Cycling To Work For Fun And Workout
This post is in continuation with the Beginners cycl-o-pedia !
Cycling To Work For Fun And Workout
There are 3 types of cycles in the market, to choose from. The MTB (mountain terrain bike), the Roadie (street bikes) and finally, the Hybrid (as the name suggests something in the middle). Once you have pinned down on the bike, next on the list is some basic yet vital accessories that you will need for a safe ride. In order of importance I would like to list out the 5 must haves –
Rear signal light
Lock for the cycle
Bottle cage and a bottle
Reflective gear (for the evening rides).
All these accessories are easily available on the internet or at the nearest cycle shop whichever is more convenient for you. With the cycle and gear ready the time has come for the real deal!
Ready To Enjoy A Cycling Work Out?
Talking like a true novice the first realization that will strike you is that cycling is rather easy! Even though, you will feel the mildest of inclines on the road. The first 5 to 10 kms will quite literally be a breeze. But if you are looking to break into a sweat and workout then cycling is about discipline. The goal in mind has to be a target distance or destination that you must achieve in a challenging time.
Use an App
So how do you calculate all this while pedaling atop a skimpy saddle? Simple, get a mobile app. I use Strava. Its easy, works on GPS, gives you all the relevant data like time, speed, distance, calories burnt, route map and it also has a social network angle to it with friends and peers keeping you motivated. But most importantly the app records all the vital stats from your rides and helps you improve. So just sign up and let the app do all the math while you enjoy your workout.
If you ask me, my rules are simple. On a workout ride I try to cycle for at least 2- 2.5 hours with no more than 2 5 minute brakes. I ride for at least 30- 35 kilometres and try to achieve an average speed of 20 Kmph for at least one of the sections of my ride. While speed is determined by several factors external to your ride like road inclines, traffic etc. anything upwards of 18 kmph is respectable.
Coming to mileage, now this is a tricky on, how much is too much? Well for me in Bangalore I try to do 2 rides over weekends with a work out in mind (as mentioned above) and on rest of the days I cycle to work (4times a week) which is a leisurely 4.5 kms ride that I do in 20 minutes.
In Gurgaon I could ride only during certain times of the day keeping in mind the weather, but Bangalore has spoilt me. Though it is said riding early morning is the best since cycling is a medium cardiovascular activity, I just listen to my body!
Pedal In A Pack
The other interesting facet about this sport is this can be done in communities and groups. In fact cycling in fact is being called the new golf! Riding in packs can be motivating and inspiring and I have seen many pick up the sport and excel in it within 6 months of joining these groups. Cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Hyderabad each have more than a dozen such communities and all of them are led and managed by enthusiasts who conduct everything from leisure to inter-state rides. So once you are confident you could give these groups a try!
Call it a sport, a work out or just a lifestyle choice I love to pedal because when I am cycling I am the engine, I am the fuel!
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