Road cycling has been around for many years. It encompasses competitive racing, sportive riding, cyclocross, recreational and touring. Road cycling has traditionally had cycling clubs form, so that groups of like minded people can go out and benefit from the Peloton slip stream, meaning the riders in the wheel of the front riders do approximately 40% less work and conserve energy.
Traditionally a road bike has always had dropped handlebars and a multitude of gears, typically triple or compact chainset’s and 9, 10 or 11speed cassettes. The rider is then naturally sat in an aerodynamic position helping to reduce drag from the riders body.Weight is important in road cycling and so many bike frame and forks are made from aluminium or carbon.The components tend to be compact and as light as possible. Road bikes come with thin wheels and tyres for minimal resistance/friction with the road. All of this allows a road bike to travel at excellent average speeds and assists in hill climbing.
I have always enjoyed road cycling but have and find it a good way to get rid of the daily stress and woes of working. In the past I have done a bit of off roading on a mountain bike, but find road cycling less messy and I am less prone to falling off!
Yeah first and foremost you’ve got to remember that roads are dangerous places so make sure that you are easily visible. You want bright clothing so that you stand out and never cycle with music on. Make sure that your ears are free and you can see and hear everything around you. It’s hard to hear what’s coming anyway but it’s made even harder with headphones in. If you’re cycling in heavy traffic and someone feels a bit too close to you then just drop off. Don’t try and be a martyr and try to overtake the car because if there is a collision there will only be one winner and it won’t be the cyclist, it’s going to be the car every time. Other than that I would say just try to get out on the open road where traffic isn’t as heavy and pedal hard and feel free. It’s the best feeling in the world when you hit that 30mph+ and are hurtling down a hill. It’s just you, two wheels and the tarmac and it feels amazing!
Well I still love road cycling and there’s no way I’m gonna give that up. It’s the speed of it really. After riding on a mountain bike for years, to get on a road bike and feel that responsiveness is great. The fact you can do a 30 mile bike ride in a couple of hours and go up big hills and fly down the other side is great. I also like the social aspect of it - the fact you can ride in a group and chat and all stop at a cafe together are the main things I enjoy about road cycling.
Yes that is a good question, there are quite a few things, but if I had to choose one thing it would be for the fitness aspect of it. I am a person that likes to keep myself in shape, I eat quite healthy, but I also want to do something that I enjoy for exercise. When I was younger I was more into body building and going to the gym and that sort of thing. I have also been a cyclist not always a road cyclist, but when I got into it I relaise that this was the sport for me. I love being out there it doesn’t feel like exercise even though it is hard work. I would say that I could go cycling for 3 hours and feels like it just breezes by and to go for a 10minute run seems like and eternity to me, I am not a runner. I love being outside and gtting into the zone, that zen like state of being on the bike and just tune out the world and you are solely alone out there, pushing myself. I also love the social side the cycling community where people get together whether it’s a ride or talking to them on twitter, it is a fun industry to be involved with.
What are Texas Hill Country’s back roads like to ride on?
See I have never had the chance to ride on any serious mountains like you would find in part so Europe or even Canada. Where I lived in Canada it’s a real prairie part of the country so real flat and although when I lived in the Caribbean which is where I first started road biking it was quite hilly. I think St Kitts has an end of the island that’s quite hilly. At the time I didn’t even have a computer on the bike so I don’t know what the percentage gradient of some of those hills but quite big and steep. So here in Austin is really the first time I have had the chance to ride something that has hills not mountains. Downtown and Eastern Austin is fairly flat and on the West side where I am it’s towards the hill country. So there are some hills they are not long but there are gradients of up to 18%. So matter where I go for my rides from home you are dealing with at least a few hills.