To say that there’s a tension on the road between cyclists and other road users is an understatement – at times it feels like Mad Max out there! For us cyclists the roads can be an intimidating place. It often feels as if it’s only a matter of time before someone drives too close, cuts us up, squeezes us in or vents some violence in our direction.
But to be fair, an equal amount of the blame lies on the cyclist. There will be plenty of whinges about this post, but as a cyclist trained to teach others to ride in the city, I can assure you cyclists need to wise up!
Here’s 5 things cyclists never do:
There’s an old adage that in life, you get what you pay for. Us cycling enthusiasts know that better than most. It only takes a couple of major breakdowns due to poor quality parts for you to realise that it’s always worth paying for quality.
But while planning and purchasing equipment for a major upcoming bike trip, this lesson has been hammered home in even more emphatic fashion.
Around this time last year, I set off from Brno in the Czech Republic on a cycling trip heading down to Vienna to join the mighty Danube. Following its course, I made it as far as the Romanian border before time constraints forced me to turn back.
And along the way I learned a thing or two about panniers:
Cycling holidays are an increasingly common way to discover the world, and South-East Asia never ceases to captivate travellers who take to two wheels.
So, whether it’s looking for a dreamy honeymoon hotspot, searching for that cultural icon, or seeking out its adrenalin-induing activities, it’s got to be on your list.
Across this swathe of land, from the hidden temples of Burma to the wild beaches of Bali, the landscape shifts and shapes, from polished skyscrapers and balmy rainforest to plunging waterfalls.
Get into the spirit of this year’s sporting extravaganza and do a two-wheeled tour of this fascinating region.
Getting the right riding position on your bike is very important. For beginners, who don’t quite know what a bike should feel like, it can often be helpful to get some advice on how to position your bars and saddle so that you can ride efficiently.
For those who have chronic or nagging injuries due to riding, it could be because a poor position is putting strain on certain parts of the body. Then there are the serious riders who are looking for marginal gains in their times and think a change of position might help them achieve this.
Looking at it objectively, these all seem like pretty good reasons to employ the services of a bike fitter. Or are they?
If you’ve recently taken to cycling and want more than the British summer can offer, in Ravenna there’s a ride waiting for you…
In January I started the Evolving Cyclist Project to see what an average commuter could do with some support in a season spent training for one event.
The event was to be a Gran Fondo (classic long distance Italian race) and the location Emilia Romagna.
Well, after earthquakes shook the northern Italian region to its core and ‘Le Tour’ took centre stage, it looked like the dream had ended.
And then I got the email…
After what can only be described, at best, as a patchy summer, the nights are once again rolling in. It’s traditionally the time to put away the pannier bags and forget all about cycling holidays and Euro bike tours for another year.
Unless, that is, you start to think a little further afield into Southern Europe. The dismal UK weather might make touring only for the diehards, but in France and Spain the milder conditions means euro bike tours are very much still in full swing.
There are several reasons why, over the last twenty years, so many Brits have swapped pound for euro, upped sticks and took bike tours abroad – here are just a few:
There aren’t many better feelings on a bike than getting to the top a gruelling climb. It might feel like searing hot pokers are being jammed into your thighs and that a particularly cruel and invisible giant is squeezing the air out of your lungs on the way up.
But when you get to the top, it’s almost always completely worth the effort. Plus, you get to ride back down again.
Getting the miles under your belt on the flat with a nice tail wind is all well and good. But the best cycling holidays are all about achievement. And being the king or queen of the mountains is about as good as it gets.
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