A Beginner’s Guide To Cycling

Hop on into the saddle and ride your way to a healthier life!

Taking up bicycle riding is one of the best decisions you could ever make—it’s great for your health as well as the environment! The benefits of cycling are as endless as the roads you can ride on, so it’s really a no-brainer to get involved in it. With American brand, Trek Bikes, recently making its foray into the Indian market, you now have a wider range of bicycles to choose from.

While cycling has been popular around the world for decades, it hasn’t really caught on in India. In a Q&A with Jens Voigt, a former professional road bicycle racer, we got some interesting insight into this amazing outdoor activity:

How Cycling Keeps You Healthy

Not only is cycling an excellent way to clear your mind, it is easier on your body than running. The latter requires you to stop and re-accelerate regularly, causing your joints to undergo a lot of stress. In contrast, your body is supported by the seat when you cycle; so the impact is low and  your joints are more relaxed.. 

Keeping the intensity of the workout the same, running and cycling are nearly neck-and-neck when it comes to burning calories.  However, running requires greater stamina than cycling. So if you’re having trouble maintaining a steady pace while running, cycling is a viable option.

Cycling In The City

The city poses its own set of unique challenges to a cyclist, and you’ll need a road bike to tackle them. City roads are flatter and easier to ride on as compared to mountain terrain, but traffic is the main problem. Finding a good circuit might be hard, because you need to stop and restart several times B but it’s definitely not impossible! You’ll just have to find a way.

What To Keep In Mind When Buying A Bike

The kind of bike you buy makes a lot of difference—modern bikes are technological marvels, they’re not just a tube supported by two wheels! However, just like you’d never buy a Ferrari as your first car, you should keep it simple with the bike as well. Make sure you understand what you need the bike for, and get one that is the right size for your purpose.

It’s also important to not compromise on quality; in other words, you need to visit a proper bike shop. Tag along someone who has  even a little experience with bikes and can guide you through the process. The type of wheels on the bike, the type of the saddle, the positioning of the saddle, the type of handlebars on it—every little thing matters!
Finally, before you ride out of there with your new purchase, make sure you’re as comfortable as can be!

Do You Need To Hit The Gym As Well?

The beauty of cycling is that you’re keeping yourself in great shape while you do it. So, you need to hit the gym only if you have high ambitions in the field. A bike chain is only as strong as its weakest link—you could have the strongest legs in the world, but you won’t be able to use them as effectively if you have too much belly fat.

Other than your legs, which you train while riding, you need to focus on your core, abs and lower back—something you can do at home as well. After your ride, it is also important to stretch and give your muscles some much-needed rest. 

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