For some people, the simple joy of being out on a bicycle is pure joy in its own right. The feel of the wind on your face and the sun on your back as you pedal along the highways and byways or off-road on the mountain. Whatever your poison, propelling yourself along and getting fit in the process is a reward. But for other people the act of being on the bike is more like work. They are training for something or exercising to lose weight and get fit. These people often need more than just the enjoyment of the bike to incentivise themselves to get up and go. With this in mind, here are a few technical items that can make the cycling experience a whole lot more interesting.
With the advent of Google maps and all that it means there is the world of options out there for tracking where you are. The original global positioning systems were made by Garmin and TomTom and one of the best breeds on eth market today, made specifically for cycling, is the Garmin Edge 830. It is a fine device that tracks your location, plots a route and monitors your speed. It goes a long way towards making your trip a lot more engaging and fun – especially if you are cycling by yourself. If you are riding alone, the truth is that a gadget like this is almost like riding with a friend.
Another great toy to take with you on a ride is a heart rate monitor. There are plenty of different varieties available on the market and the goal should be to find one that suits both your budget, your physical requirements, and your training needs. The tendency for so many amateur athletes is to train as hard as you can for as long as you can. This is a surprisingly common mentality but also a remarkably ineffective way to train. What you should be striving to do is to train in your optimal heart rate zone (which is at around 80 percent of maximum). If you get into this zone and you stay there, you will be able to go much further for much longer. And, perhaps, more importantly, it will be comfortable. If you train out the top of the optimal zone, the overriding memory will be of pain and discomfort, and if this is what you are recalling the next time it is time to go for a ride, the mind will be less inclined to want to compel the body to go back to a place of pain.
Keep it social
Look to sign up for a sporting social network like Strava. This is a platform that manages training goals, shows route records, offers race analysis and compiles heat maps. It allows you to see who else is running the same routes that you are and to see what times they are doing the route in. In short, it allows you to set route records, even if you are riding by yourself. It is competitive and fun and a good way to meet other like-minded athletes in your area.