In this day and age, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find the time to exercise, especially if you don’t have access to a nearby gym or workout centre. As such, many people opt for expensive in-home workout machines, pricy exercise DVDs, and exorbitant personal trainers. However, these techniques are largely ineffective due to the monotonous and repetitive nature of the actual exercise routines. Your workout machine is likely collecting dust in the basement, the DVDs are probably in a discount bin somewhere, and the inexperienced personal trainer has probably moved on to another career. So, how are we expected to combine exercise and fun in this day and age?
Enter the bicycle.
Where Did Bicycles Come From?
The modern bicycle has come a long way since the earliest models. There were several unverified early claims to the first-ever bicycle, namely a 1534 sketch by Gian Giacomo Caprotti and the célérifère mechanism that was showcased in France during 1792. Both claims have been widely disputed but it’s safe to say that these ideas had an impact on the first verifiable bicycle, which was built by Baron Karl von Drasi in Germany in 1817. Since then, almost 200 years of technological advancements have been squeezed into what we now know as the modern bicycle.
Bicycling is gaining attention as an incredible way to exercise, travel, and, best of all, actually look forward to working out. With the wind in your hair and the open road in front of you, many avid bicyclists attest to the notion that it’s easy to forget that you’re actually exercising. However, regardless of your cycling experience, it’s important to be dressed properly before hitting the road.
Falling off of a bicycle can cause serious injuries even if you’re riding at relatively low speeds, which is why helmets are actually required by law in many municipalities. The modern bicycle helmet is usually made from EPS foam and a reinforced plastic shell, which absorbs pavement impact and helps keep your neck from jerking around. As you shop for the perfect helmet, you’ll want to focus on an ergonomic fit and bright colours for safety. If you’re ordering a helmet from the US, be sure to look out for a Consumer Product Safety Commission sticker that ensures that the helmet meets all safety stipulations.
Your cycling jersey is all about comfort. Thus, you want to ensure that the jersey is comprised of form-fitting spandex with moisture-wicking properties. This will allow you to reduce drag on the road and minimise the discomfort that comes with a wet and sweaty shirt. You should also be on the lookout for stand-up collars, front zippers, extended backsides for coverage, and reflective trims for nighttime riding.
Your cycling shorts should mimic many of the same properties found in your jersey with one small caveat: your cycling shorts should feature a padded cushion around your rump. This padded liner minimises friction, wicks away sweat, prevents bacterial development, and, most importantly, helps cushion bumps.
It has been said that life is much like riding a bicycle; in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. So get a move on and start cycling today! Your physical fitness and stress levels will thank you.