Am I Ready to Race?
You might want to race to measure yourself against others, or ride in a community. Whatever your reason, you must be ready to race before you set out.
According to a survey done by AusPlay, cycling is on the list of top physical activities favoured by Australians. It ranked fifth on the list, with more than two million Australians saying that they’ve participated in the activity. Cycling came behind recreational walking, going to the gym, swimming, and running/athletics.
Cycling is so popular in Australia that there is even a national administrative body dedicated to it called Cycling Australia. The organisation is genuinely passionate about the sport and their vision is for Australia to become the leading cycling nation in the world.
Incredible benefits of cycling
Why is biking or cycling such a popular activity? The Transport Road and Maritime Services of the NSW Government considers it as a great way to take short trips. Riding a bike is also an easy and environmentally-friendly mode of transportation. Additionally, it is low-cost as it allows you to save money on fuel, parking, fares for public transport, and car maintenance. Fortunately, with high-quality and durable bikes that are only around $499, this is an activity that is open to almost everyone.
Cycling is good for you, and that’s why the NSW government recommends and promotes this activity. Apart from being environmentally-friendly and cost-effective, here are some more benefits of cycling:
1. Cycling can save you time.
If your travel distance is up to five kilometres, the fastest way to get to your destination is on a bike. If there is an appropriate infrastructure in place, your travel time will be quicker and your route more direct if you choose to ride your bike.
2. It is advantageous for your health.
Cycling is a great way to stay active. If you use your bike for 30 minutes at a moderate intensity, you can build muscle and maintain a healthy heart.
3. Cycling is also good for the community.
Roads are used at a much better capacity. There are also fewer emissions because cycling can help minimise the environmental footprint and contribute to a better quality of air.
Consequently, it supports lifestyle changes for the better. That’s because more and more people are choosing to live near their place of work or school. That makes riding a bike the best and most practical transportation option.
With all these advantages, it’s no wonder why over two million Aussies cycled last year. In NSW, the number of people cycling in a typical week is around 1.09 million.
Signs that you’re ready to join racing events
If you’re looking for a challenge to your cycling prowess, you might be thinking about joining actual cycling events. Just check out the Events page of Cycling Australia’s website, and you will find several events lined up for the rest of the year.
But how will you know if you’re ready to race? Here are some signs that you should take into consideration.
1. The basics of bike riding are innate to you.
You consider yourself an expert when it comes to the basics of riding a bike. Balance is a big part of riding a bike, but this is just the beginning of your biking journey. If you have truly become a master in the basics, you should be able to do the following properly:
- Effective braking and stopping
- Wearing proper cycling shoes and knowing how to clip in and out
- Riding in traffic
- Going downhill safely
- Riding in the rain
- Riding with strong winds on a windy day
- Using a cycling kit
- Fitting a helmet on properly
- Riding your bike and taking a drink at the same time
- Fixing a puncture
If you have mastered these, then looking for a challenge to your cycling journey is no surprise. In riding a bike, it’s always best to learn more skills and achieve your set goals, so that you can grow as a cyclist. Consider signing up for a challenging cycling event the next time you’re looking for something more in your cycling.
2. You have established a basic fitness level.
Cycling requires you to be physically fit to properly achieve your goals. This is especially true if you want to join a cycling event. When you’ve easily finished a 20 or 50km ride with your friends or family members or even just by yourself, you can say that you have achieved a basic fitness level. That is when you might want to look at stepping up your cycling and challenge yourself to a harder trial.
3. You want to challenge yourself.
You may have started your cycling journey by choosing to ride your bike along the short distance between your home and your work place. Maybe you’ve gone to a few recreational bike trips with friends or family. If you feel that you want to level-up your cycling experience, you may want to consider joining an actual race.
Just be mindful of your physical fitness (see number 2), even if you have ridden in other events in the past. These two factors will guide you in choosing the right cycling event for you.
4. You get motivated by friends who are doing a cycling challenge.
You may have already been riding recreationally with a group of other cyclists. They may be your gateway to a more challenging cycling event because they might invite you to ride with them.
If you have friends or a cycling group, joining a cycling event becomes more fun and challenging. There is a better sense of camaraderie, and the other aspects you need to consider, such as travel arrangements to get to the event venue, become more straightforward with a few friends in tow. Having a group of people to ride with you in an event can be much more motivating and inspiring than riding an event alone.
Stead Cycles has the biking equipment and gears that you need
Have you ever encountered any or all of these signs? If yes, then you may be ready to join an actual cycling event. If you’re prepared to do so, consider Stead Cycles for your biking needs. We are a one-stop-shop for biking essentials, and we have been in the business since 1923.
Stead Cycles is the expert in all things cycling, and we’ve been carrying the same quality of work across four generations. For enquiries, call 02 4966 2141 or email your queries to [email protected]. We can’t wait to hear from you!