All the cycleing tips you could ever need from LBCC's Sam & Craig with additional articles from Mark (Ironmate) Kleanthous. If you want to us to write up some tips just contact us and we will do our best to get them published.
IRONMATE MOTTO - I am not afraid of failure because I know I will never give in, so I will never be disappointed of my efforts but I will be the very best I can. Competitor in over 1,000 competitions since 1981. Make your journey thru life a healthy one.
Our selection of top tips from beginner to advanced, browse and learn.
Like running and swimming as well as cycling? Why not try a tri?
I started triathlons 8 years ago and it was the first competitive sport I’d ever done and the first sport I’d done since I left school – 30 years before!! A friend persuaded me to have a go and I was hooked. Why? Because everyone was really friendly – competitors and marshals, because it was just my own efforts which got me through, because I did actually manage to finish and got a great cheer when I did, because I wasn’t last (quite) and because I felt fantastic once I’d recovered. I also discovered when I continued that your whole body benefits, you don’t tend to over do any type of training and so suffer less from injury and it’s great for weight control.
A few myth busters
1) You don’t need a flash bike. Sure there will be some there, but there’ll be some mountain bikes and even sit up and beg shoppers.
2) You don’t have to swim like a fish. Quite a lot of triathlons take place in swimming pools and breast stroke is fine. It took me about 2 years starting from scratch before I managed to swim a whole race in crawl.
3) You don’t have to swim in open water. Some races do use swimming pools, although others use lakes or the sea.
4) People won’t laugh if you’re so tired on the run you can only manage to walk. You won’t be the only person doing that. The first Olympic distance race I did, I walked much more than I ran and everyone who went past shouted encouragement and the marshals were great. I was the slowest by 15 minutes but no one cared, not even me (I was just glad to get round).
5) You don’t have to be super fit to finish. There are different length races and for the shortest (the sprint distance) almost anyone can do it, although if you train you’ll feel better afterwards.
6) It doesn’t take hours of training. Ideally for a sprint or Olympic distance you should swim, bike and run a couple of times each a week, but that could be around 4-6 hours of training with ½ to 1 hour each session.
7) You can start at any age. Races are divided into age categories so that you compete against people your own age. Of course you could go all out to win the whole race but I’m over the moon if I win my age category (which I am at last starting to do occasionally).
What races are there?
Sprint distance – usually 400m indoor swim or 800m outdoors followed by 20 – 25 km bike and 5 km run
Olympic distance – 1500m swim, 40 km bike, 10 km run. These are usually in open water.
Half iron man and iron man are even longer with the iron man finishing with a marathon. These are pretty tough especially as they tend to have cut off times which you have to meet for each leg to be allowed to continue.
How to find out more? There are a couple of magazines ‘220 Triathlon’ and ‘Triathlon Plus’. There are some local clubs – Bedford Traktors, Team MK and Hemel Cycle Club plus Shire Triers also based in Hemel Hempstead. There is also a Triathlon England association.
When i was 22 years old, i had the pleasure of working for GT Bicycles, based in Bristol. It was a great brand to work with and the people in the company were not only riders but great guys too. It was a great time of my life and I learned many things. I was reminded of one snippet whilst reading an advert for another bike company 'Ride in Flow Motion' what does it mean...
Well here's my definition that i apply to my riding style...
"Flow Motion... keep your momentum going by choosing your line intelligently and using the natural topography to maximise the fun versus effort expenditure to give you as many smiles per mile as possible"
next time you're out riding, think about putting your own Flow Motion into practice - i bet you notice a positive difference.
Lumens Loonies – what’s all the fuss about?
Night time riding is different! Not just for the obvious reason that it's at night but for the simple reason that you only get a moments notice of approaching obstacles. Now, some riders go out and spend an absolute fortune on a light system that most lighthouses would be jealous of – which in my opinion spoils the attraction of night time riding. I believe the most fun can be had between the balance between a good amount of light to enable you to maintain a healthy amount of speed but not too much light that you’re riding in conditions brighter than broad daylight!!!
Benefits of Night Riding would include
· Faster responses and reactions
· Enhance feeling of risk and therefore a better feeling of achievement.
· More adrenalin as your nerves at kept on alert.
· Increase in concentration stamina
· Willingness to take great risks – coz you can’t see the 70foot drop that’s just off to the left!!
· Quieter trails, roads, bridleways.
· The pubs are open too!
So, it's clear that night time riding is well worth a try, but rather than heading out into the wilderness alone, how do you get into it? Lumens Loonies are here to help. We’ve been taking people out on night rides for months. We’re still a small group of informal and social cyclists – nothing too serious. New comers are welcome each week, and no one is ever left behind.
What do you need to get started? The list is short but specific...
1. A good bike capable of off road riding.
2. A good set of lights – the led rubbish from a supermarket for £4.99 will not save your life!!!
3. Appropriate clothing, in summer you could start out in 20degrees of sunshine, then ride home in 5degrees in pitch black!
4. A willingness to give a new challenge a decent go!
A Word on Lights...
Sam rides with a light made by a brand called Exposure, they are handmade in England and look like a normal bike light, however they pump out a good amount of light in a very handy all-in-one design. The range starts at approx £120 and goes up to £300 or so for those pushing the limits further! High Power LED’s are fantastic for the battery life versus power trade off.
Exposure Lights are well regarded in the bike business as market leaders in terms of innovation and build quality.
Other riders of Lumens Loonies now ride using Exposure Lights having appreciated their talents, Sam has a trade account via his business at MBRS. If you would like to see the lights in action just ask come along on a ride!
If you would like advice on other lighting brands just give Sam a call on 07736674410 – he’s happy to offer advice for free!
What next – Arrive in Church Square just before 7.30pm on any Thursday night.
See you Thursday
Saving weight helps you climb hills, the cheapest option is losing body weight not buying lighter bike components.
Your enemy is gravity when climbing by riding hills in the saddle will give you cycle specific strength that will also translate to on the flat roads. Pace yourself up the hills and you will be able to push over the top and hammer safely down the other side...
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Roy Chamberlain has been racing as an elite rider for 20 years; he has represented Great Britain on numerous occasions and spent 2 -years racing semi- pro in France. With a BSc in Sports Science he is well qualified to educate us on the art of cycling.
One hazard of winter riding is the abuse wear and tear your bike gets.
Salt from road gritting and more dust and dirt hitting almost every part.
A quick rinse with water but not a jet wash as this can force oil out from where it is needed.
The water will remove dirt and grime from your frame before you wipe it.
Never use a cloth first otherwise you are rubbing in and scratching the surface with all the tiny particles that are attached to your frame.
Correct bike set up is important not only for ultimate performance but to avoid injury.The majority or recreational cyclist are over stretched or with saddles too high or too low. Many saddles that are the right height, are not level making the whole ride uncomfortable.
ESSENTAIL GUIDE TO RIDING TO WORK
Having difficulty being consistent with bike training, is cycling to work an option? If it is a long way how about cycling to work and getting a lift home or riding to work and home again as a long day. If you did this in the middle of the week say Wednesday this would keep up your endurance and allow 2 days after the weekend and before the next weekend to recover.
Be prepared to change your bike set up to perform at your best for different types of courses.12 weeks is the minimum that you need to get use to these changes although the more time you give yourself will mean you have time to make minor adjustments and still be able to feel comfortable.
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