One important step to fitness, is to keep at it, and find a way to bike along and defeat a lack of motivation. Often, it will be the hardest part of your bike ride, or any exercise for that matter; as a lack of motivation can really create the excuses flowing. Your willingness to even use your bike can be defeated easily, so having some prepared review of your excuses and reasons not to exercise are good for motivation.
Riding can be a grueling or a pleasant experience. Sometimes a cyclist will create a more than effective routine, that will impact future rides. For instance, if you are really a 2 mile bike rider, why push yourself to 6 miles? There is no reason, unless you want to get somewhere, and even then, all you are doing is creating a way to block your good future bike rides. Sometimes, taking a break by bus or train, will really keep you moving. When you are fighting a lack of motivation, keep these excuses from running a script in your mind.
The only one that could be certainly important to follow, would be last one, and safety concerns are more important than any risky exercise. Sometimes just waiting until the morning, and getting to bed early can make this excuse real, but invalid. See how you can modify the train of thought, and find your way around a lack of motivation.
Working for yourself, and yourself alone, is the best motivator by far. If you have a partner who is less active, certainly it is easier to follow their lead, and just remain complacent. But remember, your health and happiness is at stake. Have some self respect, and ensure your good will towards others by creating goodness for yourself first.
Looking at your lack of motivation excuse list, let’s bust this one open with your open and clear thinking mind.
One thing you can always do to beat a lack of motivation, is to run at full speed, with no excuses. Always find a way to positively charge your routine, and find the light at the end of the tunnel. This will ensure your ride will happen, and your lack of motivation will leave as soon as you decide it is possible.
Riding a bike often brings us to a place of comfort in our mind, but not in our body; all too often it is on the bike seat. When you are placing a great deal of force on one part of your body, especially your bike seat, you will find that you have uncomfortable moments of stress and fatigue on your rear end. This is not the outcome that you should expect, and as any horseman or horsewoman can tell you, the process of being comfortable in your chair is very important. Not only for your good exercise and fitness, but for your ongoing return to the bike seat in the future.
One way to ensure you get the best bike seat for your next ride, is to head out to your local store, and just sit on a couple of bikes. Even better, find a great bike store that you can marry yourself to as an ongoing cyclist. There is no better way to make sure and purchase the right bike seat other than by giving one a try. Each cyclist has different needs, and rides differently. Many bike riders who use a bike to get to errands and to the surrounding area around your home or office. Some ride for tremendous exercise, and to fulfill a desire to match a goal. Others, ride to see the landscape, find a peace, and enjoy the transit along the way. Most of us bikers are using it to get to work.
With this in mind, we want to find the right place to put our butts! I have tried the old grannie seat, the giant triangle pad with springs underneath, the skinny tiny bone harness seat, for the racer in me, and the gel cover on top of that skinny seat. Eventually, for me, the pillow top schwinn seat was the winner. It is most like the seat I was used to growing up, and being used to the substantial feel of the seat ensures more safety for me.
Working through this problem is really about your own body. Sometimes too, you might have the wrong bike in general. Do you have a bike shop that you trust? It is very important that you do a little research before you move forward with a change on the seat, because as I have found out, sometimes the bike itself is the wrong size. For me, the frame was too big. No matter how much I adjusted the seat, the handlebar frame or the pedals, I would be missing that perfect ride. Why have a cumbersome ride, when you can enjoy the effort to its best potential? And, make sure your frame is built for your gender, and the seat too. With anatomy requirements met, the bike seat can be accommodated to run at its best.
If you have a back issue or a joint continuing problem, be sure to bring in your bike seat at your next doctor visit. Each seat is not perfect for each person. The difference in weight of the bike user can contribute to a new bike seat being a great value. Or, if the user is used to one kind of seat versus another, safety will require you use that kind of bike seat to ensure you have the best option for your use.
Often times, a biker will begin a trip with a great adventure in mind, and a sudden summer storm will appear, and transition from a happy time to a dangerous one. Biking is a dangerous sport, so weather is often something you can be sure will be part of the probable scary mix. Sudden summer storms come in the way of hail, high winds, heavy rain and winds, and even tornadoes and straight line winds.
With the summer beginning in 2014, the rain has been a very common thread for us in Minnesota. Lately, it has been pretty difficult to get out and have a ride without a few rain drops at the beginning or the end. The main problem with sudden summer storms in MN are that they do not always appear at the times of departure of a bike run. The weather appears beautiful, and in the short time of even a half hour, clouds can gather, and the weather can change. For this reason, you must be careful and review your local weather before you leave the house to prepare for sudden summer storms.
If you are caught in a storm, and find that it is just unpredictable and is going to impact you, what can you do? The best thing is to always be prepared with some good tools!
Be sure to carry a fully charged phone, and one that has a radio app handy on it. The best defense too, is having a radar app, that can check on your location. However, if you are out of cell phone range, nothing with this plan will work. It may be a good idea to carry a small battery powered radio, so that you can check on warnings or weather alerts. Maps of your trip area are also necessary, so you can plan a shelter route if you have time. Sudden Summer Storms often can’t be out run or out biked, but you can define your escape route by map much easier than just a guess.
If you don’t have a radio, phone access or a map, use this trick, and bike towards the sun in the morning, and away from the sun in the afternoon. Heading east is often the safest way to travel, as most storms travel from west to east. Not always the case, but you can gage a sudden summer storm by wetting your finger and seeing what direction the wind is heading. Ride with the wind, and get yourself to a sheltered location quick.
Any outlying farmer or city business will be happy to help you in a sudden summer storm. Even though some city vehicle drivers have a passionate hate towards city bikers, those same drivers will be compassionate in times of need. This could be one of the only times you may have as a cyclist to outreach to these citizens. Ensuring that you are in a safe area until the sudden summer storm passes, you are not only envisioning a safe place to stay during the weather, but a way to broaden someone’s appreciation for our sport.
When you are biking in the summer, be sure to carry a lightweight but waterproof jacket for use in heavy rain. It will help too if you get caught in small hail, but large hail can be very dangerous. That is why getting to shelter is a true mission when a sudden summer storm occurs. Good shoes, and a hat are another key clothing piece to carry. It is hard to carry all the items you will need to ride without too much weight, but if you do not prepare for a safe ride, you are not providing yourself a way to ride in the future. It is always about keeping the ride going forward, even when a sudden summer storm hits.
One of the most important things you can do if you hope to continue biking in winter, is to add performance fabrics to your wardrobe. Unlike man made rayon or polyester which don’t offer warmth or a wind block, performance fleece, or nylon shelled fabrications keep you warm and dry. Light, and durable, performance fleece and fabrications increase loft between you and the outside air, and allow you to create a true buffer between the cold air and your working body. But, more important than the buffer, is the ability to continue your work out, by being able to sweat during your workout. Continue your en devour of finding time to bike in winter, and sweat without getting chilled. Biking in winter requires advance planning and knowledge due to the elements you are exposed to.
Layer your body with a nylon lightweight inner layer, which is stretchy and thin, if you hope to cycle in winter successfully. Biking in winter is a challenge, but you can do it! The main thing is that you layer. Layer your first long underwear so that it is like a thermal layer, and make sure you use a layer that is reported to wick moisture from your skin. This is the most important thing you can do, and this effect does not work with cotton, but with a performance finished fabrication, that over time, loses its effective features. Often, the pieces are separate, and close to your body.
Then, move towards a long sleeved stretchy fabric, that offers a smooth outer face, and a brushed edge to the inside of the garment. Often, a polyester blend with spandex or nylon is the right option to continue your biking in winter. This fabrication is often your middle layer, when the temperature is below freezing. When you are hovering around 40 to 50, you may just need to add a light polyester wind breaker on top of this shirt or vest. Always wear your lightweight skivvies and then this layer, to ensure your shell is being created.
Add to your performance fleece, and inner layers, a nice pair of stretchy performance wide leg pants. The waistband should be wide too, and this layer will add to your buffer zone. Keep your mind around whether the wind is fierce, or if you can go with just this layer. If wind is a huge factor, another layer on top of this pant, will be necessary. Dupont makes a nice breathable but wind resistant fabrication, that is made for just that outer wind layer. This is a third layer, and will hamper your movement a bit, but if you strap this layer close to your ankles, and ensure that all the other layers are fitting nicely, you will be moving and biking easily.
Why Biking in Winter is Fun
The best time to cycle and road bike is in winter in my opinion. All the newbies and the road warriors have put their bikes to bed. Slush makes for an even better ride, as many bikers don’t venture out to the road. The time is yours and yours alone! Don’t miss out on the crisp air, the beauty of the season, and the serenity it brings. Biking in winter is possible with good performance buffering fabrications, and a little bit of courage.
If you have ever wanted to travel to Maine to visit the national parks that they offer, you are in luck. Due to the United States Government Sequestration of 2013, the national park Budgets are seeing a cut of $400,000 this year. This has forced them to cut many services, and to open the parks later than is usual in the spring. For this reason, cyclists and bikers are going to enjoy free riding sessions without motor vehicles to points up to Cadillac Point until May 15th.
With the government cuts, you will see less services offered during this period of time, but you as a cyclist will be able to ride in a comfort that is rare and unusual in America. Making lemons into lemonade, an adventurous biker or mountain biker, will find a nice clean road awaits, without the foot traffic of pedestrians and cars. The envy of the country, Acadia National Park is one of the most pristine and lovely parks in the world. With the high slopes and the ease of access, you can welcome the break of dawn at the earliest time from anywhere in the world. You can climb to Cadillac Mountain, and see Nova Scotia from 25 miles away. The height of the mountain will allow you to enjoy a natural and beautiful experience, and the park will be open, but not to motor vehicles for this brief period of time.
Visitors and Tourism thrive at Bar Harbor, and they are broadcasting cyclists and bikers only until May 15, 2013. With this rare opportunity, you will be able to meet and enjoy some of your fellow self propelled enthusiasts enmass, with no fighting amongst vehicles and other traffic. From this point on highway 233, you will not be allowed to travel further up to Cadillac Mountain, so there will be much space and tranquility to enjoy the many views of the area.
The ride to the point parking lot is around 30 miles from the KOA campground in Bar Harbor, but you could easily break this into a couple of days ride, as the park does have good campgrounds available. Be sure to check with the Bar Harbor community chamber of commerce, for good insight for your quiet ride to the mountain.
Not only does the sequestration of the United States Government kick the community of Bar Harbor a little hiccup, but it does bring on some hardship. Relying on the spring and summer months for tourism, the city is built to make your trip as pleasurable as they can. With the loss of car traffic, there will be many grateful bars and restaurants waiting to serve you. Not only do servers and owners of tourism specialty stores rely on your visit, but there are many gas stations, banks, grocery stores, and motels that will welcome your friendly face.
Travel to Maine during the April 14-May 14 period where bikes are doing the park and the town a huge favor, and you will be welcomed instead of warned.
A great way to spring into the summer season, or to revamp your fitness routine, is to find time for biking. The cycle is the best exercise machine for the human body, and allows a range of motion that is stress free, and often less damaging to major muscle groups. When building your next fitness regime, be sure build into this plan, biking.
Whenever you are building a fitness routine, start simple, and the best way to start on a bike is to try a stationary biking platform. Biking can be a great way to stretch, move and evolve your fitness routine into a cardiac-vascular workout. The routine should start with a simple time of 5 minutes per workout, each day. This easy way to build muscle and endurance, will not discount your efforts by injury or lack of motivation. If you are building your fitness routine into a more robust program, and you have not exercised for years, why build your routine too quickly, and then find your motivation depleted, and yourself injured? Biking is best when you build your momentum slowly and with caution.
Stationary Bikes will improve your agility and ability to handle the stress of the road, without having to build your strength in a dangerous roadway. Biking can be very engaging, but the road is a dangerous place for most biking ventures. Cars, trucks and municipal transit offerings are very often busy and will offer some challenges for those bikers who bike with a level of physical challenge. It will be important for you as a cyclist to build your strength, and do it preferably on the bike you will road ride. You can do this with a indoor exercise trainer stand, and build your bike into this stand with a simple attachment. This is a great way to convert any bike to stationary, and start biking with safety.
Your biking efforts will only be hindered by a too quick jump onto your new bike, without an adjustment to the seat on your bike, and the gloves you will use. The handlebars are a point of stress, and unlike the pedals that have increased movement to stop stress from building, your seat is the second stress point in biking.
Building strength on your stationary bike, you can see how your hands and butt will be affected by your exercise efforts. This is key information, as some cyclists and riders find the biking efforts better suited with additional padding, or less padding. The choice is really how your body works, and how it is best accommodated during your biking ride. If you have any issues with your ride, more than often it is related to your seat or your grasp on the handle bars.
The third stress point is surprisingly not the bike itself, but the environment in which your ride will occur. Often the weather will be a benefit, or a true impact on how successful your ride can become. That is another reason the stationary trainer position can be successful to continue your endurance skills. With rain and wind, there will be days with no outdoor possibility, but, you may want that 10 minutes of freedom to keep your pace.
Continue your goals of running fast, but with caution, and do this on your stationary biking setup. With a stationary setup, you may like it so much, that you end up finding a similar or the same bike as your outdoor runner. This is a great way to continue into the summer your biking exercise regime, and find that stress free and safe exercise program. No one needs a treadmill with a stationary indoor bike restrainer or exerciser.
Biking can be fun when you are fit, safe and in a position to continue that path into the future.
In choosing a new bicycle, picking the right size frame is vital if you want to have the perfect position when riding. There are various other factors to consider but frame size is the most important and if you get this wrong, nothing else will matter.
There are many online charts that are designed to help cyclists in choosing the right frame so I will not reproduce one here. However, before you head off to look for one, make sure that you have your height and inside leg measurements on hand. As frames are usually measured from the centre of the crank to the top of the frame where the seat tube will be inserted, the most important measurement to consider when choosing a frame is your inside leg as this will dictate whether a certain model will be a good fit or not.
Once you have established what size frame you need, it is time to consider the other factors that will affect your riding position and whether you are likely to be comfortable over long distances. The four most important of these are listed below:
Other factors to consider include handlebar grips, the length of your crank arms and the position of your pedals and saddle. By keeping the aforementioned points in mind, you should have no trouble in getting the perfect bicycle for your outdoor pursuits.
About the Author
ProBikeKit is a leading provider of bike tires, frames, and other components across the UK. They offer clients with a wide range of products, both online and offline.
[This story was written by northwest Portland resident and local transportation activist Rebecca Hamilton.]
While our neighbors in southeast Portland emblazon their Neighborhood Greenway intersections with painted sunflowers and north Portland artists envision gold-leaf murals of cycling heroes along popular cycling routes, the Northwest District has long seemed to pedal on indifferently, unattached to biking as a part of its identity.
“If the northwest wants to join its eastside quadrants in consciously cultivating a neighborhood of bike commuters…it will take a culture shift.”
— Rebecca Hamilton
Now, on the brink of transformation, the Northwest District is becoming aware of the significance of cycling for its future. With the approval of the Con-way Master Plan last month — a plan that calls for the transformation of the parking lot tundras north of Overton into multi-story residential and office space — we can expect a possible influx of tens of thousands of new residents into this area over the next two decades. Northwest Portland’s best move is to embrace active transportation as the preferred and dominant modes of getting around the neighborhood if it is to avoid an auto-dominated circus that would wreck our quiet quality of life.
But despite a comfortable network of sharrow-ed, low-traffic streets, enthusiasm and ridership seem lacking. If the northwest wants to join its eastside quadrants in consciously cultivating a neighborhood of bike commuters, errand-runners, and recreationalists, it will take a culture shift. So, how do we do that? We think we can start with bike fun.
At first glance, Bunny on a Bike rides and Mario Kart mushrooms in the bike lanes may seem like frivolous elements unrelated to the serious business of increasing bicycle mode share and safety in American cities. But these little things show that cycling is something celebrated and is part of the character of a neighborhood; it cultivates a camaraderie among riders that can that develop into pride. With pride comes ownership and a sense of responsibility. Over time, a strong bike-fun culture can attract new ridership (and the safety that numbers bring) and develop the local advocacy that is essential if cycling is to (metaphorically) take the lane in our neighborhood.
Local organizers are looking for ways to make cycling an integral part of how our neighbors experience their home. For example, the Northwest District Association (NWDA) tied their local love of our parks to enthusiasm for family cycling with their second annual Bike-In Movie event last week (it was Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure). Everyone who arrived by bike received a raffle ticket for a chance at lots of great prizes from Bikeasaurus.
Local historians, too, have been making the connection between bikes and our pride as one of Portland’s first neighborhoods. This past spring, the Historic Preservation League of Oregon used a bicycle tour as a way to showcase the places that make northwest Portland unique in their Pedalpalooza ride called, The Dream of the 1890s is Alive in NW Portland.
Building on the interest from that event, the 2012 Slabtown Festival (tomorrow, 9/15!) will also feature a bike tour of the former working-class, immigrant neighborhood north of Pettygrove St. — again demonstrating to neighbors how bikes can be part of the way we celebrate our distinctive historic character.
Going beyond passive existence and moving towards conscious participation in — and celebration of — a neighborhood cycling culture will take some work. But if we can adopt cycling as a key part of our identity now, then the NW District may be able to retain its quiet historical character even as it welcomes thousands of new neighbors to join us on the roads.
We’re looking to head in a new direction. Come join us for the ride.
In the summer of 2011 I decided to take a cycling tour in the UK. I spent hours researching where I was going to go and which tour to take. There are dozens of choices that cross gorgeous mountains, open fields and rocky coastlines. I ended up booking a tour for the Isle of Wight in July 2011. My fiance and I planned to do the tour together as a bonding experience.
We chose the Isle of Wight because of the beautiful scenery, slight hills and photography opportunities. As two hobby photographers, we wanted the best opportunity for photos. We also wanted a physical challenge that wasn’t too overwhelming.
Supplies are the most important thing when taking on a biking tour. We both chose mountain bikes from bikesnbits website. My fiancé chose the “Claud Butler dalesman 2012 touring Bike”, and I opted for the “Dawes karakum Ladies touring Bike”. Both had the specifications we needed for our body type and goal. We purchased some simple equipment in addition to the bikes from bikes-by-mail-order.co.uk. We already have hiking and cycling packs, but we needed water packs to include in our luggage. Bikesnbits provided all of our materials.
The Isle of Wight tour is a medium-level challenge. It’s the perfect balance between easy and difficult. My fiance and I were very excited to set off on our journey. Day one started at Cowes, and it moves counter clockwise around the isle. It is 64 miles around the entire area. This takes five days to complete and four nights.
We rode for a few miles at a time. Periodically the group stopped to take photos, stretch and drink water. This wasn’t a race, so we were comfortable taking in the scenery and enjoying what the Isle of Wight had to offer. The first few hills were easy, but as the day dragged on they felt tougher. We rested in an open area spot for the night completely surrounded by beautiful grass and nature.
We started with a gorgeous sunrise over wight. We had a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit and nuts before gearing up to go. Our next stretch of land was Cowes to Mottistone. This is a total of 23 miles. It was uneventful for the most part. The village here is gorgeous. It’s all very quaint and charming. My fiance and I decided that we would live here happily if we could. We spied various animals running across our path and in the grasses. The weather was pleasant.
This route took us from Mottistone to Sandown, Just 22 miles in total distance. You can see the beach from this strip, and we actually stopped to enjoy it for a brief period of time. The ocean was still quite chilly though. We didn’t spend much time in the water, but we watched the wildlife on the shore until sunset. The weather was warm so no fires were needed. It was another beautiful day of perfect weather.
This was our last night that we would be sleeping. Nearing the end of our journey we felt quite sad to be leaving this beautiful place. It won our hearts completely. Sandown back to Cowes was a nice journey, but some of the final hills were a bit of a challenge. We were tired and ready for a shower.
Our last day was spent finishing up our exploration of Cowes and enjoying great company. We made some friends on the way so we exchanged our information with them. We had one last meal and departed by ferry from the Isle of Wight.
Concluding Our Journey
Experienced riders will not face any challenges while out. Beginners will have a harder time overcoming the rocky paths, hills and sandy shoreline areas. The path isn’t secluded completely, but it is quiet and away from the towns and villages as much as possible. If there were an emergency, you would be able to get help quickly. That’s part of why we chose this area.
This cycling tour has easy access to historical sites, villages and natural beauty. This tour can be as long or short as you like. It is customizable to include off-trail routes as well. We chose to stick with the trail. We didn’t want to risk getting lost. We are now excited to go on more cycle tours in the UK and around the world. It was simply a life-changing experience. Overall it was a trip to remember with adventures and good times.
Author Bio: Lisa and my fiancé take this tour and really enjoyed these places. We both love traveling and I love to write about tours, Traveling and biking.