Here’s why I ride because it makes me HAPPY. It’s why most people ride. Cycling releases endorphin, gets your heart pumping, gets large body muscles moving. End result is a state of bliss. Hitting a 100km ride does all this and also kicks in a sense of achievement and a kick ass biker tan. Tan lines are badges of honor for most bikers and I wear mine with pride!
Quick tips on getting started
A comfortable bike is essential to ensuring you ride more. An ill-fitted uncomfortable bike calls for aches, saddle sores, injuries and definitely a less enjoyable ride.
Riding a 20km distance is an achievable goal for every new biker. A well-fitted cycle, good nutrition, hydration, body form and right technique can take those riding miles much further. You could ride your bike for recreation or you can cycle to get fitter and build a core of steel.
So what kind of biker are you?
A Roadie – Burn the tarmac doing distances with endurance and speed in mind. A Mountain Biker – Hit the trail, maneuvering rocks, boulders, and the wilderness. A Randonneur – riders attempt courses of 200 km or more, passing through predetermined checkpoints.
Turn commuter – Change your lifestyle and get to work on a bike. Get fitter and save a lot of money. You could mix it all up and take up cyclo tourism – Travel but on a cycle making great friends along the way
To get better at the sport, ride as often as you can. Short easy rides are helpful but if you’d like to reach your peak push yourself to break a barrier you’re comfortable riding at. The golden rule while cycling, “Eat before you’re hungry, drink before you’re thirsty”.Stick to the basics of hydration (750ml/hr) and nutrition (200Cal/hr). On my longer rides I carry two bottles – water and electrolytes for replenishing lost salts, chikki, DIY energy bars and a banana.
Remember your sleep is as essential as training. Get a 1:3 protein:carb meal within 15-20 minutes of your ride session and hydrate through the day. Increase your training volume by 10% at each session. Do this and you should be gunning for the 100km within a few months!
Tip from professional cyclist Naveen John: jump into a cold shower to bring down your core temperature after a long ride. This helps reduce the inflammation in your joints, setting in recovery sooner.
Looking after your bike
Cycles are mechanical wonders. Top cycling brands focus on R&D to make good machines. Remember your bike has lots of moving parts, which means there is constant wear and tear. Look after you bike and your bike will look after you. For example, if you are out in the rain, make sure you give your bike a thorough wash and lubricate the chain. A great online resource on all things related to bike care – http://bit.ly/1L30b4O
Payal Kini is a Early Childhood educator by profession but now works at BUMSONTHESADDLE . She heads their retail operations for the cycling company, building bike shops and looking after the bike shop operations. Her addiction to riding started when she saw the team at BUMSONTHESADDLE live and breathe cycling! “It kinda grew on me”. At BOTS we are re-defining the way cycling is experienced in India. Stop by at our bikeshops and say hello or check them outline http://bumsonthesaddle.com/. She also loves to run, beer, good food and dark chocolate!