Cycling For Life

Heading into the sunset with the wind at your back 

There are many ways to exercise. These experiences range from walking, jogging, swimming to  lifting weights, or an assort of other options. You may exercise with any of these. While each  accomplishes results when approached seriously, one form of exercise could be added to the  list. Many may consider it as a fun activity, but it truly involves exercising. Plus, it is a way to  involve inter-generations. It should be no secret. It’s bicycling. And, yes, you may exercise for  life with this sport. 

If you approach the sport as a lifelong experience, you’ve taken a great leap in several positive  directions for yourself. Among the advantages include that you may bike solo, with family  members of all ages, with friends or even competitively. In addition, there are opportunities to  bike for a good cause. In doing this, you may raise money for that cause, thus helping someone  else and yourself at the same time.  

Using the term cycling for life, of course, had double meaning. On the one hand, it’s a sport that  you may enjoy for your entire lifetime. On the other hand, this sport approached through routine  exercise may very well extend your life, and in this way makes your life healthier. Who wouldn’t  want to shed pounds while seeing the world at the same time, even if that world were your own  

community? Cycling, as a sport, has grown tremendously in the last decade. And, thanks to  stationary bikes, depending upon where you live, is a year-around activity. When the weather is  crummy, your bicycle of choice may be that friendly one-wheeler in the family room or  basement. It may not take you around the block, but when it’s 32 degrees or below, it’s a pretty  nice seat for watching the world go by, even it is standing still.  

Actually, stationary bikes have several advantages for the person who insists upon taking up  more than one task at once. If you can chew up and walk at the same time, chances are pretty  good that you can ride a stationary bike and read a book at the same time, or heaven forbid,  watch your favorite movie while peddle in your basement. Try that while swimming, jogging or  skydiving. You can’t do it.  

But, as you ride your bike off into the sunset, with the wind at your back, it’s a feeling you  wouldn’t trade for all the weightlifting medals in the world. And the best part is that you may  cycle for life no matter what your age or condition of that contraption with two wheels, one chain,  a handlebar and a seat. 

Bicycle Apparel and Gear 

When you ride your bicycle you should consider apparel and gear that will not only bring you  comfort but also keep you safe. Consider where you will be riding. What terrain will you be  biking through and what is the climate like? Make sure to check the weather before you leave  and take the appropriate clothing. Below are some items to consider paying particular attention  to in order to make your ride more pleasurable. 

When you buy a helmet make sure that it is it approved by the Consumer Product Safety  Commission (CPSC) and that it is the right size. Everyone’s head it shaped differently so try on  different helmets until you find one that is comfortable. 

Wear the helmet level on your head and adjustable straps and buckles for a proper fit. When you are done adjusting your helmet shake your head to make sure that it does not bounce around. It 

is one of the most important items that you can purchase and the goal is to protect your head  and in turn prevent brain injury. 

Some types of apparel and gear to consider are: 

Gloves 

Socks 

Bike shorts 

Jersey 

Jacket 

Shoes 

When purchasing rain gear Make sure you are aware of the difference between waterproof and  water resistant. To be considered water proof it must be made of water proof fabric and the  seams must be sealed. Water resistant is made of material that repels water but is not water  proof. Just be aware that there is a huge distinction. 

You should always pack up an emergency bike kit. Purchase a small bag that can hook under  your bicycle seat. In this bag you should include: 

Tire levers 

Spare tube 

C02 Tire inflater 

Swiss Army knife 

Water bottle to stay hydrated 

Drinking enough water is important to many parts of your body, including cells, muscle & joints,  brain, kidneys, heart, skin, digestive tract and maintaining your temperature. Even the smallest  loss of fluid can affect your concentration and impair your decision making process. Without  enough water your body may become overheated and you may not be able to perspire.  Basic first aid 

Disposable gloves 

Antibiotic ointment 

Sterile dressings 

Adhesive bandages 

If you have special needs such as diabetes makes sure you have you glucose monitor with you  and some snacks that will help you remain stable. Follow these simple tips and you too can  enjoy cycling for life! 

Bicycle Types 

There are many types of bicycles to choose from. Which you choose should depend on where  you will be riding and what your purpose will be.  

Some questions to ask are: 

Am I riding for pleasure?

Will I be riding for exercise? 

Will I want to go off road? 

How much do I want to spend? 

There are touring bikes, utility bikes, mountain bikes and recumbent bicycles, just to name a  few. People ride bikes for many reasons. They may use their bike as transportation or just for  fun. They can also be used as an exercise tool and for sport. Touring bikes are designed for  long trips and have the ability to transport your personal belongings and other gear. These types  of bikes are suitable for riding around the countryside and enjoying the view. 

Mountain bikes are built to be used off road and have sturdy durable frames and wide-gauge  tires. Suspension systems such as gas shocks or air shocks are featured to absorb the impact  when on rough terrain. 

Recumbent Bicycles are built to maximize comfort and minimize resistance. It may be difficult to  get used to being horizontal but if you have any injuries that may prevent you from cycling then  you may want to check this type out. 

Tandem bikes can be used for those who have some physical challenges. Some considerations  are to make sure the bike fits both people. This will help prevent injuries. An important thing to  remember is that there can only be one captain. 

Downhill biking is usually done on steep terrain. It may not be for everyone. 

BMX designed for tricks, stunts and racing on hilly dirt. There are competitions that you can  enter and even money to be won. 

Single track is a form of mountain biking that is performed on very narrow off road trails that can  be steep and narrow with sharp turns and other obstacles. This type of riding takes a lot of  upper body strength. 

There are bikes that include even the youngest member of the family by attaching a smaller two  wheeled bike on the end of a bike. 

Ice biking is just what you think it is. People ride through ice and snow. It may not be for  everyone because it is more tiring to peddle through the snow. 

With all of these choices, no one should be left out. 

Bicycle Seats and Comfort Bikes Make Cycling for Life Easier 

For many who love cycling for life, riding their bikes can be a disappointing experience. While  bicycle seats are designed for maximum comfort and efficiency, they are not comfortable for  everyone. Many riders experience discomfort while riding or after riding. The shape of the seat  can cause soreness or discomfort. 

Luckily, there are a number of options for those who love to ride, but who do not love traditional bike seats. First, many recumbent bikes have different types of seats. If you do not mind the way you have to sit and ride with this type of bike, it is a great option. There are also other 

types of comfort bikes that work wonderfully. Additionally, there are special bicycle seats made  for people who are made uncomfortable by traditional bicycle seats. There are a few designs  that make riding easy while keeping comfort in mind. If traditional bike seats make you  uncomfortable, don’t worry. You do not have to give up riding because of the discomfort. It is  important to continue cycling for life and improving your life, health, and the environment. With  a new bicycle or bike seat, you will be able to ride like you love to do and continue exploring.  Whether you ride to work or just ride occasionally for fun, it is important that you are comfortable  while you are riding.  

If you are going to purchase a new bike or a new seat, be sure to thoroughly test all of your  options before you make a choice. While comfort bikes and comfort seats are designed  specially for people who are made uncomfortable by traditional bike seats, not all models are  perfect for everyone. Be sure the one you choose is perfect for you. The salespeople at your  local bike shop should be more than happy to make recommendations and to help you make a  selection. They should also completely support you trying out all of your options.  Many comfort bikes are slightly more expensive than regular bikes, but that is not always the  case. Depending on the model and design you want, comfort bike seats can range in price from  very inexpensive to relatively expensive. Of course, you should be sure to get the bike or bike  seat that makes you feel most comfortable, so you can get the most out of your rides. 

Biking Accessories Make Cycling for Life Easier 

If you are going to cycle for life, you want riding your bike to be as little of a hassle as is  possible. A great way to make biking easier is with biking accessories. There are a number of  options when it comes to biking accessories, and much of your choice will be based on basic  personal preference. However, there are a few accessories that nearly every biker needs to  make cycling for life easier. 

Some of the most important biking accessories for bikers to have are lights. If you are ever  going to bike when it is dark, or getting dark, you must have lights. Depending on the season, it  may be dark in the morning or even late afternoon. If you bike to work or for another purpose  during these times, lights are essential. Even if you do not plan to bike when it is dark, you  should have lights just in case. A solid light is best for the front of your bike, and a blinking light  is best for the back of your bike. You may also want to consider reflective clothing if you will be  riding at night. It is important to ensure that any car traffic can see you when you are in or near  streets. 

Another very important bike accessory for safety is a helmet. Helmets are not required in some  states, but they are a great choice nonetheless. While you may be a safe rider, it is best to plan  for contingencies. A helmet will help protect your head in the event of an accident, no matter  what the seriousness. Lives have been saved by bicycle helmets. Besides, there are some  modern, comfortable, and stylish designs available.  

A tire pump is another great bicycle accessory to have. In the event that your bike tires ever need a bit of air, your tire pump will be a lifesaver. While it is easy enough to take your bike to a gas station to use the air machine, a tire pump at home will save you time and money. You should fill your tires with an air machine periodically anyway, but it is nice to have a tire pump around if you need it.

Speedometers are a great accessory to have. Many are easy to use, and they can tell you how  fast you are riding, and often how far you have gone. Speedometers are a great way to  measure your progress during a goal, and are fun to use besides. 

Biking Trailers and Cargo Bags Make Cycling for Life Easier 

Those interested in cycling for life do a lot of good for themselves and everyone else. Health  improves, less pollution is made, and they lead by example. In fact, biking has become so  popular that easy to use and much needed accessories are surfacing left and right. 

While they have been around for a while, bike trailers and cargo bags make cycling for life  easier. If you have many things to bring with you, but would like to bike, that is no longer  impossible. Thankfully, it is easier than ever to bike with additional belongings. Whether you  want to bike to the grocery store and need a place for your grocery bags, or want to bike to a  camping locale and need space for your tent and more, biking trailers and cargo bags are just  what you need. Biking trailers come with a variety of options.  

Traditionally, all the biking trailers seen were for kids. Biking enthusiasts could buckle their  children in, and tow them behind their bike. Those are, of course, still available, and much  improved. However, there are other biking trailers available today as well. In addition to the  traditional child trailers, there are trailers made for storing other items too. These are idea for  long rides where you must take luggage of sorts, or even for grocery shopping. The possibilities  are endless. 

Cargo bags are a smaller and less obvious option than biking trailers. These are ideal for a  rider who often struggles with how best to take belongings with them on a ride. Cargo bags are  the perfect place to store a briefcase, laptop, files, and a change of clothes if you ride to work.  Also, they are perfect for relatively small trips to the grocery store. If you are taking an overnight  camping trip, cargo bags can usually hold a small tent and some basic supplies. 

How you choose to use your biking trailer and cargo bags to make cycling for life easier is your choice. The options are limitless, and you are sure to find something that works for you and that you enjoy using. With the option of bringing everything you need with you wherever you choose to bike, you might just bike more often, and do more good. The best way to make a choice about a biking trailer or cargo bags is to visit your local bike shop and browse the options. 

Competitive Cycling is a Phenomenon 

You probably feel as though you see more cyclists out on the road these days. Not only are  people turning to cycling for better health, but they are turning to it as the ultimate rush. Many  have looked to cycling as a competitive sport and have reaped the benefits in the process.  Nobody ever used to think of cycling as a legitimately competitive type of sport, but this is the  way it is now. It can start with something simple like just one race, and the phenomenon usually  starts from there. 

What’s drawn a lot of people is that many charity and non-profit groups started sponsoring cycling events to help raise money for their given causes. This pulls at the heartstrings of many 

people and they want to do whatever they can to help. This is where the turning point comes in  because once somebody begins with cycling, particularly when it’s for a good cause, they’re  hooked! There are so many great benefits to cycling and when you couple it with the possibility  of helping a good cause, it’s a no brainer. 

Those who sign on to participate in a cycling charity race have no idea how rigorous the training can be. To be able to participate effectively in these races that usually range anywhere from 1-3  days for their completion means months of cycling training and conditioning. It’s essential to build up your body, tolerance, and ability to cycle for lengthy periods of time before you can be prepared to participate in the actual race. This is where cycling takes on a different meaning for so many people as they become almost addicted to the way it makes them feel and craves the rush they get from setting out on another cycling path or mission of the day or week. 

It’s not to say that everybody gets involved in cycling in the same way, but there is definitely a  bigger draw to the sport due to so many competitive events rising up. This is great for the non profits that have money raised for them and excellent for the individuals who get in shape and  get drawn into such a rewarding sport. It’s really no wonder that as somebody trains for a  

competitive race; they are quickly pulled into the world of cycling and all it has to offer. This has  truly turned into a phenomenon and the good news is that cycling shows no signs of slowing  down anytime soon. 

Cycling as a Family Activity 

It seems that the battle of the bulge has hit just about every age group and walk of life. There is  a serious epidemic of childhood obesity happening in this country, and therefore families need  to figure out ways to get and stay fit. As many families try to think of attractive ways to get fit  together, they often turn to cycling. This is an excellent way to burn some calories, get in shape,  and enjoy some family bonding time. So for those families searching for a family activity that will  allow them more time with each other and even help them to get in shape, cycling is the answer. 

Parents want the best for their children, and when they see that their kids are unhappy or  overweight they quickly realize that it’s time to do something. The problem with so many types  of exercise out there is that they feel too much like exercise and therefore kids won’t stick with it.  

Cycling however offers something easy to get into, interesting, and presents an excellent  opportunity to bond with the family unit as you get fit. This is truly a win-win for many parents as  they get to spend some time with their kids and allow them to get in shape in the process. For  most kids, cycling doesn’t feel like a massive undertaking or an exercise regimen, it is instead  something to look forward to as an activity to do with mom and dad. 

Cycling can start off rather simply as just a spin around the neighborhood or even around the  block if you need to start small. The key to getting kids involved in any activity is to start off  slowly and ease them into the physical part of it so that they don’t get bored or frustrated.  

Cycling can start slowly and build up to give kids some great goal-setting potential as they build up their endurance and ability. Once the family starts to get in better shape, it’s time to step it up and find some fun routes and paths for the family to travel on. Cycling can quickly become something to look forward to whenever time permits as every time out is a  new adventure. The kids can get involved in picking the spots or paths that the family sets out 

on. You quickly see how cycling can not only become an excellent family bonding activity, but  one where the entire family gets in shape without ever feeling like they are exercising. 

Cycling as an Excellent Form of Exercise 

People never used to look to an activity such as cycling as a robust fitness regimen, but times  have changed. Those who used to think that cycling was just a leisurely activity have a lot to  learn as this can be one of the most intense and efficient methods of exercise. If you’re looking  for a good workout, then look no further from cycling as it will help to get you fit and lean rather  quickly—it can work wonders when compared to other simpler exercises that you could do in  the gym. 

Cycling as an excellent form of exercise is definitely something worth looking at, but you just  need to log the miles to make it impactful. You get an amazing lower body workout, as well as  pulling in the use of your arms, chest, and back as you bike your way to a better body. This is  one of those exercises that pulls in every aspect of your body to propel you forward and that is  what makes it one of the most comprehensive and effective workouts out there. The world of  cycling is changed forever as people quickly realized just how much this form of exercise can  create the body that so many are after. 

If you log the necessary miles through cycling, you will see the weight literally melt away. You  will then see your body start to get toned as you build up muscle in all the right places. You will  see the most immediate changes in your legs and lower body overall as these are the muscles  working the hardest in cycling. If you are after a toned physique then this is the way to go  without a doubt. When it comes to cycling though, you need to be sure that you build up slowly  to avoid injury. 

Cycling can be exhausting and intense, but well worth it in the long run. You will feel as if you  can only go short distances at first, but it’s really smart to build up your endurance over time.  Cycling can not only help you to look better, but to feel better and certainly will build confidence  in the process. So if you have been struggling to find an excellent form of working out but  couldn’t quite get into something that was effective and fun, then look no further than cycling.  For many, cycling is the most comprehensive and effective exercises out there. 

Cycling to Better Health 

So many of us are struggling with weight issues or health conditions in some capacity, and  something really needs to be done. So when it comes down to getting in shape and feeling  better people turn to sports and exercises that they feel comfortable with. This is where cycling  comes in as people look to this familiar sport as an easy form of exercise. Most people can  benefit from getting healthier and this can contribute to living a longer life that is much more  enjoyable. As people start to realize that, they want to find something that will help them to  quickly get in shape and still enjoy the activity while they are doing it. 

Cycling to better health is a very familiar concept. If you think about it, many of us spent a good many years of our childhood on bikes so the concept is rather familiar and comfortable. This is one of those exercises that doesn’t always feel like exercise, though you need to commit to seeing the effects. They say that the two best ways to get yourself in better shape 

and looking the better picture of health is with proper diet and regular exercise. One without the  other doesn’t work and so along with the healthy eating comes the need to exercise. This is the  point at which many people turn to cycling as their chosen form of getting fit and feeling better  overall. 

Cycling can help you to burn major calories, but in a gentle way that doesn’t wreak havoc on  your body. People of all ages and walks of life can enjoy cycling and that’s what makes it so  very appealing. You can find some excellent trails outdoors to practice your cycling skills and if  the weather turns bad, you can find some excellent options indoors as well. Cycling is very  approachable and so for those that wish to gain better health, they turn to this as a starting  point. You can perform cycling on your own or with others so it makes it one of those activities  that works for just about any situation. If you’re looking for an exciting form of exercise or have a  vested interest in getting healthier for any number of reasons, then cycling may be just the  activity that you have been looking for. Even if you haven’t been on a bike for year, cycling can  offer a gentle way into the world of exercise and get you feeling better almost immediately.  

Cycling for Cardio Health 

Cycling for Life 

You truly can cycle for life and improve your cardio health while doing it. Cycling will strengthen  heart muscles and is also deemed an excellent cardiovascular exercise. Before beginning any  exercise program, check with your doctor. Cycling is a low impact exercise that one can enjoy  throughout their life time. 

Heart disease can include: 

Coronary artery disease 

Aorta disease 

Vascular disease 

Pericardial disease 

Heart valve disease 

Heart failure 

Abnormal heart rhythms 

Congenital heart disease 

Prevention: 

Quit smoking 

Lower cholesterol 

Control high blood pressure  

Exercise 

The benefits of a good cardio workout are that it builds your endurance and even increases your  lung capacity. Endorphins are released and will give you a natural high. You should elevate your  heart rate for 20 minutes, break out into a sweat. Vigorous exercise for 45 minutes every other  day will be beneficial to your heart. 

Exercise is also a stress reliever and we all know that stress affects your heart. There is a link to  heart disease and stress. You will always have stress but the trick is to control it and not let it 

control you. When your stress level rises adrenaline increases your heart rate and blood  pressure. Cortisol is a stress hormone is also released and increases sugars in the  bloodstream. This in turn changes your immune system, reproductive system and digestive  system. 

If you do not want to cycle outside, you can sign up for a spinning class at your local gym or buy  a stationary bike. The best thing to do is try a spinning class first to see if it is something that  you want to do before investing in any equipment.  

If you want to ride outside then you should consider visiting your local bicycle shop and getting  fitted for a bike that is right for you. You want it to be comfortable and easy to control. Some  types of bikes to choose from, depending on what you will be doing are touring bikes, mountain  bikes, recumbent bikes, downhill bikes and those that are fitted for wheelchair racing. 

Cycling for life is not only a fun sport to take up but is also heart healthy and stress relieving.  There are so many benefits that come with cycling. You can include your whole family or go  solo. You can ride through the countryside and enjoy the sounds. 

Cycling for Life in the Best Biking Cities 

Whether you bike occasionally for fun or enjoy frequently, serious rides, it is good to know the  best cities to bike in. Perhaps you have a friend who lives in one, and you need to know if you  should bring your bike when you visit. Or, there could be a city near you, or even the one you  live in, that you just have to explore. 

Portland, Oregon, is often cited as the best biking city in the United States. With rivers,  mountains, forests, and other natural wonders around, it is no wonder. Portland is a bike  friendly city with bike lanes on many major roads, and even some special roads just for bikes. If  you want to commute to work here, it is very easy. Or, if you prefer, it is a great place to take a  leisurely ride. 

Minneapolis, Minnesota, may be surprising to some. However, when it is not snowing, it is a  great place to bike. This twin city is very fun to explore, and a perfect place to bring a bike. Seattle, Washington, is another excellent place to ride your bike. With the Puget Sound just  nearby, you are sure to get an excellent view when you reach the top of a city hill. Even with  the notorious northwest wet weather, biking in the fresh air of Seattle is hard to beat. 

San Francisco, California, is one of the most unique places in California. What could beat a  great view of the gorgeous Golden Gate Bridge, or biking down the most windy road in the  world? With new and exciting things to see on every street, it is no wonder San Francisco made  the list. 

Madison, Wisconsin, is a very bike friendly city, and this does not seem to be changing. In  Madison, you can bike around the city or around a lake. The bike routes are marked well and  easy for even inexperienced bikers to use.

Austin, Texas, is often compared to Portland, and it is easy to see why. Both of these great  cities are on the list of the best places to bike. Austin is bike friendly, and there are so many  things to see. You get the benefits of a place like Portland without the pesky northwest rain.  Of course, there are many more great cities to bike. In fact, you could make the most of just  

about any city by biking it. Talk about cycling for life, making a habit out of biking cities is sure  to improve your health and the environment! 

Great Bike Trails Around the United States 

Whether you are a novice biker or an experienced one, you need to know where the great bike  trails are. Even if you cannot visit and ride them all, it is possible you will be able to ride some  of them. The experience of the greatest bike trails are fantastic, and bikers of all abilities will  love them. 

In every single state, there are bike trails that are perfect for cycling for life. Some are in urban  areas, others are in rural areas. There are a number of bike trails that have been converted  from rail road tracks. Some trails are paved, others are dirt or grass. No matter where you live,  there are bound to be great bike trails somewhere nearby, or at least in your state. The Okanogan Region of Washington state is on many lists as one of the best biking trails  around. In northern Washington, between Spokane and Seattle, is this great place to bike.  Fantastic views, wildlife sightings, and fresh air await. 

The driftless area of Wisconsin is in the southern part of the state. This part of the state has  hills and valleys that are very fun to ride in. If you are a novice rider, it may be best to wait until  you have a higher level of expertise. The ups and downs of riding in this area can make for a  tough ride. 

Cajun County in Louisiana, offers some fantastic scenic views. Bordering the Gulf of Mexico,  there are also swamps, bayous, and more for your viewing and riding pleasure. It can get pretty  hot, so be careful of when you choose to visit and ride. 

Sugarloaf Moutain in the state of Maryland is a great place to ride for fresh air, views, wildlife  sightings, and a cool breeze coming off the water. An added benefit is the relatively close  proximity to Washington, D.C. 

Finally, Acadia National Park in Maine, has long been a mecca for bikers. There are so many  trails, over one hundred miles worth, that it seems impossible to see everything. This national  park allows camping, so it may be best to stay the night and get the full experience. Wherever you live, there are great places to ride your bike just waiting to be found. Even if your  state is not known for being bike friendly, you just have to look for places to ride. Many hiking  trails allow bikes, so consider looking into hiking trails if you cannot find many biking trails. Just  be sure to confirm that bicycles are allowed.  

Cycling for Life By Biking to Work 

Biking to work can be a tall order, even for the devoted biker. Given changing weather conditions, time constraints, and more, it is a hard commitment to make. The best way to start biking to work is slow. Perhaps start with one day per week, and then gradually increase the frequency.

In some places, it just is not feasible to bike to work year round. However, you certainly can  bike to work during summer, spring, and at least part of fall in most locations. If you live in a  more southern state, you may be able to bike to work all year long. 

Biking to work will save you money on gas, which is one of the more obvious benefits.  However, it will also save you stress since you do not have to sit in traffic and be stressed.  Also, you will be getting a great deal of exercise that you normally do not get. Even if your job is  a mile from your house, if you bike to and from work everyday, that is ten miles of biking that  you would not have had each week. Not only that, but biking instead of driving helps the  environment, because the exhaust from your car is not increasing pollution.  

If you want to cycle for life, biking to work is one of the very best ways to do it. There are many  things you can do to improve your health, and biking to work is a great way to start. The  exercise you get while riding you bike to work is very impressive. There are few other ways to  get as much exercise and contribute so much to your health on a daily basis. Besides, most  people do not have an hour or two each day to spare in order to visit the gym. Instead, add  some time to your commute, and work out on your way to work. 

It is easy to get a storage basket or bag for your bike, so you can bring a change of clothes with  you on your bike, and even a briefcase or backpack. This way, if you get dirty or sweat a bit  while riding your bike to work, you can still look clean cut and professional when you arrive, as  soon as you change. There are many ways to cycle for life, and biking to work is just one way  to start. It is easy to try, and many people live close enough to their place of employment to try  it. So don’t wait, start cycling for life by biking to work today. 

Travel Trips for Cyclers 

Cycling is one of those sports that you can learn when you are young and carry on well into your  golden years. In fact, you can cycle for life. Do you remember when you received your first  bicycle? Did you have training wheels? Remember the excitement when you could ride without  them? The thrill of knowing that you can brake and stay upright is one memory that you may  never forget. 

One of the best things about cycling is that you can do it with your friends or ride alone. You can  ride near the oceans, lakes and rivers. There are touring groups that will take you along back  roads to see countryside that you would otherwise just pass by if you were in a car. There are biking trails in many parts of the country now where you can ride through cities as  well as the countryside. You can also book a biking trip through many countries and experience  unique cultures. 

When you are choosing a trip, consider if you want to go on your own or with a guided tour.  Guided tours can be fun and safer for you if you are not of an adventurous spirit. The downside  of it is that you will have to follow them and not be able to take side trips. Each has its good and  bad so make a decision based on what you are comfortable doing. 

Use your favorite search engine to find travel options. Some are eco-friendly and include the  option of walking and biking which might be something you would be interested in. 

Once you decide where you want to go, pay attention to some of these rules of the road:

Headphones should not be worn while cycling 

Fill medical prescriptions 

Make sure you are familiar with all of your equipment 

Purchase an extra pair of glasses or contacts or take along your prescription Pay your bills before you leave 

Take along a major credit card and/or traveler’s checks 

Leave a copy of your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member 

Above all, make sure you train well before you leave but do not over train so much that you are  too tired to enjoy the trip. Maintain a level that will consistent with the geographical area where  you will be riding. Ask others who have done this for their suggestions and cycle for life. 

Making the Most of Cycling With Biking Events 

If you are interested in cycling for life, and making the most of cycling, you must look into biking  events. Cycling for life can be cycling for others or for yourself, and it is a great way to improve  the world around you. You can help the environment, your health, and even raise money and  awareness for others. 

Many biking events are charitable events, so you can feel good about biking and having a good  time. These biking events can make money for a charitable organization in a number of ways.  First, they often charge an admittance fee to riders. For example, you may have to pay twenty  dollars, but that money is donated to the organization the ride is for. Or, you may need to obtain  sponsors who will donate to the organization and support you riding.  

More often than not these biking events are relatively long, and often have stops for resting and  restrooms. Many times, they will also have obtained corporate sponsorship in products, and will  hand out refreshments like water, energy drinks, or energy bars. These donated items are free  

to riders. Because of this, most of the time you will get back in products the money you paid to  ride in the first place, depending on the amount. Biking events like this are similar in many ways  to marathons, except you are on a bike instead of running or walking. The length of biking  events vary considerably, depending on the purpose of the event and the route.  

There are also many biking events that are not for charity, but are just for fun. Depending on  where you live, there may be biking events meant to explore the local area, such as riding  across all the local bridges or riding up and down a local mountain. Most big cities offer a lot of  biking events, and with a little research, you can find the ones that interest you. 

Whether you ride in a biking event for charity or for fun, you can rest assured you are still biking for life. After all, the more you bike, the better it is for your health, and the more you are improving yourself. Not only that, but you are encouraging those around you and those who see you riding to ride themselves, which can make a huge environmental impact. Leading by example, in other words, is a surefire way to cycle for life. And riding in a biking event is a great way to make the most of cycling.

Making the Most of Cycling With Organized Bike Rides 

More and more people today are interested in improving their lives with cycling. Biking to work,  to the store, or just for fresh air and exercise are incredibly common. Biking is also a great way  to meet new people and discover things in your area you never knew existed.  

A quick internet search can help you find local bikers who are trying to connect with others. If  you find a group that bikes together, see about joining them. There are often multiple groups  that organize large bike rides and welcome new members. Usually these groups are free. It is likely that you will be able to find rides that fit into your physical abilities. If you are a  relatively new rider, look for a ride that is short and not too strenuous. Most groups have a lot of  rides, and you do not have to participate in them all. 

Riding with a group can also be safer than riding alone, because your group of bikers will be  very visible. Joining an organized bike ride will be fun, interesting, and could even be an  educational experience. If you are new to an area, or just new to biking in an area, you will  surely discover all sorts of new things. It is highly possible that there are all sorts of neat things  in your area you have never seen before. On a bike, you can go many more places than in a  car. 

If the organized bike ride is large enough, it is possible that some streets will even be shut  down, increasing your safety immensely. This is not immensely common for everyday rides, but  for big riding events it happens all the time.  

If you love to ride your bike, you just have to make the most of cycling with organized bike rides.  All you have to do is show up and ride, so it is much easier than planning a route out for  yourself. Not only that, but you are sure to meet other riders who very much enjoy riding, so  you know you will have something in common with them.  

Depending on the length of your organized bike ride, there may be breaks worked into the  schedule. This will give you time to rest, use the bathroom, and eat, as needed. Many  organized bike rides are just around a local area for an hour or two, and others are of a longer  distance and perhaps even overnight. Be sure to pick an organized ride that you feel  comfortable with. 

My neighbor is into biking like no one else 

Could it be that you have a neighbor like mine? He’s into biking like no one I know. You might  say that he’s into cycling for life. And, you know, I’m a bit envious. I believe he’s on to something  worthwhile. His cycling interests have taken him to points on the map that you’ve never heard  of. He’s met scores of interesting people along the way. Plus, his interest in cycling is good for  him. His hobby is not only that, it’s also a way he keeps physically fit. It’s all for fun, but serious,  too. 

Get him starting talking bicycles and he won’t stop. You see, to me a bike has two wheels and  chain. Not to my neighbor, who cycling is a lifetime adventure. He can tell the difference  between a mountain bike, all-terrain, tandem or kid’s bike at 200 yards.

Talk about his cycling knowledge. Whoa. His biking-accessory lingo is like an encyclopedia.  We’re talking bag, fenders, leg bands, bells, locks, horns, water bottles, racks, mirrors and  kickstands. All this time, I thought there was just a basic kickstand. Not so. There’s the classic  kickstand made from aluminum alloy. He told me that the advantage to this style is that it is  lightweight and doesn’t corrode. There’s the retro top-plate kickstand. It’s made for improved  clearance. Then, there’s the old Z-shape kickstand. It’s top plate fits more frames with tighter  clearances. And, of course, there’s the rear stay-mount kickstands. Prices vary on all these, as  you might have guessed. 

My neighbor’s bicycle interests have helped him stay fit. His weight’s dropped from couch potato  to slim. He even looks younger and I know that his heart rate is something he could really brag  about if he chose to. It’s also enabled him to involve his family, on the older end and the  younger end of the age spectrum. You see, in cycling, there’s a bike for every size, shape and  interest level.  

One of the nice things about taking up biking for life, as in my neighbor’s case, is that you can  start with a pretty basic bike. I’ve seen him hand down last year’s bike to a younger family  member, while he moved up from a basic 10-speed to a 27-speed. Yikes. Not to worry, he says  shifting gears is like, well riding a bike. Funny thing, he’s now got me hooked. The last time he  upgraded bikes, he offered me a deal on what might have been his trade it. You know what? I’m  bike and enjoying it, too. You might even say that I’ve taken up cycling for life. I’ve already  dropped one inch around the belt. Who’s complaining? Not me. 

The Cycling Vacation 

Many people are looking for alternative vacation types these days. Either because of tough  financial times or the necessity for a more creative type of getaway, people are looking for  alternatives that can offer excitement and a more budget friendly option. This is about the time  that many people turn to cycling as a vacation option. The beauty of a cycling vacation is that it  involves some great physical activity and also a way of checking out the scenery in the places  you visit. Cycling offers all the various aspects of what people look for in a vacation and  therefore has become a very popular activity to center a vacation around. 

A cycling vacation can take place anywhere. It can be on a campground, at a national park, or  as part of a bigger vacation. All it takes is a bicycle and some perseverance to check out the  local scenery and take in some new trails. This is appealing for the individual or family who  wants to stay fit even on vacation, or for those that wish to see every inch of the place they  travel to. Cycling is a friendly activity as it appeals to people of all ages, and therefore makes it  approachable and fun. There are even some places out there that offer no motorized vehicles  within their perimeters, allowing only bicycles. This is the perfect venue for those that want to  check out the beauty of nature and get back to a more simplistic way of living. This is the basis  of a great cycling vacation and makes many people seek these vacations out quite often these  days. 

Cycling as a vacation option never used to be quite so popular, but then again the sport has  gained some major attention lately. Couple the increase in popularity of this sport with the fact  that people need to take more cost effective vacations in tough economic times and you find  that a cycling vacation is truly a slam dunk for everyone. If you are willing to take a more  adventurous route for your vacation needs, and you want to get fit in the process, then this is 

definitely an excellent option. If you have never considered a cycling vacation, then now may be  the time. You can find some great destinations, trails, and visit some really great places in the  process. To see the land and get in some exercise in the process, a cycling vacation helps you  to accomplish it all. 

No mud puddles to worry about on this bike 

Today, persons are exercising at nearly any age. While the older one gets, the choices may  appear to be limiting. One exercise choice for persons of any age is bicycling. In fact, cycling for  life is an option that many persons entering their senior years have chosen in keeping fit. Say you’ve reached your fourth decade or even higher. You aren’t as fit as you once were, but  you still want to work up a good sweat and feel in control of things. There are still several  options for exercise. Among them is swimming, jogging, low-impact aerobics, and, yes, biking.  For the 40-year-old, or older, for example, biking becomes a good exercise option, especially for  persons with osteoarthritis of the knees. And the best answer for a knee problem may be a  stationary bike. 

The good news is that stationary bikes come in many forms. For example, there’s the upright  stationary bike. It’s perhaps the most common stationary bike that comes to your mind. It  resembles a street bike, except that gears replace its wheels. The good thing about uprights is  that they don’t require much space. They feel very natural, especially to the biker who really  wishes to be out on the road. In addition, some upright bike exercisers claim that they obtain a  better workout than riding on the street. That’s because on a stationary bike there is more effort  placed into the ride. 

Another stationary bike option is the recumbent stationary bike. It’s especially helpful for  persons with balance or back problems. These bikes also offer more padding. In many cases,  recumbent stationary bikes may be easier to ride and read or watch TV during the workout. While comparing stationary bikes, don’t forget about the dual-action stationary machine. It  combines upright exercise with movable handlebars. This option gives the rider’s arms a real  workout. While many stationary bikes boast lower-body workouts, the dual-action bike offers  better all-around total fitness. Usually these bikes cost more and are often larger than other  stationary bikes. 

So, if cycling for life is your thing, but age is a barrier, a stationary bike may be the answer.  Workouts on stationary bikes are low-impact; yet enable the biker to burn lots of calories.  Perhaps the best feature of a stationary bike is that the chances of hitting an unexpected mud  puddle are slim to none. It’s not a bad way to spend an hour or so while exercising. 

So, you’re looking for a exercise program 

Let me guess. You’d really like to take up an exercise program. You’d like to do something that,  well, puts that exercise guru neighbor of yours in the dust, so to speak. You know the neighbor.  The slim one who belongs to the fitness club. In addition, for reasons you can’t explain, this neighbor always looks healthy, probably because whatever exercise routine is followed is done with meticulous care.

So, where does that put you? Here’s a thought. How about checking all those two-wheeled  objects in your garage. You know the ones. They come equipped with a seat, handle bars and a  reflector or two. Sadly, they also include cobwebs from lack of use. It’s a sad site, you and those  objects. Let’s call them bicycles built for you. The beauty of those sleek machines is that with  some effort you might become the envy of every exercise queen or king living next door.  Beyond that, age doesn’t matter. Cycling could, in fact, be the thing for you. The best part is you  already know how to ride. The most difficult part may be hauling the bike down from its storage  area on the garage wall to the floor, where it belongs. Actually, it belongs on the road with you  and your bike helmet heading north. 

Go ahead; there it hangs like a forgotten trophy. Pretty sad, isn’t it. But, using the even sadder  cliché, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” might be all that’s needed. Simply get on  that bike and change your life. Cycle for the rest of your life. Here’s some advice for those just  

starting out. Think of cycling as a hobby and as an exercise experience, because that’s exactly  what it is. Beyond that, just to play it safe, take your cycling machine to your nearby bicycle  shop. It may need a good going over before you launch into a five-mile venture.  

You’ll happily discover that the bicycle repair guy treats most two-wheelers like a kid with a new  puppy. He’ll check your brakes, seat, hand bars, tires, chain and reflectors. Did we miss  anything? Once you get the repair shop’s green light, head for the hills, baby. Remember, there  are always two sides to the hill ahead. One way goes up, but the other goes down. Cycling for  life is sort of like the stock market in that sense. What other sport can you name that offers  peaks and valleys. Only, unlike the stock market, it’s much more fun going down that up. 

The Health Benefits of Cycling for Life 

There are so many health benefits to cycling for life, it is almost impossible to enumerate them.  As such, only a few will be explored. Everyone knows that biking is a great way to improve  health, but it is important to know just how good biking is for you. 

Biking is one of the best types of exercise, for a number of reasons. First, for many people, it is  easier to burn calories on a bike than doing another activity. The reason for this varies person  to person, but many people agree it is because biking is so fun. Also, it is easy to do. There is  even a saying about how people never forget how to ride a bike. Even if you have not ridden a  bike in years, chances are you still know how. 

A great health benefit of cycling for life is that your metabolism will increase. Exercising in  general jump starts your metabolism, allowing you to burn more fat and calories. With an  increased metabolism, it will be easier for you to reach any health goals you may have, or even  a target weight if you want to shed pounds. 

With a higher metabolism and regular exercise on your bike, you will start to burn fat. Even if you do not necessarily want to lose weight, burning fat is good. Most people have a higher percentage of body fat than they should, and burning that fat helps keep you healthier. While burning fat on your bike, you will also be building muscle. Riding a bike is an activity that utilizes mostly your lower body, but it does work your core and your upper body a little as well.  Building muscle will help give you a healthy look, feel better, and be stronger. It is unlikely that you will build more muscle than is healthy or than you would like if you are not trying to do so,  so do not worry about that.

Biking also helps you keep up your endurance or stamina, especially when you bike as a  cardiovascular activity. It is important for your overall health that you increase your heart rate  while exercising. While you may not want to bike rapidly for your entire ride, perhaps doing so  for a mile or two will be a big help to your health. 

Finally, exercising has been said to increase your overall level of happiness. Of course, getting  fresh air while you go for a ride is sure to elevate your mood anyway. With both physical and mental benefits, cycling for life seems like a great choice. 

The Environmental Benefits of Cycling for Life 

If you are considering becoming a biker, or if you already are a biker, you know there are a  number of benefits to cycling for life. You can improve your own health, the health of those  around you by leading by example, and even the world around you by helping the environment.  While helping the environment can seem like an astronomical task, it is possible to affect  positive change with small steps. You likely already to a number of great things, such as  recycle or reuse containers. Cycling for life is just one more step you can take to ensure the  world becomes a better, healthier place. 

When you bike instead of drive in your every day life, you do a great deal of good for the  environment around you. For example, you are helping the noise level on your commuting  route to decrease. If your vehicle is not driving its normal route, it is not making noise. This  decreased noise level helps the areas you drive through and around to become more livable  communities. While it may seem as if just one car missing from your commute route will make a  difference, the fact is that it will.  

You may not notice, but it does have an impact. An in influencing others to bike like you do, you  will be decreasing the noise level even more. Of course, one of the most obvious environmental  benefits of cycling for life is pollution. Even cars that boast great gas mileage give off pollution  in their exhaust. If you bike instead of drive, you are helping to decrease car emissions, which  helps less greenhouse gases develop. Perhaps you do not want to bike to work each day. If  you bike to work even one day a week or month, your actions will have great consequences. If  every single person biked to work only one day a week or month, the environmental benefits are  almost unimaginable. 

Finally, leading by example is an environmental benefit of cycling for life in and of itself. If you inspire even one person to bike occasionally instead of drive, you are impacting noise levels and pollution levels even more. Even if you do not convince someone outright to bike, somebody may watch you ride past them on your way to work each day, and that will help convince them to do the same.

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