“Cyclists see considerably more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to” – Dr K.K. Doty
Fun, challenging, brutal, rewarding, and fulfilling — these are just some of the things that capture the essence of bicycling. You could be a beginner or a competitive cyclist — taking on the roads and trails on two wheels can be an enriching experience. And when you are a traveler exploring the city or the countryside provides a different perspective that takes your travel experience to new heights. Whether you are thinking of taking on one of those Provence bike tours or biking across the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia, here are some of the most inspiring reads that will make you want to do it.
A Bike Ride: 12,000 Miles Around the World by Anne Mustoe
If there is one thing that stands out among the many great things about this book, it would be this: You do not have to be a great rider to travel 12,000 miles on two wheels across the globe. You just have to start and get going. A Bike Ride tells the story of the author, a former headmistress, who went on a solo trip on a bicycle around the world. Here she shares the highs and lows of biking through places like Europe, India, and the US among others.
Moods of Future Joys: Around the World by Bike Part One: From England to South Africa by Alastair Humphreys
Moods of Future Joys is the first part of the story about the author’s 46,000-mile journey on a bike across five continents. It provides insights into the long and arduous trip on a small budget and how he copes with the many challenges along the way.
One of the great things about learning how to ride a bike as a child is that you will never really outgrow the skill. You could stop biking for years, get back on the saddle, and relearn the skill in no time. Whether you are already into biking or thinking of learning how to ride, here are some of the best reasons to bike and how it could change your life.
1. It helps protect your health
Cycling reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and other medical conditions. And you do not even have to train like a pro athlete to enjoy the health benefits you can get from it. Riding for at 30 minutes at least three to five times a week can help improve your health and overall wellbeing.
2. You get regular dose of Vitamin D
A bike ride outdoors not only allows you to enjoy the views and connect with nature. It also exposes you to adequate amount of sunlight which can be a good source of vitamin D which can be beneficial for bone health.
3. It helps you keep fit
When you bike regularly, you do not have to worry about not getting the exercise you need. Every ride is an exercise in itself. It is a great way to stay active without really trying.
4. It helps you lose or maintain weight
Cycling makes it easier to lose or maintain weight. And keeping a healthy weight helps you avoid health issues like obesity and type 2 diabetes.
5. Bike commuting helps you save money
You can save a lot of money over time when you bike to work or anywhere you need to go. It helps you cut back on gas expenses, car maintenance, parking fees, and other transport related costs.
6. It reduces your carbon footprint
Cycling is not only good for you in many ways. It also helps protect the environment. It offers a more eco-friendly alternative to driving. Green transport options like biking, if sustained over time, helps you reduce your impact to the planet.
Like any exercise, cycling causes its fair share of muscle aches and pains especially if you are still not used to the activity. Whether you are just starting out or just got back on the saddle after a long break, the ride will likely leave some of your muscles sore. Relieving muscle pain, however, does not necessarily have to mean taking any medication unless specifically advised by a doctor. You can opt for natural remedies to ease the soreness. Here are some things you can do for relief.
Know when to stop. Don’t push yourself. If you experience muscle pain in the middle of an activity, don’t push yourself to continue. Stop engaging in the activity for a while to give your muscles a break. Consult with a doctor if the pain continues to bother you so it can be properly checked in case there is an underlying issue that needs to be treated.
Take a rest. Take a break from the activity if it’s causing the muscle pain. You may be overexerting your muscles that there’s barely no time for recovery. You can consult with a certified fitness trainer who can give you advice on proper training and recovery.
Warm up and stretch. Moving may be the last thing in your mind if you’re experiencing muscle pain. But it’s important that you keep moving albeit at a slower and more relaxed pace. You can start with a good warm up by taking a walk for 20 minutes before doing a leisurely stretch to ease the stiffness in your muscles.
Apply cold packs. Overworked muscles can cause soreness or pain. You can put cold packs on the affected at 30-minute intervals within 1 to 2 days post activity. Applying ice packs help in reducing the blood flow, which slows down or stops inflammation in the affected muscle area. This can provide relief from the muscle soreness.
Get a massage. Restricted blood flow may be aggravating the stiffness you feel in your muscles. Give the affected muscle a gentle massage or ask a family member to do it for you to stimulate blood flow.