People at almost every level of fitness can try cycling to stay healthy.
From young children accompanying Mom and Dad on a leisurely ride to Grampa enjoying a Sunday trek, cycling holds universal appeal. However, if you’re looking to compete in races, master high-octane tricks, or break world records, you have to be in the best shape possible.
Why? Not only do you need strong muscles and powerful reflexes for maximum control over your bike, you also have to work on your endurance. After all, the longer you can perform at the peak of your abilities, the better your results.
You’ll need to actually get off your bike to build a tougher body, though. Check out these four exercises for a little inspiration …
Crunches to Hone your Core
Don’t confuse crunches with sit-ups. You don’t need to bring your torso upright to make maximum impact on your abs.
Instead, lie flat on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor (you might want to slip them under your bed or ask a friend to hold them in place). Put your arms behind your head (without pushing on it) or stretched forward, with your hands on your thighs.
Now, curl your torso up, slowly, towards your knees. Get your shoulders elevated around four or six inches, without actually sitting fully. Lower yourself, and repeat.
Aim for between three and five sets of 10 to start with.
Squats to Refine your Legs
Squats are a fantastic way to strengthen your calves and thighs, building explosive power. They do take a toll on your first attempts, but you’ll notice the difference to your cycling over time.
Stand with your feet in line with your hips, and your abs taut. Then, bending your hips and knees, lower to a squat position. Stop when your thighs are parallel with the floor, and then rise.
You might want to perform this with a dumbell in each hand, or with your arms out in front of you.
Aim for three sets of 12, and then stop.
Planks for your Core, Back, and Shoulders
While crunches work your core too, planks also strengthen your shoulders and lower back at the same time.
These bodyweight exercises are simple to perform, requiring no equipment. Just lie on your front, and then come up onto your forearms and toes. Tighten your abs.
Hold this position for between 10 – 20 seconds, rest, and then repeat two more times.
As you get more used to it, increase the number of seconds or add more sets.
Burpees for your Whole Body
Anyone who’s had experience with burpees may break out into a cold sweat … but don’t worry: they’re not as bad as you remember!
Start off standing, before dropping into a squat, with your fingertips on the floor in front of you. Then, press your palms flat to support your weight as you kick your legs back behind you.
You should be in position to perform a push-up, without actually doing so.
Now, bring your legs back in, adopt that squat posture again, and rise into your stance. Repeat.
This will tire you out faster than the above three exercises, so just keep going until you really feel the burn.
As you get better at this, try actually mixing-in a push-up or two, but not until you feel ready.
With the right bike, cycling can be a fantastic way to stay fit, engage with the world around you, and get your adrenaline racing. These four exercises will keep you cycling faster, further, and better – so what are you waiting for?
However, please note that if you’re not currently exercising or you’re recovering from an operation or injury, speak with your doctor before embarking on ANY of these activities.
No matter how much you love cycling, there’s no shame in admitting that riding uphill is one of the sport’s less-fun aspects.
Even if you’ve been touring the States’ national parks for years, even if you’ve mastered a wide variety of bikes, you can always stand to learn new techniques. Making your rides easier can also help to make them more fun – so if you’ve been frustrated by a trail with several steep climbs, take a look at these pro tips!
Get Your Gears Right
Changing pedal too late can leave you facing a great uphill challenge. If you keep pedaling and striving to downshift, you may well find yourself struggling to make that climb at all.
Certain types of hub gears need a quick, punchy break to take effect. So, when you’re downshifting with these, take it easy on the pedaling just for a second or two. Otherwise, you might well end up at a gear that’s too high, leading to a complete stop.
You’re best pedaling at a steady, smooth pace as you climb. When your speed begins to drop, shift down and aim for the top.
Don’t be Afraid to Just Walk it
Let’s be honest: the idea of actually dismounting and walking your bike uphill might seem like an admission of defeat … or even shameful failure.
Well, it’s not. Not at all.
If you just can’t get your gears figured out, or the climb is too high or steep, reaching the top might well seem impossible. Instead, take It easy on yourself. It might not necessarily take less time, but you face less risk of straining yourself or falling.
Also, while you walk, you’ll be saving a little energy, meaning you’ll be less exhausted when you reach the top – making the rest of your ride easier and more fun.
Still, if you don’t like the idea of walking your bike uphill or feel the time taken to dismount would be counter-productive, why not try combining the two? Ride to the halfway point, and then walk the rest.
Getting your Posture Right
Should you stay seated or should you stand when tackling uphill climbs?
Well, for shorter hills, it’s best to keep yourself in a sitting position on the ascent. Ideally, you want to invest minimal effort into pedaling, without sacrificing momentum, to avoid over-exerting yourself.
While you might be tempted to stand, you may actually end up putting greater strain on your chains and possibly wearing out your gears faster.
With these pro tips, you can tackle uphill climbs with a little more confidence. If you’ve only just started cycling as a sport or exercise, you should try to stick to flatter terrain, otherwise you might find yourself having to cut one of your first rides short.
Steep hills are incredibly intimidating for novice cyclists, so work your way up from flat paths to more vertical trails. At Adamant, our bikes are made with the best components available today, to ensure they provide the best-quality experience for cyclists at all levels. Whether you need a model for mountain biking or something for your daily commute, our range has you covered.
Unless you’re lucky enough to work from home, commuting is a necessary evil.
Whether you spend hours stuck in traffic, struggle to find a seat on the subway, or have to run for the bus every morning, the end result is usually the same:
Commuting just isn’t fun.
Of course, modern technology makes it a little more bearable. Being able to watch an episode of your favorite sitcom or part of a movie helps to pass the time, but isn’t there a way to bypass that long, frustrating journey?
Yes – cycling!
Riding your bike to work offers numerous benefits, both physical and mental. As long as you live within a comfortable range of your workplace, cycling to your job could transform your daily life.
Even if you can’t ride in every day, a few times each week makes all the difference.
You’ll Have More Fun
Riding a bike is always going to be more interactive, more engaging, and more fun than sitting on a train or bus.
Remember how much fun you used to have cycling as a kid? The sense of freedom you had with those two wheels under you?
Well, you can rediscover that now, as you ride past all of those unfortunate people trapped in their cars and buses, weaving between traffic as you cut minutes off your commute.
You can use any extra time you make to stop in at a bakery and pick up a snack, or just stay in bed a little longer.
You’ll Lose Weight
If you start cycling to work, even just a couple of times a week, you’ll be burning more calories than usual.
How many exactly? This varies for everyone, based on your weight etc. However, on average, someone weighing around 180lb burns close to 650 calories for every hour they cycle at a moderate speed.
While hopping onto the saddle first thing in the morning can feel like a chore, that exercise at the end of a long, hard day will also start to be a relief. You’ll get to loosen up, go home feeling more limber, and possibly have more energy for your evening.
Your Brain will Get a Workout too
We know cycling to work will keep you feeling energized and encourage weight-loss, but what about the cognitive benefits?
Exercise has been shown to give you a sharper memory, enhance your learning capabilities, and boost your general cerebral performance.
This is a great way to start the day, and will help to set you up for whatever tasks lie ahead.
You’ll Save Money
Not only can biking to work improve your fitness and brain-power, it can also save you money.
Even if your bike has a significant price attached to it, this is only a one-off investment. Sure, you may have to buy a new tire once in a while, but think how much cash you’ll save without having to pay for gas and insurance week after week.
You’ll also have no need to buy subway tickets or pay for bus fares.
Even just a few times a week, riding your bike to work can make a significant impact on your wallet.
Feeling convinced? Good. Cycling to work could help to bring more joy, activity, and free time to your daily life.
At Adamant Gear, we stock exceptional bikes made with only the finest components, guaranteeing outstanding performance – perfect for all commutes, whether you’re just riding a few blocks or crossing the city at rush-hour.
What type of terrain do you prefer to ride your mountain bike on?
Flat or steep? Dirt or grass? Do you like lots of jumps? Do sharp turns get your pulse racing or inspire cold dread inside you?
Whatever your tastes, the USA is filled with fantastic mountain-biking spots to visit, with something for everyone.
Join us as we look at five of the best ...
Munds Wagon Trail
This trail, in Sedona, Arizona, offers bikers eight glorious miles to explore.
The singletrack climbs to an amazing 1200 feet, though there’s a generous helping of dips to take a little of the strain off. You also get to ride along the creek bed for short intervals, giving you more time to take a breather.
The incredible surroundings offered by Arizona’s red-rock environment keeps this easy on the eye at all times, and is a must for mountain bikers more used to urban or green landscapes.
Tahoe Rim Trail
This is a stunning trail, though not all of it is accessible to bikers. Considering this runs 165 miles around Lake Tahoe (the biggest alpine lake in all of North America), that may not be such a bad thing.
Mountain bikers can enjoy riding around 80 miles of this trail, especially the singletrack connecting Tahoe Meadows and Spooner summit. This is about 23 miles, with plenty of steep descents, inclines that put you to work, and a wealth of beautiful views.
This is a complete contrast to Munds Wagon Trail, offering lush greenery, meadows, and lakes. A feast for the eyes and the wheels alike.
This is part of the Kingdom Trails in Vermont, which make up the biggest range of trails in America’s northeastern region.
The Mountain Loop itself runs over 15 miles, starting at Burke Mountain Campground, which leads on to singletrack. You’ll find bridges, jumps, and more, before you return to the campground later. It’s a great trail to try, in fantastic surroundings.
Poison Spider Mesa
For decades now, Moab has been a must-visit for serious mountain bikers. However, the expansive range of trails on offer continues to grow, with around 30 miles of new tracks appearing every year.
This is a stunning location, offering endless desert vistas as far as the eye can see. It provides slickrock steeps and trails for bikers of all levels, with a massive 13-mile run that reaches up to Poison Spider Mesa. This stands around 1,000 feet high,and benefits from one of the coolest, most dangerous-sounding names ever.
McKenzie River Trail
In Eugene, Oregon, the McKenzie River Trail runs for around 26 miles across the Cascade Mountains.
These are ideal for seasoned bikers as well as newcomers, with plenty of amazing sights to take in. There are hot springs, unforgettable forests, and even lava fields – what more could you ask for?
You’ll also see waterfalls, and get to enjoy tricksy turns and smooth terrain, keeping you on your toes from start to finish.
At Adamant Gear, our bikes provide experienced riders with the highest-quality designs and construction, ensuring reliability and stability.
It goes without saying that you’ll want to introduce your children to the joys of the open road, but this is easier said than done.
Getting them interested in exercise can be tricky enough, while keeping them safe and happy is a challenge you may not relish.
After all, when you bike alone, you only have yourself to worry about. Each turn, each set of traffic lights, and each descent you come to, you are your sole concern.
With kids, this all changes. You want to make sure they’re observing the rules of the road, learning the necessary techniques, and not developing bad habits. You also have to make sure they’re having fun from start to finish.
If you’re looking to start taking your children out on bike rides with you, there are certain things you can try to make it easier.
Consider a Child’s Seat for Young Starters
If your child’s too young to ride their own bike, they can still go along for a day out. Fitting a child’s seat to your bicycle is a simpler alternative to a trailer, and might give you more peace of mind knowing they’re right behind you.
After you fit the bike, you should practice riding with a bag of potatoes or rocks of a similar weight to your child. This will help you get used to managing the extra pounds and handling the bike with another person on-board.
By being out on the road without the responsibility of managing their own bike, your children will get used to the activity and other vehicles early. You also get to take direct charge of their safety, rather than simply riding alongside them.
How Far Should they Ride on their Own Bike?
When your child’s ready to ride their own bike on a family day out, how much distance should you aim to cover?
Start small. Aim for around two or four miles on your early rides, and add more over following sessions, but don’t rush them. If they appear too tired or grow frustrated over shorter distances, let them stop.
Be sure to make stops after every mile, even for just a few minutes. Let them stretch their legs, catch their breath, have a drink.
The important thing is to ensure they enjoy cycling and develop an affection for it. Pushing them too far too soon may cause them to lose interest.
Be sure to take snacks with you on your family bike-rides. A delicious, healthy snack makes a great treat to reward your kids with at the end of your journey, and can be used as an incentive to keep going if they start to flag when you only have a little further to go.
You also need to pack drinks for everyone, ideally something sweet that will give them energy (or at least appear to do so). Pack fresh fruit-juices, such as OJ, or flavored water. Make sure to carry these in a waterproof backpack, to avoid little accidents and minimize problems caused by potential spillages.
Another great way to prepare for a fun, successful bike ride with your kids is to make the destination a real incentive. Suggest a ride to the theater when they want to see a new movie, or to a restaurant you’ve all wanted to try for some time.
Follow these tips, and you may well encourage your children to fall in love with cycling for life.
Riding your bike in the city is exciting, an easy way to stay fit on your commute, and a great reason to explore your urban environment.
But if you never take your pair of wheels beyond the streets you see everyday, you’re missing out.
America is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet, and what better way to see it than by bike? There are many different bicycle trails out there, offering fantastically diverse terrain and breathtaking views. Some of these tend to be pretty darn long, and will demand more than just a day’s cycling – but the journey is absolutely worth the time.
To help you stay fit and connect with the great outdoors, we’ve put together five of the best bike trails from across the States …
C&O Canal Trail
The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal measures an incredible 184.5 miles.
This runs alone the Potomac River’s north bank, and stretches right from Washington, DC all the way to Cumberland, MD. The canal itself was formed in the first half of the 19th century, between 1828 and 1850.
C&O Canal Trail’s best for hybrid or mountain bikes, and you’ll find camping areas (with all the facilities you need) at regular intervals.
The Colorado Trail
The Colorado Trail runs from Denver to Durango, crossing nearly 500 miles of terrain, passing through the stunning Rocky Mountains. You’ll pass by unforgettable creeks, lakes, and more.
This is a real change of environment if you’re used to cycling through urban environments or flat ground. The Colorado Trail’s average height is more than 10,000 feet, though this rises and dips throughout.
It can be pretty demanding on your body, and you’ll need a reliable mountain bike to get from beginning to end. You’re best taking this with someone else who’s tried it before, or invest in a high-quality map and guide.
Take a look at our Double-Wall Alloy A1 Racing Bike, which is just as good for your inner-city cycling as hitting a challenging trail like this.
Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes
This beautiful path runs from a mining town close to the Montana border, named Mullan, to a town called Plummer, based within range of Washington’s border. The trail runs 72 miles, and takes in a variety of views.
You’ll see the Silver Valley, the Chatcolet Bridge, Heyburn State Park, and more.
Maah Daah Hey Trail
Okay, so this is a big one.
Rather than serving as just one trail, the Maah Daah Hey is a system of routes offering something for all levels. Choose from the Long X (running 5.8 miles), the Overlook (just 0.3 miles), Maah Daah Hey itself (97 miles), Ice Cave (1.5 miles), and a few others.
There are grassy areas, tougher steep spots, prairies, and more.
The Katy Trail is 237 miles of trail, crossing much of Missouri, with more than half of it following the path trodden by the iconic Lewis and Clark.
This has smooth, flat terrain, and will provide a few days of stunning views – Americana at its best. Thankfully, you can get through this with pretty much any type of bike you prefer.
Needless to say, you must take a good supply of food, drink, spare clothes, maps, and first-aid kits. Research your route, invest time into reading up on other cyclists’ experiences, and take care.