Spring Into Cycling

10 April, 2018

Spring is in the air! Well, at least in some parts of the world. While it's becoming brighter and warmer in NY this week, I'm ready to take my sunny winter cycling travels outside to celebrate Springs arrival. I'm also excited for this time of year for group rides, new kit, and cute gear. To welcome April showers for May's Spring flowers and Bike Month, I  thought I'd do a series of posts to help build up your Spring dreams of riding with some tips for cycling from commuting to roading this season. While you're dusting off your bicycles and boxing up your winter layers, get ready to head out with a little spring in your pedal with these sunny cycling tips.

Get Your Bike Ready
Clean and tune up your bike. If you're not familiar with how to do so, got to your nearest bike shop to ensure that the jobs will be done right. It's important to make sure your tires, brakes, gear, and chains are cleaned and well lubed for your adventures ahead. For all seasons, adorn your ride with some of my favorite bike safety gear like an Knog Oi Bike Bell and Blinder MOB Bike Lights.

Get Fit
If you haven't been riding as much, you're going to need to work harder to get fit to cycle. Never force yourself to cycle when you don’t feel like. If you're just starting back, it's not a good idea to plan long uphill cycles, instead, build your stamina and muscles. If you find yourself at the gym, try doing a couple of these stationary bike workouts. Be careful though, Spring knee is real and the results from increasing too many miles too quickly is sharp pain across the top of the kneecap, painful.

Layer Up
Spring is full of unpredictable weather and the worst is getting caught in rain without proper wear. The most crucial items to own are arm warmers, leg warmers, and a packable waterproof jacket (highly recommend Co-op Cycles Packable Hooded Jacket). A good base layer is also good in keeping out moisture when you start warming up and sweating. Either way, best to play it safe when the weather is still cool but not warm enough.

Set Goals
If you have not cycled for a while start off by doing a few laps of your local park then graduate to routes that you know, to shops, the gym, a local cafĂ©, to work, then maybe weekend warrior it up with some serious miles when you're feeling good about your abilities. You can set yourself a goal in kilometers (or miles) a week and work your way up using Strava while measuring your progress.

Map Your Ride
When you feel ready to cycle all the way to work or to a night out, check your route. Use Google Maps or Map My Ride, select the cycling option and type in your starting point and destination and it will recommend a route on quieter, more cycle friendly roads. You should also check the weather so you're not surprised by Spring showers, nothing's worse than arriving to your destination soaked.

National Bike Challenge May - Sept 2018
National Bike Challenge is a great way to get back on the saddle for motivation and join a team (of up to 8 riders) to have some fun 
riding and encouraging friends and others to ride too. The National Bike Challenge is an online platform, free for everyone to use to log their miles and celebrate riding, while finding inspiration to ride more often. The Challenge brings together tens of thousands of people who bike across the country who share a love of bicycling. You can sign up for free at www.lovetoride.net to compete as an individual, or sign up your workplace, school, or team. For years I have joined friends in my local community and around the country to inspire and motivate myself and friends to ride. It's definitely helpful to have friends challenge and inspire you so if you would like to join, I built my own team to give you a place to start at Team Presta.  You don't have to be an athlete or serious cyclist, you can be a beginner, a weekend warrior, or commuter. This is just a space to give you the motivation to get your spring in your pedal.

Photo Courtesy: @TokyBike_NYC 

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