An Ode to Cycling: Health Benefits and the Equipment You Will Need

Essential Bike Gear

Essential Bike Gear

Whether you rocket down mountain trails, fly off jumps, cruise city streets or cycle cross country, you are part of the worldwide community of bicyclists, a group of people who may be peddling for different reasons, but all experiencing to varying degrees the related health benefits of their chosen modes of two-wheeled transport.

Cyclists are More Healthy

Research has shown that cyclists generally live longer than non-cyclists, and this even takes into account the various types of cycling accidents. If you want to radically improve your cardiovascular fitness, and reduce your risk of heart disease, this is a terrific way to go about it. You can also tone up your body and sharpen your mind with cycling. As a natural follow on to people who prioritize fitness, cyclists generally look better and are considered to be more sexy (though this is subject to the eyes of the observers).

BMX Adventures

BMX wasn’t a craze that died in the 80′s. It’s well and truly alive and kicking. BMX bikes offer a challenging way for cyclists to stay in shape, push themselves to the limit, make like-minded friends and explore everywhere from city streets to dirt tracks with twists, turns and jumps. So long as you don’t mind getting dirty, BMX bikes are a social way to get fit, and explore your local environment.

Essential Cycling Kit

Here’s some essential cycling gear that any novice cyclist should have:

A decent lock: Don’t make your bike tempting fodder for a passing thief! So invest in a D-shaped shackle lock, with a flat key rather than a cylinder key. The latter is easier to hack.

Luggage: This could range from a bike rack and also a shoulder bag for your money and other important belongings. A bike rack or basket is immensely practical and is a canny investment. However, for a vehicle like a BMX or mountain bike, it’s often a better idea to get a shoulder bag.

Waterproof Jacket: The persistent rain of Britain is a fact of life. Therefore, you should invest in a high-vis, reflective and waterproof jacket to stay safe and keep from being soaked to the skin.

Mudguards: Another weather-dependent fact: you’ll get an unseemly wet stripe up your back if you ride wet streets without a guard. If you are not committing yourself to lightweight, long-distance riding or the mud of mountain biking and some kinds of BMX riding, you will need mudguards.

Lights: Try rechargeable lithium-ion lighting for a great cost-effective way to light your bike at night. Otherwise try flashing LEDs. Although annoying to other road users, they are enormously effective at announcing your presence.

Bike Pump: This along with a puncture repair kit, is the bread and butter of cycling, and should be purchased by all novice cyclists. If you don’t know how to use it, there’s a whole range of YouTube videos to show you how.

Helmet: Finally the non-compulsory, but still very effective, helmet. Who knows – it may actually mean the difference between a minor bump and a life-threatening injury.

Cycling is for everybody! You should consider getting into it, even if you wouldn’t be caught dead in Spandex (Jennifer notes – everyday clothing works just fine for riding). Your body, mind and social life may experience the benefits.

You may also like...