Change of view, a different background, different noises and fresh air. We run a route that gives us visual pleasure so it makes running in the cold, rain or on hot days really worth it. The same should go for bicycling but actually there are more things holding us back. It’s not as if all you need is a pair of trainers. You need a helmet, a bike, knee pads, goggles, high-visibility clothing and good spatial awareness. That last thing is really quite a challenge for most people. We’re not used to travelling 20-25mph off our own steam. Peddling hard and breathing hard, we can become tunnel visioned to the point where the road becomes a danger to us. But here are some ways you can make going for a bike ride more fun and far less dangerous.
Smooth and crisp
What’s going to make a bike ride a joy in the first place is great equipment. Really look hard at the kind of bike you’re buying and if it’s right for the terrain you’re covering. Some towns and cities have better roads and pavements than others. If you live in a bumping area then you shouldn’t get a racing bike that cannot absorb a little punishment. If you would like to have a bike that is going to pick up speed easily since you live in a place of the country that has open countryside roads, then getting road bike is perhaps more beneficial to your workouts. However, if you’re going to go through hiking trails and into the woods, then a mountain bike is clearly the best option.
Buy some good all weather gloves which afford you good grip on the handle bars at most temperatures. A good pair of sunlight resistant goggles or riding glasses are also a good investment to make. Flexible rubber knee pads are not as rigid as motorcycle knee pads, so better for bicycling. Getting some windbreakers and body warmers is also something you should try to do so wind and bitter chills don’t restrict your movement while on the bike.
The thing that puts most people riding out in public is the fact that there is a definite need to have spatial awareness at all times. You need to know what’s behind you, in front and to your sides without having to turn your head too far. That’s why putting bike mirrors on your bicycle is so beneficial as you can see behind you without taking your eyes off the road in front. However sometimes you can’t see a car coming if it’s in your blind spot. If you are hit, you can always contact a personal personal injury lawyer which is versed in representing cyclists that have been struck and injured by cars that weren’t paying attention or performed a dangerous maneuver in their impatience.
If you create a habit of looking around you every 20 seconds are so that will less any fears you might have. A quick check of what’s around you and a sweep of your proximity will give you enough time to plan ahead. For example if you glanced back and saw a car behind you about 50 meters, you can time when that car will try to pass you judging by its speed. There are other things you can do to improve your spatial awareness too, such as using shop windows to see what’s coming behind you. Look towards the junctions into main roads to see if any cars are going to try to cut in front of you.
Finding a route
There are plenty of ways you can find the best route for your capabilities. Go onto Strava where you can find lots of different level routes. If you’re a beginner and want something easy they will find you a route that’s flatter and less hard work on your legs. If you want a challenge, they can find you a series of hills or bumping roads where you need strength and skills to get a good workout.
Bicycling is something everyone should give a go. You have more legal protection than ever before as drivers are expected to give you the right of way in most instances. Learn more about spatial awareness techniques on the road to avoid such collisions in the first place as well. You should invest in great equipment, a bike that suits you style of riding and clothes that will protect you from the weather.