INDIA. Delhi: COVID-19 locked us for almost two and a half months. And even after relaxations in lockdowns, people are apprehensive of walking around in their neighbourhoods and also using public transport. The pandemic lockdown era really was the worst of times, but it has also given us the best of opportunities too, it gave fresh momentum to cycling, an alternative to walking, and public transport.
People had forgotten cycles for a long. But, in the pandemic era, people all over the world have bought new cycles and have started riding again as a medium of exercising, easy commuting to workplaces, etc. People have formed cycling groups and organising short distance outings.
Getting the right cycle
An entry-level cycle with slightly broader tyres is good for recreational cycling involving daily cycling. A right gear ratio is essential to make it easy to peddle up a climb on routes and flyovers. The entry-level cycle with a properly adjusted handle and saddle height also suffices for short rides in your locality. Just add a basket, and it becomes great shopping assistance too.
Practice before setting out on long rides
It must have been years for most of us since our last cycling ventures. So it is necessary to get the feel back. So for the first few days, you must practice near your home to get the feel back. It is a good way to warm-up too and gets back your body back in motion.
Take care of your cycle and yourself
Recall your childhood days when you used to keep your cycle well maintained. So re-develop those habits of checking the brakes every time before you take your cycle out, and don’t forget to get the chain, crankset, and gears cleaned and oiled after every 500-600 km.
It’s already springtime and summers are approaching fast. So make provisions of a water bottle on your bike to keep you hydrated during your peddling sessions.
Follow driving regulations
Yes, it’s not a motorised vehicle and you don’t need a license to ride a cycle, but still, you should keep all the traffic rules in mind, and always keep to the correct side of the road (depending on what country you are in), wear a helmet and make yourself visible to other cyclists and motorists. Always follow the traffic rules, as once on the road, you are part of the traffic.
Benefits of cycling
Cycling is as good as walking, and at times even more. It helps you work on your core and lower limbs, and build up lower body muscles. It helps build up your muscles, strengthens joints, helps burn calories.
Even for the elderly, cycling is a great low-impact exercise to stimulate circulation and help reduce leg pain and stiffness in the joints. But care should be taken when they go out on the roads.