in between these three: ecto-meso, meso-endo and endo-ecto. They all have strengths and weaknesses of main body types.

So, everyone has reason to blame genetics for something. In fact, with discipline you can beat it, just remember that success don’t come over night. And if you see some newbie having gains easier than you did – don’t despair, just tweak your routine here and there and listen to your body and continue to do what is good for you.…

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Discover Amazing Cycling Routes While Enjoying the Beauty of France

Discover Amazing Cycling Routes While Enjoying the Beauty of France

Family cycling holidays are a great way of spending some quality time together away from the hustle and bustle of life at home. By choosing France, you can benefit from scenic and relaxed routes that the whole family will enjoy. Indeed, there are many destinations in France that are ideal for this kind of break – but read on to discover three of the best.

Traffic-free routes, stunning scenery and plenty of rest stops characterise relaxed activity holidays in this country, so wherever you choose you can be sure that you – and your children – will have a great time.

Within easy driving distance from England, Alsace is a wonderful place to go on cycling holidays. You’ll be able to travel a little off the beaten track and enjoy some fantastic sights along the way, while biking along virtually traffic-free paths.

Of course, the lack of motor vehicles makes this kind of route ideal for families with young children, but you’ll find that this is not the only benefit of travelling to Alsace. Your route will be dotted with impressive fortifications sure to capture the imagination of your little ones.

One such place is the star-shaped Neuf Brisach, which was built under orders from Louis XIV to guard the border back in the 17th century. Make sure you venture inside to peruse the fascinating exhibits, as the site is now an excellent museum.

Meanwhile, you’ll also get to cycle through beautiful vineyards and even try a glass or two of the wine made here, so Mum and Dad will be just as well catered for on this kind of break as their little ones.

Also boasting traffic-free trails is the spectacular Emerald Coast in Brittany, which is surely one of the country’s most picturesque locations. As well as lacking motor vehicles, the routes here are mostly flat, making this destination ideal for families with particularly young children or those unused to riding.

While you explore, make sure you visit Pleneuf-Val-Andre, which is home to a stunning white sand beach perfect for a quick dip in the sea. And as there is some excellent seafood to be had in this region, so don’t forget to visit a restaurant to try some of the local cuisine.

Another great place to visit is Fort de la Latte in Sables d’Or-Les-Pins, which offers incredible views of the surrounding area from the top – something both you and your children are certain to be impressed with. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the amazing sights!

You’ll also have the chance to cycle through historic walled towns, such as Dinan, which is home to a 13th century castle.

Enthusiastic foodies, however, are sure to love a trip to the fantastic Dordogne region. Not only will you be able to enjoy cycling in gorgeous surroundings, but you’ll find yourselves able to try excellent dishes and world-famous wines.

And these aren’t the destination’s only attractions. The area is also steeped in history and when you reach Les Eyzies, you’ll be able to see caves once lived in by prehistoric man.

There are also plenty of other activities to take part in when you’re not cycling, such as canoeing in the Vezere River – perfect if you’re travelling with intrepid teenagers keen to try something new and exciting!

Wherever you decide to go for your cycling holidays, the whole family is sure to have a great time when you choose breaks in France.…