A great sport for novices and cycling enthusiasts

Cycling is an easy activity to integrate into everyday life. Beyond a bicycle and a helmet, equipment needs are relatively modest. Beyond appealing to riders of all ability levels, bicycling also delivers many health benefits, including weight loss, stress reduction and joint strengthening.

Bicycle Types

There are many different types of bicycles, used for specific purposes:

  • Utility bikes are usually used for commuting and errands.

  • For off-road cycling, choose a mountain bike.

  • On-road racing is best done on a racing bike.

  • For long journeys, choose a touring bike; they're built for both comfort and durability.

  • For stunt and trick performers, a BMX bike is the only way to go.

  • A cruiser bicycle is a single-speed bike that's sometimes also called a beach bike.

  • Recumbent bikes deliver even weight distribution and a comfortable ride by utilizing a reclined seating position.

  • Also referred to as light electric vehicles, or LEVs, electric bicycles include all bikes driven by electricity-powered motors.

Bicycle Racing

For racing, a road bike and a helmet are minimum requirements. Buying equipment that fits correctly is very important for optimal safety, so consider getting fitted by a professional. You should also participate only in events suitable for your skill level. Join a local racing club if you're interested in improving your skill level, and be prepared to train by riding 100 miles a week; dedicated racers train by riding as much as 250 miles a week.

Cycling Vacations

Cycling vacations are built around bicycle tours. On a bicycle tour, you'll ride at a leisurely pace, with trips running anywhere from a few hours to months-long cross-continent journeys. Bicycle tour companies offer cycling vacation packages which provide guides, meals and accommodations. Participants can choose the desired location and the difficulty level. Terrain choices range from flat to moderate to hilly, and should be chosen with your skill level and comfort in mind.

For a more economical option, consider bike clubs that organize longer rides and make stopovers at places like campgrounds and motels. If you choose to go this route, make sure you're aware of the pace the tour will take before you commit to it and ensure you have all the cycling apparel you'll need to take part. Cycling can be enjoyed throughout life, and working it into a daily routine will only make you healthier.

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