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As the winter is here now and it seems not all the hardcore cyclists decide to stop their cycling trips. Cycling in the cold weather can be totally bad experience. However, if you are fully prepared, nothing can stop you.
But we have to say that the lingering frost or black ice can catch anyone unawares. Stunning cloudless days go hand in hand with sub-zero nights. And when the sun does come up it stays low in the sky and relatively weak, with long shadows.
As far as I know, one of the biggest causes of black ice is when a big freeze follows a partial thaw, so that rain water or meltwater is frozen before it can drain off the road completely, leaving a thin layer of transparent ice.
Therefore, firstly, you should pick your road carefully and stick to those that have been treated if you’re riding in these conditions. The downside to this is that many councils put a water dispersal agent down with the salt, and after a few days this too can be slippy.
Secondly, you should also be particuarly wary of the more exposed sections of road, such as where there are no hedges. The wind chill will have further cooled the tarmac there and always keep your eyes on the road ahead so you’re prepared for icy hazards, going round them if you have time and it’s safe to do so.
There are also some other things you have to pay attention to. For example, you shouldn’t do anything sudden if you’re about to hit ice. However, if you hit black ice on a downhill corner, all you can do is hope for a soft landing.
Among all the sports, cycling is most the photogenic one. You should consider all the elements including the bikes, the kit, the riders, and, of course, the scenery. You have to admit that there’s always an opportunity to capture a great moment. All you need is some training and hints.
In fact, the first thing you should do is to know your camera. You have to know how it works and its limitations. But equipment is not the be all and end all with photography. More advanced cameras tend to allow you to shoot in a wider range of conditions, but even the most basic camera can take amazing photos if used in perfect conditions.
Another one thing I heard when I first started shooting was, “look more and shoot less” and it is something which has stuck with me. I’m pretty sure that while wading through all of your images you will find some good ones. It is the law of averages and not real skill.
And what’s more, action can take place anywhere when a race is passing. If you shoot with only your eye on the view finder open, you will only see what your camera is pointing at and might miss something which would make a great image. You should shoot with both of your eyes open.
See? After you have learnt all the skills of photography, you can take good photos yourself.
This is exactly the best time in the year to thank someone who makes your life better. As for me, I should say thank you to cycling. I have been spending a lot of days and weeks with my bike and it makes me feel comfortable.
And for many people, Thanksgiving is also the perfect holiday for cycling trips, because: you don’t have to work; there is very little traffic on the roads; no need to get up early; time for a long ride; a big meal in the afternoon; a relaxing evening with a cocktail; no need to go to bed too early.
You can meet up with a couple of rider friends and spent the morning cycling around your city. You can also stop for coffee at a small coffee shop, and hung out on the breakwater before heading home for a hot shower. This year the weather was balmy, it’s the best time for cycling.
What’s more, you can also spent the afternoon eating and drinking and talking and making merry with friends, all of whom where friends or their families. The food can be excellent, and so can be the company. Don’t you think it is relaxing and perfect?
After you spend the version of a pretty damned perfect day, you can directly go home and take a hot shower then you have the whole evening to hang out with your family, friends for a jazz concert or just a club.
Anyway, this is my dream life and I hope you like it. And all of these are because the beautiful cycling experience. It’s cycling that brings me closer to my dreamy life.
We always tell ourselves that confidence is the very first step of doing something. You can never do anything without your self-confidence. However, sayings always go easier than the actions. The same is true for cycling beginners.
But we still have to say that confidence is the most important mental factor in cycling experience. For instance, you may have demonstrated the fitness to ride a 25K time trial averaging 22 mph, but you won’t attempt that pace if you don’t have the confidence that you can successfully maintain it throughout the race, right?
If it is ripe for change, confidence is also a mental area that will motivate you. Confidence will definitely somehow impact your cycling performance, so the very first thing you should do is to find ways to develope your confident.
You just have to make one imagine: when you ride, whose side are you on? Recognize that course wants to “beat” you with its distance, terrain, and road conditions and, if it’s a race, other riders in the field want to beat you. If you’re also against you, you don’t have a chance of overcoming those course conditions or hanging tough against the field.
As a maater of fact, in the normal sintuations, it’s easy to stay confident when you’re riding well, when the conditions are ideal, and when you’re one of the strongest riders. The real test of confidence, however, is how you respond when things aren’t going your way. This is called the “confidence challenge” and you have to take it.
Anyway, like I said before, make yourslef feel confident is the very first thing you should do for cycling better. And if you’re a beginner, why not try to cheer up and feel confident now?
Cycling is definitely one of the most popular sports nowadays. However, even for those who had their bikes for years, there are some blind spots for them. Here are the top three blind spots for cycling trips.
Continuous flat riding
Sometimes people may think your long Saturday hours in the saddle are building solid Ironman bike miles. But when’s the last time you did a long ride at a consistent heart rate with no breaks?
Once one of my friends told me to head out and rides at a heart rate of 135 bpm for three hours, flat, without stopping. I was amazed at how tough this was. But I built my stamina up so that I could ride long periods in my aero bars without stopping. Riding a draft-legal century without stopping, and then you can learn how to “use” each other legally while riding continuously.
Power zone holes
If you train with power, use analysis software to review last season’s power files. Typically, each of us will have a power zone that we avoid. If that zone is important for your goal race, then addressing the “hole” in your power profile can yield performance improvements. The same can apply to heart rate training. Plan your workouts to integrate the no-man’s land you’ve been missing.
You’re good at blasting yourself week after week, but don’t forget: Your muscles build strength while they’re recovering. All that work you’re doing will never pay off unless you give yourself time to rest and reap the rewards.
In fact, many things we do in the life have blind spots. Mostly people don’t know that. However, once you have noticed and changed them, it will be different in every time you try that. The same is true for cycling. As a cyclist who has years of cycling experience, I know this post is worth reading.
Well, let’s face it; it is never a rare thing in many countries that cyclists got their bike stolen. Thieves are everywhere and most cyclists rely on their beloved bikes. Therefore, you have to pay much more attention to the safety of your bike.
In fact, if more people took five minutes to record their bikes’ details and reported them as stolen should the worst happen, the force would be able to spend more of their time pursuing thieves and would be able to make more arrests.
As a matter of fact, if they come across a stash of bikes but can’t prove that they’ve been stolen then the thief might well walk away and have the bikes returned to him. It’s an uphill struggle, but it’s easy to see how registering bikes and reporting theft can help the taskforce to make more arrests, recover more bikes and push for tougher sentences. Here are some tips for you to protect your bike:
Record your bike (take a photo, log the frame number etc) and register it. If the bike’s stolen, report it.
If you’re buying a secondhand bike, be vigilant and cover your back. If you buy a stolen bike, even unknowingly, you can forget about statutory rights – it’ll be recovered and you’re unlikely to see a penny.
Don’t be naive: If you’re buying a new racing bike for 200 dollars and paying cash, something’s not right.
If you’re buying a secondhand bike, use PayPal. The company’s buyer protection scheme means that, should your bike later be found to be stolen, you’ll be able to recover the money as long as less than 45 days have elapsed.
Use two different locks – a thief will have to carry two tools to steal your bike.
For most of situations, we always talk about the long and cross-country cycling trips. However, as the winter is now here, many people also prefer short distance cycling. There are also many basic things for short cycling trips. Check out on the below:
Safety gears include eyewear, helmets, gloves and any kind of safety clothing item. Accidents can happen at any time and you want to be able to resist as many injuries as you can. Helmets protect the head; eyewear shields your eyes and creating greater visibility and protecting you from flying objects. Gloves can help you maintain your grip when it is most important.
The lights are always important for both long distance and short cycling trips, especially on dark days. Not unlike an automobile, you’ll need a white light in front and a red light in the rear so other drivers and bikers see you coming and going.
Please remember that always lock up your bike like you’d like lock your car. When leaving your bike in a high-theft area in public view, use a heavy chain and padlock. In a parking garage or indoors, you can get away with a lighter and less expensive cable lock. Ask a bike shop attendant to recommend a lock that fits your bike and your needs.
Bike Bells and Water bottles
The frantic ringing of bells is even more important for city cyclists. And these days, it appears the bigger the bell, the better. Make sure you’re able to give as well as you get with this fundamental bike accessory.
What’s more, you have to stay hydrated whether your ride is short or long so you will need your water bottle. You should consider a cage for your bottle as well for ease of access and portability.
As people knew this for a long time, UK is always considered as “the Kingdom of Cyclists”. Choosing cycling as the basis of a trip round Europe has made it even more popular. You may not be up to the level of the riders in the Tour de France, but it’s a great way to get out and see some of the most stunning areas of Europe. So, take a look at two of the top cycling destinations in Europe.
The first place is the Germany. Heading to the Bavarian Lakes is a gentle paced and easy ride starting and beginning in Munich. You’ll find yourself cycling through secluded valleys, meandering lakes and quaint villages.
The route will see you following the Loisach River through the Murnauer Moos nature reserve up to the sunny high-lying valley with stunning mountain views. Sites along the way include the old trading outpost of Bad Tolz and the village of Wallgau.
Before you travel make sure you buy Euros online. Check the exchange rate before travelling and purchase your Euros well in advance. Make sure you have a ready supply when out on your bike. There may not be too many ATMs around.
The second good place for cycling is Ireland. There is a rich cycling heritage in Ireland, with the roads between Cork and Galway offering something for everyone. And the odd pint of Guinness along the way – after all you’ll need to something to replace those lost calories. The Beara, Iveragh and Dingle peninsulas are well worth a visit, as is the limestone landscape of the Burren.
Of course there are many other different places for cycling in UK countries. You still can find whatever you like.
As you may also have noticed, cycling is becoming more and more popular in almost all the big cities in the world. Since Hong Kong is a rather good city for cycling, you can also see more and more cyclists on the road now. But many casual cyclists are woefully unaware of how to ride safety.
“Because most people in Hong Kong don’t know how to drive, they don’t really know the rules of the road,” says Osman Lee, who cycles regularly from his home in Tai Po to his work in West Kowloon. This much is obvious on the cycle tracks, where clueless weekend cyclists do inconsiderate things such as stopping without warning, riding the wrong way down the cycle track and not looking for traffic when they cross a street.
Even worse, some pedestrians and motorists have nothing but contempt for cyclists. Once, Lee was riding in Ma On Shan when he came across two joggers who were blocking the bike path. “When I asked them to move over, one of them got angry and pushed me off my bike,” he says.
Martin Turner is a member of the Hong Kong Cycling Alliance who commutes by bike from North Point to Wan Chai, often encounters bus drivers who cut him off and pin him to the curb at bus stops.
Turner still insists that cycling in Hong Kong doesn’t have to be scary. He offers a few pointed pieces of advice: wear a helmet, always be aware of your surroundings, if you’re riding on the road make sure you’re visible and don’t do something sudden without warning.
Anyway, the road safety is always one of the most talked topics for cyclists. We can’t decide what other do, however, for ourselves, we can at least do our best to pay attention to the road cycling safety.
Remember that we have already talked about the unique and awesome cycling routes that may take your breath away on your cycling trip? Here we have two other amazing cycling routes for you and you will definitely like them because they will bring you to the real nature.
Amsterdam is home to a bike-obsessed population. It is also touted as the most bike-friendly capital in the world. You can take a four-hour route covers 42 kilometers of the city’s rural and urban areas. Many buildings are the result of the 19th century urban expansion plan, some even older. You’ll feel as the princess in the old western fairy tales.
As for this cycling route, the pedalers will cruise past a ring canal, a river-dike, windmills, Albert Cuyp strata, the famous street market in Holland, and a now-defunct Heineken brewery. Roads are generally narrow but enjoyable with light traffic.
Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, Canada – United States
The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route is known as the longest off-pavement bike route in the world. It is also probably the most challenging bike trail in the world. Many cyclists even consider it as the “Holy Grail” of the mountain bike world.
Apart from the challenges it will bring to new cyclists, the toughest and steepest sections in Montana could prove challenging even for the most experienced, but the ride is the best endurance test you could ever hope for.
These two places are two of the most popular routes for many cyclists in all over the world. Therefore, if you got the time and the energy, why not just set up your bike and have a try?