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Showing posts from October, 2022

5 Best Strength and Conditioning Exercises for Cyclists

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Riding a bike is not just about turning the pedals. Your body and cycling will benefit from integrating strength and conditioning exercises that build your core strength, leg power, and help reduce the risk of injury. These five exercises are simple strength-building drills taken from yoga and 'functional trunk strength' (a.k.a. core stability) workouts; they will help increase your comfort on long endurance rides, and also aid cycling performance improvements. 1. Squats If you do one thing, SQUAT. Squatting is the most natural but most powerful weight training exercise that we can use for building cycling strength. The motion uses our powerful quadriceps, glutes, and lower back muscles in one fluid motion. The key thing with squatting is to display good form. You do not want to be bent over like a hunchback. A simple set of instructions for good squatting technique: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, splayed at 30 degrees With your arm

Personal Hygiene and Skincare for Bikepacking and Cycle Touring

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A question often asked in the bikepacking and cycle touring community is “ how do you keep clean and maintain good personal hygiene on a multi-day cycle tour? ” The secret for me, lies with a few products and techniques. These are my tips for healthcare, hygiene and skincare on bike touring expeditions. The first thing to consider is the potential problem areas for hygiene and healthcare when clocking a lot of miles in the saddle. All these problems can be traced back to three root causes: bacteria, weather, and bodily fatigue. These three factors solely or jointly cause issues like saddle sores, infection, sunburn, windburn, and gastrointestinal discomfort. To protect from and help cure the above ailments, I use a simple choice of products that come with me on most bicycle touring adventures… 1. Mum&You Biodegradable Baby Wet Wipes These wipes are an essential for cleaning yourself and your equipment when on a bicycle tour. You can use them to wipe away sweat and bacteri

Best Gravel Bike Cycling Routes on the Isle of Wight

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I ride a gravel bike on the Isle of Wight more than I ride any other; it is the perfect way to explore the vast network of quiet roads and exciting open trails. In this post, I have tailor-made a selection of the best gravel cycling routes on the Isle of Wight, with suggested pit-stops and highlights. The Isle of Wight roads, trails, and tracks are my home. I have toured all over the world, but whenever I come back to this small island off the South Coast of the UK I am amazed at how diverse and beautiful the riding is here. 'The Island' is very easy to get to with a bike—use one of the three car ferry routes from Portsmouth, Lymington or Southampton; or come as a foot passenger and bring your bike for free on the Wightlink FastCat  from Portsmouth Harbour train station. You can get to the Island from Central London in just a little over three hours. Once you are here, there is a plethora of bike-friendly accommodation: from hotels and B&B's to campsites and Eco-l

Bikepacking Tips – Meals and Food for Cycle Touring Trips

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On past bikepacking trips  I have had the opportunity to experiment with a variety of meals and foods particularly suited to bikepacking and lightweight cycle touring. The focus is always on eating decent quality, nutritious, lightweight, but varied foods that would supply fuel for the ride and keep your body functioning at its best. These are a few of tips for eating on bikepacking trips, as well as some simple recipe ideas… 1. Carry Seasoning My top tip is to bring a small pot of seasoning that you can add to meals—supplying salt and flavour. I mix up a little pot of vegetable stock powder, mixed herbs and chilli flakes to take with me—adding some spark to evening dishes. 2. Freeze-Dried Back-Up Meals In all of my past ' Gearing Up ' posts you will spot freeze-dried meals from UK brand Expedition Foods. These were a godsend on days like  Day 5 of the #CoastsandCols tour —when I got caught out by shop closures and had to camp at the top of the Col de Portet d&#

Review – Thule RoundTrip Bike Duffel Bag

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I am a sucker for bags, and a fanatic kit organiser. These two personality traits have led me on an ongoing search for the best bag for every pursuit, whether it is trans-continental bike tours, overseas travel, or a daily cycle commute. No one bag ticks all the boxes for every kind of trip, but having a multitude of bags does allow you to be super-organised and prepared for any kind of adventure… The Thule RoundTrip Bike Duffel Bag is designed to carry all your kit when you are heading to a bike race, training camp, or on a multi-day trip with your bike. Featuring dedicated storage pockets for your helmet, shoes, sunglasses, tools, and clothes; it has a place for everything, so everything can be kept in its place and easy to access. Thule bags have become my go-to luggage choice, they are faultlessly made and last for years. So, when I was looking for a bag to transport riding kit and accessories, they were the logical brand to turn to. The RoundTrip Bike Duffel is the perfect compan

Bikepacking Tips – Wild Camping on Bikepacking and Cycle Touring Trips

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Wild camping and bicycle touring or bikepacking go hand in hand. Camping in fields, on beaches, and in remote rural locations means you can choose your camping spot; allowing far more freedom in terms of route planning and far more scope to account for adverse or favourable riding conditions. Wild camping is also an incredible way to get closer to nature. It lets you experience sunsets and sunrises in secluded places, and lets you truly escape from civilisation on your bikepacking adventures. There is also the fact that wild camping is free, and it is often the only choice for back-of-beyond bicycle touring. This blog post details my personal top tips for wild camping. The advice comes from experiences on hiking trips, and bicycle touring or bikepacking adventures such as the #RoadsFromRome , #7Countries7Passes , #CelticCrossTrail , and #CoastsandCols tours. Camping in the wild is an unforgettable experience—one that should be enjoyed by all. Hopefully, this wild camping guide