Cycling for Fitness and Fun

Bike Riding

Earlier this year I wrote a piece about fun alternatives to the gym and briefly touched on the idea of cycling. Lately, I have gotten more interested in the idea of cycling more for fun and fitness.

Maxx has recently learnt to ride his bike without stabilisers and is cycling more and more, so, potentially my getting out on my bike could allow me to spend more time with him at the same time as getting fitter. Cycling is a great way to burn calories. In 60 minutes, you can easily burn off five or 6 hundred calories and cycling outside is definitely more fun than sitting on an exercise bike in the gym.

My current bike is OK, but if I want to use it more I need to do a few things to it. For a start, it needs a good service. Normally I would let someone else do this, but I decided to give getting my bike roadworthy myself a go.

To start with, I had to work out exactly what things needed sorting out, so I went online and found this great bike check video all about the Sustran ABC bike check. It is only a few minutes long and is very easy to follow and implement. The video covers checking that your wheels have enough air in them, the A part. Next is the B part, checking over your brakes and the last bit C is looking at the chain, crank and cogs.

I am glad I did this. My brakes were virtually gone and I discovered that the brake leaver was not adjusted properly. To sort this out I just ordered some bike parts online. It was extremely easy, no harder than ordering anything else online.

A couple of YouTube videos showed me how to fix the brakes and gave me an idea of the tools I would need. Luckily, I already had the tools, so getting my bike roadworthy was not expensive. I just needed the parts and an hour to do the work.

Safety gear

Next on my agenda was safety kit. Recently I have been reading some awful stories about cycle helmets failing because they have not been made to the proper standard.

It turns out that unscrupulous forgers have been manufacturing dodgy helmet using cheap materials and selling them as branded helmets. They look fine, but when they are subjected to stress they fail.

Because of this, I recently went out and replaced my cycle helmet with a new one bought from a supplier that I knew I could trust not to sell me counterfeit goods. They were not cheap, but it is better to be sure about things like this, so, for me, it was money well spent.

After a couple of hours work and a little investment I am pretty sure I am good to go and am now looking forward to getting out on my bike more.

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