4 Tips for Fun, Safe and Healthy Bike Riding

Photo by Ellenm1

The weather is shiny, the sky is blue, there’s little wind and you really don’t want to watch any more television. It’s the perfect time to go out and about on your bike!

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your ride.

1. Eat Well and Keep Hydrated

You want to be hydrated at all times. If you are following a training regime, you need to drink around half a litre of water in the 2-3 hours before you start riding. While you warm up, you should drink another 200ml.

Carbs are best before you start riding. Try to eat 2 to 4 hours before you actually begin as you don’t want stomach stress while you are on your bike. You can have a snack about half hour before.

You want to keep drinking while riding, beverages with sodium are perfect especially when it’s hot. If you ride for a long time, make sure you have carbs every hour.

After your ride, have some proteins (and keep drinking!) to help your muscles regenerate.


2. Train Hard

But don’t overdo it! It’s good to set some goals for yourself and try to reach them. However if for some reason you feel really tired half way through your training session, you should consider turning around and go back home.

Don’t shy away from races. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t going to be first, but racing will push you to ride harder and will give you an idea of what you need to aim at. Racing is an integral part of your training as well.

Riding with the best is also a good idea. People who have experience can give you tips, they can help you work out a training regime as well, plus it can get boring to train on your own all the time.


3. Check Your Bike

It seems obvious but it’s easy to get lazy. Here are a few things you should keep an eye on:

1. Chain, usually it can last up to 3000 miles but keep it oiled

2. Tire pressure

3. Seat height – if your knee hurts it can be because your saddle is too high or too low; if the pain is at the front of your knee, your saddle’s too low, if it’s at the back it’s too high

4. Suspension – for racing and bmx bikes: check your manufacturer’s spec, and make sure you don’t just set it and forget it because air can leak through the seals, so you need to readjust it regularly

5. Brakes


4. Remember Safety!

Make sure your helmet is properly fastened and you don’t have hair in the way. It can be quite dangerous if you suddenly can’t see.

Ride with a group if you can. Numbers equals safety, plus if your bicycle happens to break down you’ll have someone to give you a hand.

Riding is the perfect sport to keep you fit. You can do it alone or with others, and it’s more exciting than just running. Set some targets for yourself, stick to common sense and you’ll make the most out of it.

When you get out on your bike, what do you try to achieve? Do you just do it for the exercise or do you like racing or stunt riding?

Gavin Harvey is a personal trainer whose motto is “Stay fit, stay alive.” He likes to share fitness tips and here he does so for buybikes247.

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