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What is a regular rider anyway?

15 June, 2011

Halfway through June now, and halfway through our June riding challenge. Have you been pushing the pedals in the past couple of weeks? I don’t mean riding every day necessarily, just getting out for a few spins in the fresh air and choosing the bike to get somewhere when it’s appropriate. Whatever amount of riding is right for you.

Photo by On Track Images

One day last week, I didn’t ride. I expected to ride every day during this June challenge but a whole day went past – and a nice one at that – and I didn’t throw a leg over any two-wheeled machine. Life just involved me doing other things with no bike required.

But just because I tend to ride every day – to work, to the shops, often on my holidays – it doesn’t actually make me any more of a regular rider than a three-day-a week person or a one-weekend-a-month person. Those are each regular intervals.

The key thing is that you remember how good bike riding makes you feel and you keep yourself in condition to be able to enjoy a ride regularly – whatever that means to you. Don’t get concerned about setting strict training schedules, making lofty fitness goals or breaking personal records. If you set the bar too high, life will inevitably get in the way, and when things don’t go according to plan, you’ll feel beaten. Modest, long-term ambition mixed with a modicum of genuine determination will take you far. The pledge “I’m going to be a regular rider,” is far more likely to lead to a happy outcome than “I’m going to ride every day.”

We’d like to hear how your riding in June is going. Please comment below or email Ride On.

Tip – Clip in pedals or toe clips make pedalling less effort

Clip in pedals, when you’re ready for them, are a new paradigm of efficient pedalling. They aren’t as scary as you think – you quickly get used to them.

Releasing clip in pedal

Releasing clip in pedal. Photo by On Track Images.

They consist of cleats connected to the sole of your shoes that connect into special pedals. They give vastly greater pedalling efficiency. They keep your foot in the right position and allow you to pull up as well as push down when pedalling. They seem scary but are actually easy to learn to use. You twist your heel out to release your foot.

Toe clips are an alternative to clipless pedals and also provide better pedalling efficiency than plain platform pedals. They seem less scary than clipless pedals but they are actually bit harder to get into – and more importantly out of – when you’re in a hurry.

This post is for day 16 of Ride On‘s June riding challenge.

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