You’re making your daily commute to work and you pass by a half dozen of them. Those neon-clad folks riding their skinny bikes are clearly riding back and forth to the fountain of youth. How else do you account for people of all ages voluntarily spending their weekends making twenty, forty, and fifty-plus-mile treks through the mountains, and calling it fun? Tired of missing out? Before you hit the road, get informed on why cycling is more than just a great way to get from here to there.
Adult Cycling has all the information you need to know to bike safely. This site will give you an overview of traffic laws and rules that effect cyclists, along with articles that will help you keep your bike in good working order, and a list of the pros and cons of various terrains. You can also read the his and hers blogs, “Ned’s World” and “Caryn’s Corner.” The links page will direct you to all sorts of associations and forms, but avoid the site map—it will throw you into a messy page full of code. A final facet of the site’s purpose is to sell the DVD, “Geared Up: The Essentials of Adult Bicycling,” which is touted as a must for anyone who wants to get back on her bike and ride for fitness, transportation, or fun.
Bicycling Life is a very welcoming site that shines for it’s comprehensive anatomy page: if it doesn’t make you an expert at bicycle repair, it will at least convince the people at the bike shop that you know what you’re talking about. The safety column, “Frank n’ Fred,” could use a “back/next” button, as you have to navigate back and forth from the site map to read these and other articles. Still, it’s good advice delivered in a conversational tone. Bicycling Life covers topics of interest to anyone who has ever ridden a bike, and you can find out about distance events and races as easily as you can read articles on practical cycling that will green your weekly errands. And if you want to make your own city safer for cyclists, check out the advocacy page.
Active.com’s segment on bicycling is geared toward the more extreme cyclist. It that’s you, don’t miss this site. Here aspiring distance riders can talk to seasoned pros, pick up training tips, and discuss gear. You’ll be inspired to get down and dirty with your mountain bike after reading the articles about nationwide cyclo-cross events. Active.com stands out once again for its unmatched section on nutrition that offers practical tips for fueling up before long rides, as well as weight loss and muscle building plans. You might be disappointed if you try to enter your location to find events. You’ll probably be better off searching locally, as it seems events must be registered with Active.com to show up on this page.
If you’re interested in mountain biking for fitness, visit Utah Mountain Biking. You’ll get a great training regimen, complete with cross-training and target exercises you can do in the gym or at home to prepare yourself for the rigorous sport. If you live in Utah, or plan on visiting, you’ll appreciate the map of bike trails. There’s also a nice, thorough first-aid section with a clickable list of complaints and treatments, as well as tips for building a portable first-aid kit. If you’d prefer to purchase one instead, they’re for sale starting at $4.95. If you want to purchase more stuff, there’s an online shop where you can get gear, clothing, DVD’s, books, and nutrition bars and gels. There’s a decent section on bike repair, which is bound to be your saving grace if you run into trouble on an excursion.
Cycling enthusiasts will love Bicycling: and online counter part to the print magazine of the same name. You’ll find cycling news and tons of product reviews by actual people who have put the gear, the clothes, and the bikes to the test. This site also has a store finder, which is accompanied by reviews of the venue. The food and nutrition section isn’t all bran muffins and energy gels: check out “Eleven Cold Beers for Hot Rides,” an article that makes a convincing argument for the restorative properties of a cold one after an intense ride. Search for your own neck of the woods under the Ride Maps menu to discover new trails, or find group riding events near you. The library of videos is gigantic and ranges from cycling news and incredible feats to practical guides to training and step-by-step instructions for small repairs. The blogs focus on a myriad of topics: racing analysis and news, commuting, mountain biking, and advocacy. If you like, you can subscribe to the print magazine here as well.
Improve Cycling is a pithy little page with direct, informative articles that focus heavily on the fitness side of cycling. This is going to be a huge help to anyone who has resolved to pick up cycling to get back in shape, as many of its articles work together to help you design your own training and fitness plan. Take advantage of the training zone calculator to make the most of your rides. The nutrition department may also be of interest to you, although like most sites, it doesn’t feature recipes for the shakes and high energy meals it encourages you to consume. You can also subscribe to the blog, which focuses not only on fitness, but on cycling news, products, and racing.