Cycling is one of the easiest ways to be able to fit physical exercise into your daily routine because it is also a form of transportation. The practice assists in the following aspects:
- Save money;
- It leaves you fit for physical activity;
- And it also helps the environment.
It is a modality of low-impact exercise, so it is less damaging to your joints compared to other high-impact aerobic activities like running. It also helps you get in shape. Only until now can you feel how good this practice is, is not it? So continue to follow because what is not lacking are reasons to join this sport.
The best way to build your cardiovascular fitness on the bike is to walk at least 150 minutes a week, or something around 30 minutes a day. Which is not too complicated.
You can use the bike to go to work, for example, a few days of the week or take some shorter rides during the week with a longer ride on the weekends. Soon, you will feel the benefits of retiring the car or means of public transport, as well as on the first day already feel more willing and invigorated. Your work colleagues or family members will notice “on the face”. It’s invigorating!
If you are just getting started, check out our beginner cycling guide that we prepare as a sort of checklist for you to follow step by step, take questions and in a short time already be fit to go out there pedaling.
8 Safety Tips for Cyclists:
- Always look back before turning, overtaking or stopping. Just like in other vehicles, it is important to be aware of your return, to traffic and to make sure it is safe for you and the people around you.
- Use the arm signals before turning to the right and left as signage for the cars.
- Obey the traffic lights and traffic lights.
- Do not walk on the sidewalk unless there is signaling allowing.
- Do not ride alongside other people on busy or narrow roads.
- As you drive past parked cars, watch for doors. Often happens to open suddenly, which can cause accidents.
- Do not wear headphones while cycling. This measure is to be attentive to the possible signals issued by other drivers.
- Never use electronic devices while pedaling.
There are many social networking groups for cyclists with recreation and travel sections that can offer information and tips on everything you need to practice cycling collectively, be it a bicycle, mountain biking, urban or beginner.
Brazil has an official calendar of cycling competitions and tours, from charity events to multi-day challenges, training tips, maintenance and improvements.
Our country does not yet have pre-planned routes, but you can map the roads and leave on your own with safety and care. You can also join clubs in your area and organize organized bicycle tours. Search the web for groups of cyclists in your area.
If you want to turn your hobby into something more competitive, there are about 2,500 races registered in our country each year. There are all sorts of bike races to choose from. Some of these competitions have official sites just search on google.
Wearing a cycling helmet can help prevent a head injury if you fall or a more serious accident occurs.
It is important to use equipment that meets the following criteria:
- Fill in the Brazilian or international safety standards.
- Have fit to position and attach directly to your head. You should sit just above your eyebrows, not leaning back or leaning forward.
- It is firmly attached by strips, which are not twisted, with enough space for two fingers between the chin and the handle.
Be sure to replace your helmet every five years. Do not buy second hand as it may be damaged and will not be able to protect you properly.
Lights & Reflectors
If you are going to use your bike at night, it is mandatory to have:
- white front light;
- red backlight;
- red rear reflector;
- amber pedals, yellow front and back reflectors on each pedal.
The reflectors installed in the front and the spokes will also help you to be seen.
You can get lights that are steady or flashing, or a mixture of firm in the front and flashing in the back. A constant light at the front is important when you are pedaling through poorly lit areas.
Make sure any stable light has the registration mark or Anvisa. The flashing lights do not have to meet the Brazilian standard, but need:
- rate of four equal flashes per second and
- at least four candles in glow.
Your pedal reflectors and rear reflector must be marked with an authentication seal. You can also use light or reflector that meets the standard accepted by another Mercosur or international country.
Additional lights and reflectors
You can use other lights as well as the required lights, but they should be:
- the right color, white on the front, red on the back and
- can not affect the view of other road users.
If they are flashing, they should be at a rate of four equal flashes per second.
Bicycle safety check
Do the following checks on your bike regularly to ensure it is in good working order:
Front tire and wheels
Lift the front end of the bicycle by the handlebar and then:
- Tap the wheel with your hand to make sure it is not half-loosened or off-axis moving from side to side;
- Make sure the wheel does not move from side to side when you try to swing to ensure that the bearings are not used;
- Turn the front wheel, the brakes should not rub on the sides of the wheels;
- Tighten the sides of the tire, fill them if necessary;
- Look for gaps, cuts or protrusions on the tires. They are signs that they are worn out and need to be replaced.
If you have front bumper, there should be at least 5mm between it and the tire. Remove the shoe if it contacts the tip of your shoe when pedaling.
Lift the rear of the bike by the saddle and follow the same checks for the rear wheels.
For front brakes, check:
- If the brakes work. Try to push the bike forward with the brakes contracted;
- The brake pads sit evenly on the wheel. They should not touch one end and not the other;
- The cables inside the brake levers are not worn;
- The brake levers and lugs are tightened on the handlebar, all nuts and bolts are tightened and the ends of the handle barrel are covered.
Press the rear brake and follow the same checks. The rear tire should slide and not roll when you press the brakes and push the bike forward.
Handlebar and steering
All parts on the handlebar should be tightened and you should be able to drive freely. Release the brakes and stay in front of the front wheel and hold it between your knees.
So, make sure that nothing is loose when you try:
- Turn the handlebar from side to side.
- Press the brakes and try to turn the handlebar.
Your seat should be set at a height that is comfortable for you. Put a heel on the pedal, your leg should straighten when the pedal is further away from the seat.
Make sure you have not raised the seat too high, just enough to see the height limit mark on the docking barrel. If the seat needs to be so high for you to sit comfortably, you probably need a larger bike.
Move to the back of the bike and hold the seat firmly. Make sure you can not move it up and down or to the sides. If it moves, tighten it.
Chain, gears and pedals
Have someone move the pedals with your hands while holding the rear wheel off the floor by the accent. So:
- Slide through all of the rear wheel gears (a small wheel through which the chain passes) and the front gear changer to check that the chain stays in gear and moves smoothly.
- Swing each pedal back and forth to check that they do not move too much; if they do, the bearings in the lower bracket need to be replaced.
Check that the chain is not dangling, broken, or rusted. Lubricate the chain with some oil, if necessary.
With all these tips you will be able to have a lot of fun with your bike. Cycling is one of those things that we can hardly unlearn with time and the sense of freedom still leads many people to continue with the sport even in the troubled days of urban life.
So get on your bike and start exercising today!
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