Cycling - why bother!!
When non-cyclists hear that I happily ride 60, 80, 100 kilometres, just for the sheer pleasure of the ride, they are often amazed. I'm too old to look young and sporty and it seems that for 'non-cyclists' such a 'feat' is beyond imagination - so how is it that we cyclists become so addicted to the sport in the first place?
A lazy cyclist guide to going faster
Most cyclists aim to increase their average speed over the course of time, and even those who don't particularly care about such things (yes, there are people who cycle solely for pleasure!) usually get satisfaction from knowing they have completed their route a bit faster than usual.
Your first few rides
OK I'm going to assume that you actually know how to ride a bike, or at least did at some point in your life, and are looking to restart the hobby...preferably without stabilisers!
It is often said that cycling doesn't get easier with time - you go faster but still suffer just as much. This is especially true of hills. But every rule has an exception.
Techniques for cycling downhill
Some people have a natural confidence when cycling downhill, or at least a way of ignoring their natural fears, while others are much more cautious. This nervousness about going downhill is an important weakness to tackle since:
Ride less, cycle faster
Training books will all tell you that it is the rest days between cycling that are just important as the training rides themselves. This is because 'your body needs time to recover', they tell you, or 'your muscles develop when they are resting'.
Five tips for faster cycling
OK, so this is partly an exercise in stating the obvious - but it's a good place to start! Then you can browse through some of the many other more specific articles on the site for more information about these and many other aspects of road bike cycling...
Cheap road bikes
If you are looking for a good cheap bike there is a bewildering choice of bikes in the £350-600 price range, the typical starting point for a road bike, and it is difficult to know where to start. Virtually all mainstream bike manufacturers have entry bikes in this price range.
Choosing and buying a new road bike
When you first decide to buy a road bike the choice can be very daunting. From bikes in the local supermarket costing £150 to those in specialist shops costing up to £5000 or more, what is the difference and what should you look for?
Road bike sizing
The most important thing when purchasing a bike is to get the bike frame size and setup right - otherwise you will find you ache on longer rides, and lose enthusiasm for cycling very quickly.
Riding the most expensive bike in the world will not be fun if it is the wrong size for you. As a quick starting point to getting your bike setup right:
Long distance cycling
The definition of 'long distance' for you or for me or for someone else will always be completely different.
If you talk to a non-cyclist, 20 miles sounds like a long ride, but for an enthusiastic club member 100 miles might be a long ride.There are cyclists who regularly cycle much greater distances than this (Tour de France stages are often 140 miles or more).
Cycling up hills and mountains
Cycling up hills (or mountains) is the hardest part of cycling when you are just starting out. Ignoring problems of speed, most new cyclists can manage to go along a flat road for a reasonable distance without any terrible difficulties.
Cycling training for beginners
When you first start cycling, you will probably read about the speeds and distances travelled by other cyclists, and find that you fall a long way short. Many experienced cyclists will cover 60 miles at 20-25 miles per hour a couple of times a week, enthusiasts much more, and faster.
Cycle faster - interval training on a road bike
Cycling faster and better on your road bike! Most beginner cyclists approach to going faster is to go out quite often and make a lot of effort. Sounds good, and certainly works to a point. But sooner or later you will reach a threshold.
Average cycling speed for new and experienced cyclists
One of the most common questions among new cyclists - and one of the hardest to give a sensible answer to - is the average speed of a cyclist.
There are lots of reasons why average speed can't be used as a reliable measure of comparison, which mostly come down to the following: