Dr. Jeff Spencer, a former Olympic cyclist, believes that the key is to keep cycling in proper perspective regardless of individual ability or goals. "It's easy to ride hard but hard to ride easy," is a saying that he often reiterates to other cyclists, which provides a certain amount of truth for cyclists of all levels.
There is certainly a time and place for hard training and pushing yourself, especially for those with competitive goals. But this kind of training is not for everyone. The vast majority of cyclists are not racers, and it is important for all cyclists to remember that cycling is a great way to promote good health, stay fit and have fun without torturing yourself with intervals.
Tips to Follow
- Choose rides that offer appropriate terrain for your current level of fitness and ability.
- Ride at a pace and effort that allows you to talk comfortably without gasping for air.
- Ride with others who are close in fitness and ability as often as possible.
- Change your rides and explore your environment. Discover new neighborhoods, trails and bike paths to keep things fresh.
- Socialize as much as possible. Ride out to your local coffee shop or get a smoothie after a long workout. Enjoy good conversation with your riding partners and talk about something you have in common—like cycling!
- Don't be afraid to ease up when you find yourself going too hard. Slow down until you get your breathing under control. Concentrate on exhaling slowly until you recover and can continue your ride at a lower heart rate.
- Remember to take in your surroundings and notice the hawk soaring overhead, the beautiful flowers by the side of the road or the spectacular views around you. It's one of the few sports that allows you to stop and smell the roses.
- Find a rhythm that's comfortable to you. Stay positive when you aren't feeling well and slow down if you need to.
- Every day is different. Just because you rode at 18 mph yesterday doesn't mean you need to average that speed today. Heart rate monitors and odometers are fine to monitor workouts, but listening to your body is just as important.
Above all, keep it fun and you'll look forward to tomorrow's ride!Search for a cycling event