Tips for Cycling Around the World

Now that you regularly do cycling, you might be setting yourself up for some new goals. And I’m sure you’ve heard of the idea of cycling in different parts around the world. It’s a unique way of traveling around – and frankly, taking a tour of the world by bicycle comes with its ups and downs.

To help you have a good and successful cycling tour, I am here to provide you some guides and tips. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and make the whole trip easier as you keep in mind these tips!

 

  • Learn how to handle repairs

Things are unpredictable and circumstances will definitely change as you go down the road. Although there are very skilled staff in local repair shops at different places, there’s also a chance that you might encounter problems in an area with no repair shops nearby. This is why it’s important for you to at least learn how to fix a punctured tire. 

To practice any kind of handling repairs and spare parts, you can go to any bike shops offering maintenance classes to help you get you up to speed. Know all the ins and outs of your bike and be able to repair anything that can be broken. This is a way to be self-reliant, too.

 

  • Get the seasons right

Not knowing around climate patterns can possibly wreck your bicycle tour. This is because climate conditions play a big role in the enjoyment of a bike tour. So, it is recommended that before you go out there, search and know more about the weather conditions on where you’ll be passing by.
Weather Planning For Bicycle Tour
Though it’s tough to always hit the seasons right when planning, at least give climate conditions some serious thought.

 

  • Set a budget and stick to it

Wherever is your plan to cycle from and to, it’s not too difficult to figure out how long that will take and how much you’ll need to save. The internet is filled with bicycle touring blogs and people who are open and willing to share information about the cost of traveling.

Depending on your financial situation, bicycle touring may entail certain sacrifices in regards to comfort. If you’ve got limited funds, it’s probably best to set yourself on some strict budget rules in the beginning lest you be tempted into soft beds and evenings out of town.

 

  • Find the right companion

Nothing will ruin a tour quicker than an incompatible touring partner. So, you have to be brutally honest with yourself and your potential partner before setting off. 

You can take a few test tours with your potential partner under tough conditions (such as purposefully running low on food and water or cycle an especially unpleasant stretch of highway) before committing to a major bike tour. And if nothing works best with others, it can also mean that it’s best for you to go solo.

 

  • Balance out cycling with other activities

Surprisingly, it’s very easy for you to get burned out on bicycle touring if you’re on the road for a long time. It might make you feel unmotivated, too. So, to help with your mental stimulation as to not rot your brain, here are things you can do to keep you balanced on the road:

First, listening to podcasts can make a huge difference in your tour. You’ll feel more connected with the rest of the world and you’ll be able to tune out when faced with an unpleasant situation. Plus, you get to learn all sorts of interesting things and will be entertained while you pedal.

Then, after cycling a few distances, one good way to balance things out is to use your computer. After a tiring day, you can watch the movie you want to watch, check out blogs you’re interested in, journal, or edit your photos. It’s a good way to take a break from cycling.

 

Conclusion

Well, it will be hard to make the decision of bicycle touring and finally take the leap, but in the end, everything will be worth it. You will finish the tour fitter, both mentally and physically. Along the way, you’ll also learn more about other people and yourself. Wishing you all the best on your bicycle tour!

Road Biking for Beginners

Road biking is a terrific exercise, and it is also something you can do on multiple levels. You may opt for a slow, scenic ride, or step up the pace for a cardio workout. Biking seamlessly makes the transition from recreation to transportation, plus it’s an environmentally friendly activity.

So, if you’re someone starting out on road biking and want to know all the useful guides to it, then this article is for you. Here, you’ll learn helpful tips and guides. In addition to this, I will provide you the basics on how to ride a bike such as shifting gears, descending, and turning your bike, too!

 

Getting the Right Fit

This should be something you work on the moment you get your own bike. It doesn’t matter if you are just a recreational ride, it’s important to get your bike set up properly. A bad set-up bike compromises your technique and can lead to injuries. It’s also uncomfortable, reducing the likelihood of your training regularly.

Commonly, people have the saddle too high (a telltale sign is if you rock in the saddle) or too low, which reduces your power and overall efficiency. To fix this, you may go to a specialist store to get fitted and explain what your goals are for cycling so they can fit it perfectly for you.

 

Important Gears

When looking for road bikes and gears in the market, go to a specialist bike shop for expert advice, rather than a department store, and spending so much more than you’re supposed to.

Bike Stores in the USA

    • Helmet. The first necessary accessory you’ll need is a helmet. Make sure that it is well-ventilated and easily adjustable. Other factors must include absorbent pads for moisture control and an adjustment dial to tighten or loosen the cradle that holds the helmet to your head.
    • Bike shorts. Almost as important is a pair of decent bike shorts. In the market, there are loads of styles and brands to choose from – but prioritize ones that have good padding and a seamless inside leg for anti-chafing.
    • Road bikes shoes and clipless pedals. Well, you can ride a bike in just about any shoes, but anyone who rides regularly can benefit from shoes designed specifically for bicycling. The stiff sole of these shoes will allow you to transmit force through the ball of the foot. And to hold your feet securely on the bicycle, cycling shoes are usually paired with “clipless” pedals. This offers excellent control with a minimum amount of your pedaling energy lost.

 

How to Ride a Road Bike

    • Cycling cadence. As the terrain around you changes on your ride, you will be needing to shift gears in order to maintain a steady cadence. Under most conditions, it’s usually most efficient to pedal between 80-100 revolutions per minute (rpm). When you turn the pedals at a much faster or slower cadence, there’s a higher chance for you to fatigue quickly. If you encounter problems at pedaling at an average cadence, then you’re probably riding in too high of a gear. To solve this, simply shift to a lower gear. The same goes for when you are pedaling too fast or meeting no resistance – it’s time for you to shift up to a harder gear.
    • Pedaling efficiency. Instead of just pushing down on your pedals on the downstroke and pulling up on the upstroke, three-time Tour de France winner Greg Lemond has a tip for you: When you pull your foot through the bottom of the stroke, imagine you’re scraping mud off the bottom of your shoe.

 

Shifting Gears

Front chainrings, rear cassette, chain, derailleurs, shifters comprise the five main parts of the standard bicycle that let you shift gears and change how easy it is to pedal your bike.

The left shifters control the front chainrings while the right shifters control the rear cassette. To have a large jump in the resistance of the pedals, use your left shifter. While using your right shifter will fine-tune the resistance. Ideally, you should feel some resistance but not so much that it is difficult to pedal smoothly.

Use only one shifter at a time and only shift when you’re pedaling, or else you may mis-shift, causing the chains to jam or drop the chain off the chainrings or cassette. Also, don’t pick a gear that will put your chain on opposite extremes of the front cogs and rear cassette at the same time. This is called cross-chaining, it most likely causes your chain to drop or break.

Here’s another helpful tip as well – try to anticipate the terrain and shift just before you need to. And when you approach a stop, it is prudent to shift down, so you can easily get started again from a fully stopped position.

 

Descending on Your Road Bike

When getting ready to descend, all you need to do is move toward the back of the saddle and place your feet level. This will keep your center of gravity over the bike, protect your pedals from hitting the pavement on sharp turns and allow yourself to shift your weight side to side as needed to help you handle tighter curves.

 

Turning on Your Road Bike

When getting ready to turn, make sure to brake and slow your speed before entering the turn. Head for the outside corner of the turn then lean the bike into the turn (not your body) by gently pushing on the handlebar and pedal on the inside of the turn. As you come out of the turn, you can start pedaling again.
corner on your road bike
Following this technique of leaning will allow you to navigate the turn more easily, with only a nominal adjustment in the actual handlebar.

 

Conclusion

We hope that this beginner’s guide will be a great help for your road biking journey. Remember to start with the right goals and follow them. Together with that and this helpful information, you will surely come a long way with this journey!

Top Mountain Biking Trails on Different Parts of the World

Mountain biking is a pure adrenaline rush as you race past trees down narrow trails while single-handedly making it over numerous obstacles. It’s truly a sport that can get dangerous without the proper training, but if you’re so into this hobby, then you understand the want to find and ride the most amazing trails out there.

In this article, we will help you find the next trail you would want to go to. These trails are located all across the globe and are open for all mountain bikers. To know more about them, keep reading and see which one is next to your list!

 

  1. The Whole Enchilada (Utah)

This trail spans 54.8 kilometers and it covers every type of terrain and landscape you have ever dreamed of conquering. You start out at 10,000 feet and climb about another 1,400 to Burro Pass, then the downhill insanity starts. You will also go through wooded forests, Aspen Pinelands, creeks, then down open prairie land and through miles of technical and crazy steep singletrack. Then after all of these, you finally end up at the Colorado River.

Mountain Biking in Utah

Riders hail this as the most diverse and by far the most fun ride they have done. So, it’ll be an adventure you will plan on doing again and again. Also, since it is rare to go without at least one flat tire, make sure to bring extra inner tubes. 

 

  1. The Old Ghost Road (New Zealand)

The Old Ghost Road is New Zealand’s longest singletrack and a must-do for experienced cyclists in search of the ultimate backcountry ride. This trail has come to life because the builders have resurrected an old gold miner’s route between the ghost town of Lyell and Seddonville on the West Coast. It spans 85 kilometers point-to-point which will have you climbing for a day through the green of the temperate rainforest before bursting above the tree line with views of rolling hill, after hill, after hill.

New Zealand Old Ghost Road mountain biking trail

What makes this the cutting edge of cross-country mountain biking is its ability to traverse such an awesome wilderness on purpose-built, flowing track, staying overnight in remote huts. The views will be amazing, and this advanced ride will be something you can brag about for the rest of your life.

 

  1. Lupra Pass (Nepal)

The entire country of Nepal is covered in mountains, which makes biking the perfect way to get around to see the sights. In the depths of the Himalayas, you’ll be surrounded by some of the world’s tallest mountains which will leave you lost for words. After a 300-meter scrabble to a lofty height of 4,100 meters through the Lupra Pass, you’ll be rewarded with a solid vertical kilometer altitude dump filled with fast, flowing, dusty singletrack.

lupra pass mountain biking down hill

It’s not all just mountains because, after a series of steep switchbacks, you’ll traverse a long suspension bridge before taking to the dried-up river bed for some rubbly riding. Also, this is less of a trail and more of a multi-day journey, so it is recommended you find a trail guide to help you navigate the landscape.

 

  1. Mefjellet (Norway)

Adventures along the Mefjellet is commonly done through the foot, but it gets more fun if you throw a bike into the mix. There are so many magnificent views for you to see as you travel along the fjords of Norway. The towering peak of Mefjellet is almost a daunting prospect as you stare upward, bobbing on the turquoise waters of the fjord far below. You’ll earn every one of the 1,100 meters as you bike and hike your way skyward atop the glacier-carved ridgeline surrounded by snow-capped peaks.

mefjellet mountain bike adventure

This is an advanced trail, and should only be ridden by those proficient in their craft as it can become quite difficult to navigate as it goes on. But through this, you’ll enjoy an expedition in the fjords of Norway to experience Norway at its most wild and raw.

 

Conclusion

There are several amazing trails that can be found around the world and each of them offers something different. Each of them is full of great sceneries and history, too. So, I hope this list has somehow helped you with where to go next for that mountain biking. Once ridden, never forgotten!

Beginner’s Guide to Mountain Biking

If you’re looking for a new hobby and you’ve decided to start on mountain biking, I’m sure there are things you are curious about. One thing you should know though is that getting into mountain biking is a good choice – it’s a fun way to exercise and connect with nature. Furthermore, you will be able to ride trails, get much further out than with hiking, and experience the exhilarating feeling of speeding through the woods.

Another thing you should know is that there are many ways to enjoy mountain biking, and you don’t always have to be in the mountains. Trails vary from pleasant rides on wide, flowing logging roads to high-adrenaline challenges on technical singletrack. To add more about mountain biking, in this article, I will introduce to you the overview of different types of mountain bike terrain, styles of mountain biking, and the basic suspension types of mountain bikes.

 

  •  Types of Mountain Bike Terrain

Trails you can ride can be very different; they can range from two-track dirt roads to steep, technical singletrack. Here are the common types:

    1. Singletrack, the most common trail type; it has a width that varies from just a little wider than your shoulders on up to a track that’s just wide enough for two bikes two pass. Many singletrack trails are open to one-way travel and wind their way through the best terrain that the landscape offers.
    2. Flow Trail, a trail that is mostly smooth without many roots, rocks, and obstacles; it is not very steep and “flows” nicely so it can be ridden at speed. This is a perfect trail especially if you’re just a beginner in mountain biking.

      mountain bike flow trail
      Flow Trail
    3. Doubletrack, the trails that are normally double to width (or more) compared to a typical singletrack trail with enough room for two bikes to ride side-by-side. Often doubletrack trails follow abandoned logging roads or fire roads, where the tires of vehicles created two single tracks. These trails are usually a gentler grade than singletrack and tend to have less-technical features.

 

  • Mountain Biking Styles

It’s important to know what style you’re going for since many bike manufacturers categorize their bikes based on the following styles to help you decide what type of mountain bike is appropriate for you.

 

    1. Trail, arguably the most common mountain biking style because the category isn’t grounded in any specific type of racing. This style of biking poses a balance between climbing and descending which is why it is the most popular.
    2. Cross-country, a style of riding that typically implies riding fast, with an emphasis on climbing prowess. Usually, the trails are a mix of going up and down throughout the whole length of the trail. This sector of mountain biking is for those who enjoy pushing their body to new physical limits to go faster and farther.

      cross country cycling
      cross country bike
    3. Enduro, commonly known as “all-mountain,” is a style for those who like to be competitive with their friends, especially when it comes to downhill sections of trail. This style is for those who mostly care about the downhill, but still enjoy the rewarding experience of the climb.
  • Suspension Types of Mountain Bikes

What type of bike you ride is usually decided by where you plan on riding. The following suspension types are a key feature that determines what type of terrain the bike is capable of riding.

    1. Rigid, these are bikes that don’t feature any suspension. They are easy to maintain and usually less expensive, but to ensure for greater comfort, bikes with suspension are better. An example of a rigid mountain bike is fat bikes. The wide tires and low tire pressure provide all the squish needed to absorb bumps in the trail.
    2. Hardtail, bikes that have suspension in the front fork. This is to help absorb impact on the front wheel, but the rear of the bike has no suspension. This type is typically used by cross-country riders as they allow more direct transfer of power between the pedal stroke and the rear tire.
    3. Full suspension, the type that has the general idea of having the front fork and rear shock to absorb the impacts of the trail. This drastically reduces the impact on the rider, increases traction, and makes for a more forgiving and enjoyable ride.

 

Conclusion

Everything about this new hobby you’re getting into which is mountain biking may feel somewhat overwhelming and confusing, but there’s nothing to worry about! Because as long as you continue on this journey, you will learn more about mountain biking that you won’t find anywhere on the internet. It’s just like what they say, we learn more through experiences. So, go ahead and start conquering those trails!

Things You Should Consider Before Buying A Bike

Cycling is known to be a popular sport and hobby in different parts of the world. Some prefer bike rides as a mode of transportation, for fitness, or even just for fun. Whatever your reason is to cycle, you’ll surely love riding when your new bike is perfect for you. 

So, how can you choose what’s the perfect bicycle for you? Here are some tips that may prove useful in narrowing down your choice. Knowing these things will also provide a good starting point for learning what will work best for you.

 

  •  Know Where You Will Ride 

 

Everything will be easier once you start figuring out what kind of riding you want to do. There are many kinds of bikes, and knowing what you’ll do with them narrows the field considerably. Maybe you will stay on paved surfaces or explore natural-surface paths. It will also be good if you consider how often you will ride and how far.

If you’ve decided to stay on the pavement and ride primarily for exercise, a road bike or fitness bike is a good choice for you. Now, if you’re just looking for casual rides with the family, you may look more into a comfort or cruiser bike. And if you’ll bike mostly for commuting, a city bike is the best for you.

But what if you want to bike for commuting and fitness then think later on that you might ride on both pavement and natural-surface trails? Well, there’s a versatile gravel bike fit for you. Lastly, if you’ll ride entirely off-road and more onto natural-surface paths, a sturdy mountain bike is the best choice.

 

  • Prioritize Your Size and Fit

 

Each body is different, and bikes come in many sizes. Finding the one that fits you is important not only for reasons of comfort but also for safety. In this case, your height and body measurements matter in finding the right size of your bike. This is because different manufacturers apply different geometries in their bike frames.

buying a bike considerations

You may first look into the “standover height” or the height of the top tube in relation to the ground. Standover height is important for two reasons. First, proper clearance while standing over the top tube ensures safer riding – in the event, you slide forward off your saddle, you will land with your feet planted on the ground, and not hit yourself on the bike. Second, if the bike frame is the right size for you, it will make riding more comfortable and efficient.

Another factor you can also consider regarding fit is the “cockpit length”, the distance between your saddle and handlebars. If the bike is too big, you will likely feel like you are stretched out, riding in an almost “superhero” position. And if the bike is too small, you may feel like you’re cramped up.

Giving importance to these things will result in your bike providing you with a balanced ride in four aspects: efficiency (power), handling, aerodynamics, and comfort. You achieve that balance when you get the bike that’s fitted just for you.

 

  •  Be Willing To Invest in Accessories and Tool Kits

 

Well, purchasing the bike alone can be a bit pricey and you might just forget on bike accessories. Investing time in cycling also means you have to invest in quality bike accessories. For example, a good bike helmet. It is true that some helmets can get expensive, but the amount of safety it can provide is definitely invaluable. It will protect you or might even save your life from accidents.

beginners guide to cycling accessories

In addition, your vision is your most important asset when riding, so it is important that you are wearing something that could protect your eyes. Get some lenses that can shield your eyes from dirt, sun glares, and other harmful elements. To further protect other parts of your body such as the skin, arm, and leg sleeves are also recommended so that your skin will be covered against the heat of the sun during long rides.

When you’re riding at night, you’re at high risk for accidents. To avoid this, don’t have second thoughts on buying those blinkers and lights. And to help you with mechanical issues while on the road, a small hand pump, multi-tool, and a saddlebag filled with other basic needs will definitely help you.

 

 Conclusion

 

Buying a bike isn’t exactly easy at all, it can be a challenge since there’s a lot of things you have to consider. However, there is so much beauty in cycling and all of your efforts will be paid off once you get the bike that will best suit you. Stay safe and ride happily!

A Guide to the Different Types of Bicycles

Bicycles are divided into a seemingly endless number of categories and sub-categories. And if you’re new to cycling, it may get a little confusing at first. Especially if you’re looking for a bicycle to get you started with your new hobby or sport.

Whatever activities you tend to do with your bikes, there’s something for you. Either you want a bike mostly for commuting or for conquering dirt tracks well, you may read more to know specific types of bicycles suitable for your needs.

Furthermore, to help you, here are the main types of bikes that people tend to speak about. The following list will make you understand all the various styles and features.

 

  1. Road bikes

As the name suggests, road bikes are designed for the road – to be ridden fast on smooth pavement. They have skinny, smooth tires and “drop” handlebars, and are known for their extreme efficiency and speed. The larger thin tires help it glide along the road with little effort, while the multi-position handlebar offers grip variations from upright to more aggressive.

basics of road bike

Get a road bike if you want fast, efficient cycling on tarmac roads for commuting, competing, or for fun. Don’t get one if you’re going to take your bicycle off the road. Skinny tires mean you won’t be able to use a road bike on anything other than tarmac. Icy roads can also be a problem for road bikes.

How much do they usually cost? Bike roads start at $800 for quality road bikes with aluminum frames, 18-speed drivetrains, and conventional rim brakes.

 

  1. Mountain bikes

These durable, rugged bikes are made for riding narrow dirt trails. They have wide, flat handlebars for control; two-inch or wider tires with knobby tread for traction; and wide-range drivetrains and hydraulic disc brakes for handling steep climbs and descents. Also, they often have suspension to help any cyclist navigate rocky mountain trails.

mountain bike buying guide

This bike is perfect for you if you want to go mountain biking or mainly off-road. And if you just want to go fast on tarmac roads, cycle long distances, or mostly knock about town, then don’t get this bike.

For a basic hardtail for light trail use can be as low as $400, while the top trail and enduro-style models cost $10,000, with carbon fiber frames and wheelsets and sophisticated suspensions.

 

  1. Hybrid bikes

Commonly known as commuter bikes, these are a mixture of road bikes and mountain bikes. They give you a versatility to do a bit of everything. For its characteristics, they have flat handlebars instead of drop handlebars. Some models have front suspension to cushion bumps in the road or on the track. They’re designed with versatility and comfort in mind, so they have the comfortable geometry of mountain bikes but with slicker, narrower tires.

 

This is best suitable for you if your primary use for the bike will be commuting and/or knocking about town, as well as occasionally going off-road or mountain biking. But if you want to ride as fast as possible on roads, or tear down mountain bike trails as dexterously as possible, then this isn’t for you.

The price range for this type of bike only starts at $300 to $3000 depending on the use and gears. There is a wide variation for this – for beginners, commuting, training, women, and electric.

 

 Conclusion

 

The type of bike and cost of how much you’re going to spend on it should depend on how frequently you plan to use it, and also to the features you need. Although, if you’re still feeling unsure about what to buy, consider trying out a friend or family member’s bike and make sure you get to see what type suits your needs. Whatever it is that you’re going to choose, carefully consider how you plan to use your bike before settling on a type.

Great Benefits of Cycling

Cycling is a low impact aerobic exercise that offers a wealth of benefits. It also varies in intensity, making it suitable for all levels. You can cycle as a mode of transport, for everyday activity, or as an intense, competitive endeavor.

Dr. Clare Safran-Norton, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital says that “it’s socially oriented, it is fun, and it gets you outside and exercising.” With this, the benefits of cycling are almost as endless as the country lanes you could soon be exploring. So, if you’re considering taking up cycling, and weighing it up against other potential activities, then I’m here to tell you that cycling is, hands down, the best option.

But if you’re looking for more reasons as to why you should choose cycling as you next pastime, here are a few benefits you should know!

 

  • It improves mental well-being

A study by the YMCA showed that people who had a physically active lifestyle had a wellbeing score that was 32 percent higher than inactive individuals. The demands of cycling stimulate your body to release natural endorphins, which are the body’s way of feeling good and getting more energy. There’s also the natural release of adrenalin and the improved confidence that comes from achieving new things.

cycling mental well being

Cycling combines physical exercise with being outdoors and exploring new views. You can ride solo – giving more time to yourself to process worries or concerns, or you can ride with a group, that broadens your social circle.

 

  •  It cuts heart disease and cancer risk

Pushing pedals provides an aerobic workout for you, which is great for your heart, brain, and blood vessels. Regular exercise will improve your cardiovascular fitness, too. The British Medical Association studied 10,000 people and showed that riding a bicycle for at least 20 miles a week lessened the risk of coronary heart disease by almost 50 percent.

This activity can also keep you lean and fit, which may reduce your risk for certain types of cancer, including breast cancer. And if you already have breast cancer, cycling is a fantastic addition to your care plan. Why? According to research from 2019, staying active if you have breast cancer may help reduce the side effects of cancer treatments, including fatigue, and improve your overall quality of life.

 

  • It lessens the stress on the joints and strengthens legs

Cycling is a low impact sport, meaning it puts less stress on your joints than other aerobic activities such as running. Furthermore, it is also considered a non-load bearing sport, which means that the act of sitting takes the pressure off of your joints and reduces the risk of injuring them.  “That makes it good for anyone with joint pain or age-related stiffness,” says Dr. Safran-Norton.

This sport also improves overall function in your lower body and mainly strengthens your leg muscles without overstressing them. It targets your quads, glutes, hamstring, and calves. Pedaling builds the bone. Just like what Dr. Safran Norton said, “resistance activities, such as pushing pedals, pull on the muscles, and then the muscles pull on the bone, which increases bone density.”

 

  •  It improves balance, posture, and coordination

biking health benefits

As you stabilize your body and keep your bike upright, you’ll improve your overall balance, coordination, and posture. Balance tends to decline with age and inactivity, so it’s vital to keep on top of it. The technical elements such as climbing, descending, and cornering will also be easier for you since you know how to use your body weight to get the bike to go where you want it to.

Improved balance is beneficial in the prevention of falls and fractures, which can leave you on the sidelines while you take time off from exercise to recover.

 

Conclusion

Joining in the cycling family and making this sport your new hobby has a lot of benefits stored for you. What are you waiting for? Get on your bikes and ride! This is the best way to improve your overall physical, mental, and emotional health.