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Top 12 Cycling Tips

We all know that cycling is good for the environment and for the nation's health, but it's a fun activity to do and is relatively inexpensive,.. ok, you get the initial costs for purchasing the bike and helmet, pump and water bottles and other must have accessories.

Don't forget though when you go on holiday, instead of taking your bikes with you, you can also hire the bikes once you get there. In most towns you will find a place that hires the bikes and all the equipments needed for safe cycling such as bike rack for your car.

Here are tips you can take to improve cycling performance, safety, comfort, and enjoyment.

1. Always wear a helmet as it is absolutely crucial. Wearing a helmet could save your life. Fact or Fiction? Read the facts and decide for yourself...
I do and I don't care how silly I look. Make sure your helmet fits properly. It should sit horizontally on your head and shouldn't move about. I had my helmet fitted in the cycle shop. Kids can get a range of colours form Barbie pink to Batman blue ...


2. Make sure your bike is the correct size for you. It's essential to choose the correct frame size. To find the correct frame size, straddle the bike and stand flatfooted: on a road bike, there should be one to two inches of clearance between your groin and the top tube. On a mountain bike, the clearance should be two to three inches or even more. Buying a bike which is the right size is probably the most important part of choosing your new cycle. But how do you work out what size to get? A good shop should be able to advise you and let you try different sizes, but there are a few guidelines which help you.


3. Also invest in a good quality solid lock and always use it whenever you park your bicycle even at your own land or garage. I don't want to scare you it's just for your protection. I had my bike stolen once when visiting a friend who lives in very quiet little village with no living sole near by. Why Cycle is a very good cycling website where you can find useful information about the bike security and safety.

4. Keep your bike in good working order, particularly the brakes, steering and tyres. How? Clean and oil regularly and check the tyres for ... or any blemishes.

5. Always obey all the signs and traffic rules, The Highway Code and country code if you are using cycle paths across country.

6. Be safe and seen. Wear bright coloured reflective or fluorescent clothing at all times during the day and night. Even on a sunny day car drivers may have trouble seeing you if you are in the shade of trees and they are in full sunlight. Also consider a rear strobe-type light (attached to the bike or your belt) to enhance visibility at night.
At night and in poor light make sure your front and rear lights are lit and that your red rear reflector can be seen. It is actually against the law to cycle at night without lights. There is a legal requirement, as with all road going vehicles, for lights to be fitted and displayed during the hours of darkness. But having lights fitted to your bike is just common sense. They are an essential part of everyday cycling and can be considered to be an additional safety precaution even for daytime riding. Read more

7. Don't wear headphones. They can block out the sounds you need to hear in order to ride safely. I feel much safer without the headphones as I can hear what is going on around me even if it is only the noise of my brakes abd breathing, ok puffing up the hills.

8. Keep your arms relaxed and don't lock your elbows. This technique helps you absorb bumps from the road better. Always keep a look out for possible hazards. It is best to ride around any obstacles if possible, but try to avoid any sudden or sharp movements.

9. Look all around before moving off. Use hand signals clearly before turning and make eye contact to alert drivers as make a turn, so they know your intentions and you know that they've seen you.

10. Watch out for storm drains and rail road tracks. They're all slippery when wet and if you don't cross them at a right angle, your front tire may get caught.

11. When cycling on a narrow truck or on winding downhill roads, ride in the lane, not to the side, where you're not as visible and may get pushed off to the side. If a car wants to pass you just move out of the way.

+1. Get the comfortable seat :o). It's definitely worthy to get a wider and more cushioned seat to avoid sore bum.

By Lucie Nedvedova

 

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