Best Type of Cycling

This is an interesting question to ask and likely does not have a right or wrong answer. Many people ask this question, but it’s simply not an easy thing to answer. The type of cycling that is best for you might be something that does not work for someone else.

The three main types of cycling include mountain biking, racing and road cycling. In mountain biking you would purchase a bike specific to this purpose that has been equipped with a heavy-duty frame and thicker tires. For people that like a little adventure, Mountain biking is the way to go. You get to ride on trails, mountains, forests and dirt roads and tracks. Often the riding is quite demanding and requires a person to be in good physical shape.

Racing is another genre of cycling and is quite popular today. Even for those that don’t plan to race on a professional level, this form of cycling fast can be quite exhilarating You will often see these types of riders dressed up in their fancy attire, with tight fitting, colorful clothing.

Road cycling might be the most common type of cycling. Many amateur riders will strap on a helmet and take a spin on their bicycle, more for leisure reasons, but also for some exercise. This is a great hobby to get into as a family, maybe taking a nice bike ride on a day off.

No matter the type of cycling that you do, remember to buy the right equipment for the type of riding that you plan on doing. It’s a great way to keep in shape and a good exercise for your overall health. Getting outdoors is good for everyone and the types of movement that a bike offers make it a good way to build muscle and exercise your cardiovascular system.

Cycling In the Cold Weather

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Well the cold weather is upon us again (for those of us in North) and it is time to get layered. For those of us who want to persist that is the best way to stay warm on the bike. Where I cycle in Calgary, Canada it gets quite cold in mornings and then can warm up considerably during the day during this time of year. You can have up to 40°F differential; this can present a challenge for staying warm and comfortable.

The key is to find clothing that is breathable yet breaks the cold wind in the morning. For my legs I have tried cheap lined nylon pants with my riding shorts underneath. This didn’t work out to well with my legs being soaked in sweat by the end of my ride. That is not a good thing when it is below freezing, you need to find something that will wick the moisture away. It is worth the money to get something better. I went to the Web to find what I was looking for and I found great deal on some fleece cycle tights. Well that solved the leg issue they were great they cut wind and kept the moisture away. The lower half was doing great now! Two points to remember, one, you should have enough room for your cycling pants underneath the fleece tights. This brings me to the second point it is better to have these over your cycling pants because during the evening when it is warmer you will want to remove these to ensure you don’t get overheated heading home. In temperatures below 20°F (-7°C) you may want to add some nylon shell pants to cut the wind more.

The upper body poses a problem since it catches most of the wind but is not moving much. What you need here is a full-featured wind and water resistant shell with ventilated pit zips and a breathable fabric so you can get the most protection and ventilation. A shell with pit zips is great because it easily give you more ventilation if you start to over heat. This type of jacket is also great for locations that get more rain this time of year opening up the pit zips allows that extra ventilation you needs without getting to wet! With a good shell I found I only needed two more layers what these two layers are depends on how cold your ride is. I find that down to about 25°F (-4°C) that a good turtle neck and the shell are enough as long as wind isn’t blowing too hard, if it is blowing you can add a t-shirt under this if you want. When it starts getting colder than this remove the t-shirt, keep the turtleneck and wear a fleece jacket under this, make sure your protective shell has room for this layering process.

The extremities are a real challenge, starting with the hands. At temperatures down to 25°F (-4°C) a pair of lined leather gloves is sufficient. At temperature below 25°F (-4°C) mitts are the best, there is nothing like the having your fingers together to keep them warm. The challenge is the thumb, I occasionally have to pull my thumb out and join it with the rest of the fingers for while to warm it up. Those mitt/glove combinations where the mitt flips over the open finger end might do the trick also but I do not use these. Be careful not to get a mitt with to much bulk you still need dexterity for shifting and braking. Another good choice would be those three finger mitts they would still keep some fingers together for warmth and offer you some good dexterity.

Next is the head, this is the toughest. The main reason for the difficulty is that you still need to wear you helmet and keep those ears from freezing. Anybody who commutes without a helmet should have his head examined (and may have to some day) particularly when things start freezing, ice can form anywhere, so be safe. What you need for this is a quickly adjustable helmet, one that has a ratchet type adjustment at back to allow for the layer you will need under it when it is cold and can be made smaller for your ride home when it may warmer. You can find a great selection of cycling helmets on the Web. The best system is to have two types of balaclavas. One should be a thinner polypropylene type with an open face style that will still cover you chin. This one is good for temperature down to 25°F (-4°C). When the temperature starts sinking below 25°F (-4°C) a fleece balaclava with coverage for your nose should be used. What is difficult for those of us who where glasses is fogging up when wearing the balaclava. I try keeping my glasses further down my nose to allow for more air circulation, this doesn’t completely eliminate it but it helps.

Reasons Why an Electric Bicycle Encourage Cycling

There are people who want to ride a bicycle for transportation but have some strong reasons for not doing so. Some of these reasons are health reasons or issues that one has to deal with where riding a traditional bicycle might be too difficult for them. There is a technology called the electric bicycle that can help with these issues allowing one to ride them.

An electric bike can be ridden by anyone regardless of health that allows one to move a bit faster with an internal motor that helps the bicycle go faster. It’s run on battery power that’s charged by electricity. Speeds of over 20 miles per hour takes very little effort as the motor can do much of the work. There are some strong reasons for using an electric bicycle that could encourage cycling for some.

In most states and cities riding these bikes can be done without having a license. This means that one can get the advantage of faster speeds without buying and using something like a motorcycle.

Hills are another issue that cyclists face. The electric bike makes going up hills much easier. Those with knee and joint problems won’t have to push as hard to make it over the hills giving them the cycling experience without the potential pain problems.

Compared to cars, electric bicycles are pennies per charge and will get many more miles per dollar than a car. One being able to go 20 miles an hour won’t lose too much time on their trip compared to cars especially for shorter trips.

Cycling With Core Breathing to Develop Endurance

Here are questions to ponder: How are you creating your breath and how are you breathing as you are cycling? How you answer that question is beginning to analyze your development of endurance within cycling. For how you create your breath is about the torso, it’s the physical side of endurance, performance, and how you are breathing during cycling. It’s about your pattern of breathing during different parts of your cycling. Do not think there is a right way or a wrong way to breathe for that idea limits your thinking on the subject of breath development within cycling for endurance. There is only an effective way or ineffective way to breathe using the core to enhance endurance while you’re cycling. Core and breathing development is the foundation for endurance and performance development.

If you cycle for fun, and want to increase enjoyment, ability, and performance in cycling, you need to learn to incorporate the development of your breathing abilities with core breathing as your foundation. Your actual physical force coming from the core area of the torso is in direct relationship to stage of your breathing. Core and breath are interlocked with the function of creating force from the core into your cycling. As your exhalation reaches its peak, you’re at the weakest point of force creation within your core.

To experience the feeling of force change as you exhale, try this exercise. Feel your core in action and change as your breath changes. Inhale by pushing out your belly button and leaving your upper chest at rest. Do not take your breath with your chest by pushing it out. In this program the chest expands after the core, for the core forces the chest to expand. With the belly button out from the inhale, pause. Feel tension in the muscles around the core from pushing it out. Then tighten the muscles around the belly button and push down towards the feet. As you push slowly (and do it very slowly so your mind can direct the action), feel the tension in the core going down to your feet and at the same time relax your shoulder muscles in direct response to core feeling. The shoulders will naturally relax with tension in the core and if the mind directs the shoulders to do so.

Then lift something with little weight slowly and feel how much effort it takes to do it. Effort is the key word to focus on. Put the weight down slowly so your mind can feel it clearly, and relax your shoulders. Exhale half way by pulling in the belly button, then pause and tighten the core muscles and push the core down your legs towards the feet and at the same time relax your shoulders slowly. Then lift the light weight again and feel the difference in effort. Put down the weight again and exhale all the way by pulling in the core and then pause and tighten. Then lift again and feel how much effort it takes and how it feels different between having full breath and no breath within your core. A weightlifter will never pick up heavy weight on an inhale or with low breath for they feel they are at their weakest in those two stages of breathing.

Experiencing the differences gives the mind the ability to choose to change and use the core/breathing within cycling or any other sport.

This is a small example of how breath and core work to form force. You can feel your own strength change with your level of exhalation and inhalation when you are working with something that has weight.

How you view the function of the core area of the torso and how it influences breath usage affects how you value your core/breathing development within your exercise programs. Looking for the most effective core development and breathing enhancement will affect your overall ability within your sport and enjoyment. Look at the function of core/breathing to adjust to the demands within the physical activity during competition itself. Breathing is the foundation for endurance and performance. It is the triggering of the core to be forceful physically.

Concepts within this program are core are breathing together. If you want a strong usage of core within your sport, breathing is the triggering of the core. Do not think of core without breath and breath without core, for they work together for performance.

Each physical sport will use core/breathing to fit within the sport to create endurance and strength. Weightlifters will use core and breathing to affect their ability to lift. Swimmers will use the ability to breathe in a very different way to lengthen endurance. Finding the most effective way to engage core/breathing to create your breath for endurance is the challenge to increase performance.

The order for core/breathing to develop endurance begins with two parts; one is movement within the torso to form inhalation and exhalation beginning and ending with the core. The second part is how the mind directs energy and strength into sets of muscles for cycling. As your breath changes so will performance. Being focused on breath first will bring into focus your physical and mental abilities related to cycling.

What lessens performance is fatigue. There are two types. One is in your body and the muscles. The other is fatigue of breath which has progressive affects within performance of muscles. Fatigue within breathing ability begins with a pattern of breathing that becomes shorter. Mouth breathing becomes the main way to breathe, which creates less range of movement within the whole torso. This turns into lower endurance and then turns into loss of strength. Your mind is watching and feeling the change. Fatigue of muscles has a direct relationship to breathing, for with shortness of breath and breathing with your mouth, muscles become tight in the legs and shoulders; this tightens the whole torso. Think of breathing abilities as the foundation that supports physical and mental performance abilities in cycling. This brings into clarity what to work on for performance, between breath, body and mind for they are linked together.

Performance is based on an old idea. Your physical performance is based on your weakest link; finding the weakest link within your mind, body and spirit is the challenge to improve ones performance. One of the weakest links in performance development is spirit, for it is the least understood and developed in exercises. There needs to be focus on the meaning of spirit, which is founded on breath, and the directional abilities of the mind within your physical movement. Creating your spirit within your exercising program lets you develop your spirit force, but they are different in refinement and bringing them together create choices within cycling for endurance ability.

Bringing up your performance takes a degree of understanding that brings into focus the directional abilities of the mind within the movement of the physical muscles and your core/breathing that forms your spirit force within cycling. The development of spirit (breath) force within cycling is not simple, yet people do it naturally in order to have any level of performance. Refining the natural process of developing your spirit within your cycling takes lot of internal feeling of muscles in action and mental methods that affect endurance.

Qi Gong is an ancient system to develop core/breathing to have endurance and mental directive force in movement. Qi Gong is a method of bringing spirit as the foundation to support mind and body. This method has been refined over centuries into many forms that affect energy and strength within a conscious directive mind. Taking core/breathing from a general training to a refined training to enhance performance within cycling takes thought and physical feeling to engage the core. Breathing in a mental directive way is rewarding.

Cycling takes a lot of physical endurance and your breath usage affects your ability to keep up. How many hours a week do you work on your breath development and controlling it to enhance your cycling? Is core/breathing development part of your program and if not, why not? When you get tried as you are cycling, is it muscles, which can be fixed with exercises? Or is being tired from not being able to inhale and exhale easily? Training the physical body in an organizing manner is the main focus for most performance programs, but they do not focus on development of breath integrated within the exercises that enhances breath range ability. This is important for developing endurance of ones abilities physically.

Refining training to focus on core/breathing as the foundation to physical muscle force would be ideal, but most people think physical first and breath is a distant second. Having core and breathing as the central foundational focus within each exercise changes the whole body reaction to the exercise. Core and breathing affects the use of the shoulder muscles by not letting them become tight. Disengaging the use of the shoulders and connecting to core force during your exercises is a key part of enhancing performance in cycling or any sport.

To enhance your trained performance there is a general toning of muscles that enhances the mind/body connection feeling and feedback connected to the strength that rests in the core. Physically there is a central area of strength. It is the core and tapping into that source within training forms possibilities for physical force of action.

Each sport has its own set of muscle developments that fit into body movements of the sport. Being clear on what groups of muscles that are needed to be developed in conjunction with development of the core and breathing will not waste time and enhance the enjoyment of performance.

Using Qi Gong training for developing performance is about the relationship to core within the breath as the central area of strength and force of movement. Then, to train the mind to project energy and strength within your physical movement has to be developed over time and learning from your effort. Understanding Qi Gong can be confusing, for there are many forms and each form affects the body/mind relationship in different ways. Finding the most effective form for yourself is a challenge, but you never waste time learning Qi Gong from a good instructor. It is about the long term effects when you learn Qi Gong.

Qi Gong is developed from Eastern ideas of energy flow and strength within each breath in movement. A Western way of looking at Qi Gong is learning to be in the zone, which affects physical performance. The core is activated with inhalation for strength. The release of energy within the core and body is within exhalation as you express your physical force in physical movement. In cycling, finding and developing an effective form of Qi Gong that trains you to use muscles to control short inhales and long exhales will affect endurance. The longer your exhale, the better your overall performance can be in your sport. Learning to inhale fast and exhale long takes training time independent of other training for it should be its own program to be developed.

Qi Gong teaches that the core is the source of strength and energy that are linked in different amounts. Because it is a source only, core energy has to be directed to have any real effect on performance. You can have a strong core, but if you do not direct the energy effectively, you will waste much of the force that rests in that area. Learning to direct the core/breathing force is an art of mind and body.

Performance is about the internal force of energy and strength flowing through the body for external expression within the movement of the body like in cycling. It takes a lot effort to be a cyclist; learning how to develop your best abilities is an art of expression, for it is force of action that makes it enjoyable to be a cyclist.

Finding and learning core/breathing techniques within different Qi Gong schools will always help in life for one main reason; you should not hold stress in the shoulders. The more a person uses core and breathing, the less stress can be held in shoulders which affect abilities of the body to move and overall strength.

Cycling In The USA

Cycling is an immensely popular sport worldwide. In many countries of the world cycling is used as a legitimate form of transportation besides being an athletic activity. This is not so much the case in the United States where more people drive automobiles However, even in this country cycling is a sport that is loved by millions. it is estimated that fifty- seven million people participate in this exhilarating physical activity. That is a whopping 27.3 percent of the population of the United States of those 16 years of age or older. Another statistic that supports the popularity of cycling is the number of bicycles sold. Figures for 2012 indicate that 6.1 billion dollars were spent on bicycles and products associated with cycling.

Obviously, those numbers indicate that cycling is a very lucrative business as well as a passionate sporting activity. Some of those who deem themselves to be cyclists are what we might call recreational riders. They love to put on the snazzy cycling jerseys and head out on their bikes routinely but they do not participate in races. Their reward might be the thrill of pushing themselves to longer distances or trying out new paths, trails or roadways. They enjoy riding solo or with partners and also in groups but are not especially competitive in their sport. The benefits are substantial. Being outside in the fresh air rather than being cooped up in a sweaty gym is certainly appealing. Equally appealing are the benefits to the body, including building stamina, strengthening muscles, improving circulation, etc. It is no wonder there are so many who love this sport.

While there are far fewer individuals who cycle professionally, that number also continues to grow. With more and more races located at various places throughout the country, the opportunities to excel have expanded considerably as has the number of people who are involved in competitive cycling. Sadly, events of the past several years involving highly acclaimed riders who have polluted the sport has given a black eye to professional cycling. The widely publicized accounts of Lance Armstrong and his use of banned substances during races and his lying under oath about such activities leaves a bad taste in many people’s mouths about professional cyclists. That is unfortunate and unfair to the many cyclists who work hard to perfect their talents and who do play by the rules. Unfortunately, things can be spoiled by a few that can affect so many.