5 Ways To Enhance Your Next Ride!
If you’re a regular cyclist who’s looking to improve their technique and enhance their overall riding routine, we’ve got a few tips for you! It’s very easy to think that cycling regularly will improve your performance and make you enjoy it more but if you don’t regularly challenge yourself you may find that your weekly ride loses it’s luster pretty quickly. These tips don’t involve any drastic training regimes or a change to your lifestyle, they’re simply little things that you can add to your regular ride to add a bit of spice and flavor to your routine! Check them out!
Improve Your Speed
If you want to add a bit more speed to your ride then you might think that you need to get fitter but that’s not the case. If you watch and type of motorcycle racing then you’ll be aware that most of the bikes that regularly finish in the top 5 are almost identical: the power and top speed is the same but the difference between who comes in first and who comes in fifth is a matter of technique, rather than fitness and technology. So, if you want to cycle faster and improve your speed, perhaps it’s time to examine where you’re losing speed and why you’re losing it, rather than spend hours in the gym instead?
Riding faster is all about efficiency and energy conservation; let the road do the work for you as much as you can. The first place to examine is your cornering ability: if your braking too hard upon entry, you’ll drastically slow yourself down and have to use more energy to pedal through and out of the corner – this can be beaten by analyzing your corner speed, slowing down enough to corner safely but still carrying enough speed to exit the turn at a decent speed.
Travelling downhill will make your wheels spin faster whilst using very little energy but when you’re confronted with an immediate uphill afterwards, you could be losing vital momentum by braking too hard. If you’re braking too hard, you’ll cancel out all of the downhill speed you’ve achieved and you’ll actually have to pedal harder to conquer the hill! If the road is safe and clear, use your downhill momentum to your advantage and pedal into the descent with the speed that you’ve already accumulated – this will make your overall speed much quicker!
Think about how you sit on your bike too; if you’re sitting upright all of the time then you’ll be at the mercy of the wind and the drag effect that it has. It’s no secret that professional cyclists streamline their bodies by sitting in a more aerodynamic position; if you’re not doing it already, give it a go and see how fast you can travel!
The Comfort Factor
If you’re uncomfortable on your bike then it’s time to remedy that situation; cycling should be fun and not a chore and if it’s your primary mode of transport then having an uncomfortable ride isn’t going to do you any favours at all. The first thing that you should do is buy a bike that suits you and your purposes or adjust your bike to fir your body shape. You can do this by adjusting your saddle height, the saddle type and the handlebar position. If you’re stuck, check into your local bike shop for a bit of professional help and advice.
If you’re cycling regularly, then it’s a good idea to condition your body to suit your ride; you can do this by working on your overall core strength and by using stretching exercises. Stretching and strengthening exercises are really important if you want to get the most out of your cycling trip, so make sure that you learn a few routines to keep your body strong, supple and healthy.
Open Up The Possibilities
If you want to become a better cyclist, you’re going to have to find more time in your schedule for cycling; this might be as easy as cycling to work every day or you might have to be a little more creative.
Find excuses to go for a ride, no matter what the length is; a short journey to the shops can be improved by using a bike; if you’re going to the cinema, why not cycle there? If you’re visiting friends, take your bike and change of clothes – it’s a simple as that.
If there’s an opportunity to take a ride, grab it. If the journey is too long to cycle, why not break it up with public transport? If you ride as often as possible, you’ll become a better cyclist in no time at all!
Achieve A Goal
Like with any sport, hobby or activity, if there are no goals in sight or milestones to meet, the whole thing can quickly become disheartening. Stop yourself from viewing cycling negatively by thinking up a goal – a realistic and obtainable one first though! If you’ve always had a burning desire to cycle from one end of the country to the other or even around the world completely, why not start smaller and say ‘in two month’s time I should be fit enough to cycle from here to there in a day’ or something like ‘next month, I will ride one hundred miles in one day’. These distances must be challenging but possible. Start with one hundred miles and make sure that you do it.
When you break it down, one hundred miles in a day is actually very easy, if you start early enough with the right amount of determination. With careful route planning, proper time allocation and the right mindset the goal is easily achievable.
Take it slow and steady and give yourself an entire day to complete the challenge; clear your schedule completely and free yourself of any pressures responsibilities. As soon as you’ve clocked your first one hundred miles, you’ll be hungry for your next challenge and the real cycling adventure can truly begin.
A serious cyclist isn’t daunted by the road in front of them; in fact, they’re invigorated by it. If you’ve been avoiding that hill – yes, that hill, the one that every town seems to inexplicably have – it’s time to confront it. A sensible cyclist will tailor their route to avoid any steep climbs but the adventurous cyclist will rise to the challenge and tackle it instead.
Hills are a pain and at first they’ll make you feel pain but that pain will turn into strength and the more you attempt that hill, the stronger your legs are going to be. After you’ve tackled that demon, move on to another and build up your strength and hill climbing knowledge. Soon, you’ll be tackling hills as if they were nothing and you’ll be able to truly cycle anywhere.
Cycling should never been seen as a chore and it should never bore you. The only way to improve your game and overall fitness is to keep challenging yourself and reinventing routes to keep yourself interested. Some people choose to ride with their friends to enhance the experience, some choose to take on challenging tasks. Whichever way you choose to cycle, make sure that it’s fresh and new every time you’re pedaling or you’ll run the risk of making your favourite hobby feel like work – and that’s no good at all.