Cycling Cycle Club Tips for First Time Cyclists

Bicycle Luggage Storage

Never carry anything on the back. On the bike there is enough space to put all the luggage, provided the necessary bags are placed and the necessary supports made. The backpack can cause a fall by unbalancing the cyclist in a faster turn or maneuver. In addition, a simple bundle can already be a nuisance after many hours of pedaling, worse if it is a backpack, which prevents the rider from relaxing the muscles of the neck and shoulders.

The loaded bicycle is a totally different vehicle that you get used to easily, to the point of being surprised when your luggage is taken away. As already stated in the item Luggage, the complete “tralla”, including camping and food stuff, is around 30 to 35kg (not counting the bicycle). In very long crossings, of a few months, or in very cold placebis, that demand more equipment, this weight reaches 45 kg.

I always defend the use of luggage compartment and front saddlebags, even in short journeys, due to the gain in stability. The full weight of the bicycle in the back has the “silly” front, and it flies lightly, to any hole or guide climb. Curves, maneuvers to deflect obstacles are also difficult.

The ideal arrangement of luggage on the bicycle would be 30% in the front luggage compartment, 60% in the rear luggage compartment and 10% in the smaller luggage compartments: saddle, handlebar and frame (triangular bags). It will not always be possible to respect this division, but if you can, it will be better for you and your bike.Bicycles are designed to support on the back, most of the weight of the cyclist, and with the luggage should be no different.

Handlebar bags are extremely practical for storing everything that has to be kept at hand, such as sunscreen, camera, maps, etc. But do not exaggerate in weight as this will force the steering box beyond disrupting the “pilotagem”.

For greater stability, try to lower the center of gravity of the assembly (bicycle, load, cyclist) to the maximum, putting the heavier things on the bottom of the saddlebags and the lighter ones on top. Already on top of the luggage rack, can go the equipment that have more volume than weight, as sleeping bag and thermal insulation.

While traveling, try to optimize the way luggage is stored on the bike so that it fills up all the spaces in the saddlebags and organizes the equipment that goes above the luggage rack. Everything should be well-secured so that nothing starts to fall on the way, but at the same time it should be practical to put and take everything on the bike. To facilitate the assembly and disassembly of this “artistic installation”, above the luggage compartments, take several extensors of different sizes and one or two elastic nets (those used to attach motorcycle helmets). Use your creativity, over time you will find your own method of packing the luggage, according to type of each trip and loaded equipment.

Tip: With the rain, everything gets complicated. Lightweight covers for saddlebags and many plastic bags. Even inside the saddlebags, bag anything that is too important to stay dry (clothes, movies, maps, documents and others). For the sleeping bag the perfect packaging are the watertight bags, which do not let pass even a drop of water. They can be found in mountaineering stores but, because they are imported, they are quite expensive.

Rhythm

The longer the trip, the greater the cumulative effect of everything you do. This can have both positive and negative consequences. One can feel an improvement in physical conditioning or, on the contrary, wear and tear or constant pain. Everything will depend on your care and attention in the routine of pedaling.

Regarding the mileage mileage per day, it is a totally personal matter. If you’ve never done cycling before, pedal little in the first days of travel and gradually increase until you find your own daily average. A non-athlete, but with average physical fitness, usually runs 45 km on dirt roads or 65 km on asphalt. At a tourist pace, stopping and knowing a lot, it is usually done about 1000 km per month.

However, there are so many factors to take into account that it is practically impossible to make your overnight forecast simply by counting the distances on the map. If it is rainy season and the dirt roads become mud, the yield will drop. On the other hand, if the road is asphalt, light rain may even help, reducing the friction of the tires on the ground. If the wind against it is very strong, you will be “delayed” if the landscape is very breathtaking and you stop at all times to contemplate and photograph too, or if the sun is too intense and do not let you pedal between the ten Morning and four in the afternoon.

So try to plan yourself to the fullest. Discover, before leaving, all the external factors that may influence your pedals. But once you find a different reality than expected, do not hesitate to change your plans. Do not be slave to your own schedule!

It is important to dose your “gas” so you do not get dead by the end of the day.Accumulating exaggerations, sooner or later your body will feel and start charging for it.Cycling is not competition, there are no winners or losers, enjoy the whole way and not just the time of arrival. In addition, there can always be an unforeseen event before stopping the daily cycle. Then you find out that you still need to accelerate in the last few kilometers. If you are already on the verge of exhaustion, you will have to force yourself a little longer and then the account will be charged again in the following days. Some examples? Imagine after a long day: the tire stuck in the late afternoon, you have to pedal hard if you want to get there before dark and the temperature drops sharply. Or, someone can drive by, offering a great place to camp on their farm, but says “just follow us, only we’re in a hurry.” Or, you get to a small town, your overnight spot planned for that day, and it does not go anywhere with the face of the place and decides to pedal to find a better place. (These are some situations I’ve been through, other cyclists certainly have similar stories to tell)

At the beginning of each day’s pedaling, take it easy. Remember that you still have plenty of road ahead. Nothing good to pedal well the first two hours and the remaining others are pure torture. Be careful because this initial excitement often attacks even after a long rest stop.

Finally, on longer journeys, take three or four days a month to rest from the bike. Not that you have to stand still, take the time to walk a lot, walk or swim. It will do well to use other muscles as well.

Tip: The best rest for a very hard pedal is a light pedaling the next day. The effect is much better than standing still.

Heating

First of all it is necessary to distinguish between stretching and heating. As the names themselves suggest, heating is used to warm the “machine” and the elongation to increase or maintain flexibility.

Warming is the initial phase that prepares the body for exercise, increasing circulation and heart rate and causing mild sweating. In general, it takes ten or fifteen minutes of running at a slow pace or a brisk walk to get this effect. Very good, but almost impractical in a travel situation. What you can do perfectly are some exercises before you take the bike.On foot, make joint pivotal movements. Turn first the head, then the shoulders, the arms, the wrists, the waist, and finally the ankles (with the tip of the foot on the floor and the heel raised). The movements should be slow and broad.

Tip: To avoid forgetting any part of the body while warming up, always do a sequence of exercises that starts at the head and ends at the feet (or vice versa).

Then continue the warm up on the bike, pedal slowly in a very light gear, until you feel your body properly heated. This slow start also has a second function: to brake our impulse to get off pedaling hard as soon as we put our feet on the pedal. The problem is that we forget to dose our energy so that it lasts all day. (See PEDALANDO – Pace)

Stretching

Few give due importance to stretching exercises, but they should be included in the daily routine of anyone who practices sports or wants to stay healthy. The main benefits are reduced risk of muscle damage and joint twisting and relaxation, both physical and mental.

During a trip, it is even more necessary to practice stretching to keep pace with increasing muscle mass. Stretching exercises also contribute to improved blood circulation, helping to release lactic acid, a residue of muscle function and responsible for typical muscle soreness the next day.

Stretching should always be preceded by warm-up (at least ten minutes) because the elevated tissue temperature expands the extension of the connective and muscular tissues, reducing the risk of injury from stretching.

For the exercises, focus and move slowly and smoothly. Stretch to the point of tension, but without pain. Breathe normal and freely, but accentuate the exhalation when stretching to facilitate relaxation.

Two to three repetitions of each exercise, held for 10 seconds, or one repetition of each, held for 20 to 30 seconds (as the training progresses, the number of successive repetitions can be increased). Finish each exercise slowly and with the same care that you performed. To decide how much to do stretching, the best advice is to use common sense: train, do not overload.

And attention. Look for a specialized doctor or physiotherapist before doing a stretching program if in a particular region of the body you:

– has had a recent fracture
– has an inflammatory process in or around the joint
– feels sharp and sharp pain when moving the joint or stretching
– had sprain or injury from overuse
– has a bone blocking movement

Try to get used to doing, at various times, small sets of stretches. For example, before leaving, a light series without forcing the muscles, as they are still cold. Do this initial stretching as if you were stretching, it is effective to evaluate the “damage” caused by the pedaling the previous day. What produces better results is to do the stretching after finishing the most intense physical exercise during the relaxation phase. In cooling, stretching is safer and more productive. You can also enjoy the small or large stops that are made during the day of travel, to do their stretches. It is not uncommon to make it harder to do them at the end of the day, with “audience” watching. When you come to a place, it’s common for people to come in for a conversation, curious about everything they’ve done, where they’re going, and things like that. When you realize your body has already cooled and your stretching has been postponed.

Cycloturist Posture

As cycling is a practice that is still starting in Brazil (compared to many other countries) it is important to be aware of contributing to the formation of a good image of the practitioners. Some other “tribes” already suffer a certain prejudice, as motorcyclists and sometimes also the backpackers.

A famous Brazilian quality is to be a hospitable people. What he has will want to share with the traveler, the food, the drink and even the space. This undoubtedly favors cyclotourism in the country, it is a certain security to leave knowing that you can count on the help of many people along the way. But do not abuse, have the sensitivity to see if it is not causing discomfort.

There are lovely people whom we meet along the way, a simple way of life and with immense wisdom, who will be striking throughout their lives. Often after staying at someone’s house like that, humble and helpful to you, you feel the need to repay in some way, but you know that offering cash payment would be viewed as an offense. Already thinking about these occasions, always carry some extra food (a bag of coffee powder usually succeeds), can also be a T-shirt (if traveling abroad wear the shirt of the selection, always please). Usually where there are many kids (and always there) cookies and candy can be welcomed. Let us not regard it as an exchange of favors, it is only a kindness. But perhaps the best retribution you can give is your kindness in being always willing to tell your stories and share the adventures of your way. That’s the chance not to be an ordinary tourist and leave you a little on the spot.

And especially, never promise anything you are not sure you can meet. If you somehow cause frustration, be it coming back soon, or you would send pictures and you did not, think that the next cyclist who passes by may not be welcomed with the same spontaneity as you were.

Sometimes, we inadvertently give the impression of being arrogant. Because we arrived with different bikes from those used by the local people, we were astonished, even more with a huge paraphernalia of equipment on all sides, colored clothes and helmet on the head, the wonder is bigger (what a cyclist never felt like an ET when arriving in a village ?). Some pipelines may be adopted to minimize this initial impact. For example, when stopping to ask for information, get off the bike. Instead of shouting from a distance, approach the person. And another, take off your helmet and sunglasses to see his face, this will give more confidence. And of course, never forget the good old “Please, Good Afternoon and Thank You”.

Also be patient when asking for information and do not expect a clear, quick and objective answer (besides correct, obviously). That guy over there, weeding the bush, will stay there all day. Surely he will first want to know where you came from, where you are going and why the hell is on the bike and not the car. Then he will want to talk about the time to finally answer your question: Yes, turn right. But after all, why travel by bicycle, if not to take advantage of these moments? Just cycling to reach a destination and sleeping, and repeating the same the next day is not exactly a good way to do cycling. It can be at most one type of sport, a proof “against the clock”.

Try not to be arrogant and try hard to see if you are not offending or bothering anyone.The further from cities, the greater the chance of cultural shock. Your habits may be very different from the ones you will encounter and it does not mean that they are right or wrong, simply customs are customs.

For example, you might not see any harm in stroking a dog and commending it to its owner. It may be that he has acted with the intention of being sympathetic. But if the dog falls ill the next day, you can be sure, there will be suspicions of a “bad look.” Another, some mothers worry about a great evil that plagues children: the “want.” It happens like this: the child sees you eating something, is willing and ready, falls ill. Mothers say that the quest may even kill. It may be that you find the biggest stupidity in the world, but you must show respect, since as visitors we have to behave as such (and not as “such”).

One more care that one can take is that most people take offense if you doubt the reliability of the water they are offering. If you are to drip a few drops of chlorine to sterilize the water, leave it to do a little further, away from the eyes of those who provided it.

Finally, deviate from the known routes and the great highways, discover vicinal roads and isolated. The ways will be worse, but their experience will be incomparably richer. More tips for the beginners, especially in Winter, you could browse LEGALARMIST.