Virtual Reality in Cycling

From this point in time, it is amazing to see how far technology has progressed. There are things today that we consider quite normal, but which could not have been imagined a hundred years ago. Not only can we access every last bit of human knowledge through a little brick we keep in our pockets (without any kind of wire), but we can also communicate in a realm that is different from the one we live in – in the online world. As if that was not easy enough, to begin with, we went another step forward into the future and created devices that help us access a different reality from our own. This is what VR enables us to do.

How VR works?

Virtual reality, also known as VR, is usually presented in the form of a headset that users put on in order to block out any input from the real world, and enter the virtual environment that is presented. The picture on the inside of the headset is shaped in a way that makes it appear as realistic as possible, that is as if the user is in real life. There are countless applications for virtual reality, but one that might be overlooked is cycling. How can virtual reality be applied to riding a bike?

Training

Riding a bicycle greatly depends on the weather, and not all parts of the world are blessed with good weather conditions. Sometimes, the riding has to take place inside, and virtual reality can help with providing a lifelike environment for training indoors. Moreover, sometimes the track and the landscape where the race will be held are not well-known to the riders. VR can help with that, as it allows the players to explore the place where the race will be held and get to know all the tricky bits the track has. This makes their training and preparations for the race more effective and maximizes their chances of winning.

Lockdown exercises

One of the biggest problems that the people in the world are facing today is the lockdown due to the global pandemic. Sometimes it is difficult to stay fit, and exercising in a room cannot motivate everyone. However, if you have a room bike, all you need is a VR headset, and you could see yourself riding over the Alps, or exploring the California Valley. Virtual reality can also be employed in these situations to simulate real surroundings and relax the rider until they are safe to really go outside and exercise. This is not only beneficial for people’s physical health but also their mental health and it could become the next big trend around the world when it comes to lockdown exercising.

Mountain Biking vs Road Cycling – Which One is for You?

When debating various topics, one which frequently pops up is that of mountain biking versus road cycling. They are similar, or so many would think, right? Yes, they are, but not entirely. The way you ride changes and the bicycle you use also changes, sometimes drastically. Road bikes cannot be taken offroad, unless the road is flat and without bumps, rocks or other things which can damage its frame and wheels, and on the other hand, mountain bikes are only slowing you down on asphalt. So, should you consider mountain biking or road cycling as your next hobby? Here is a look at both.

Mountain Biking – Dangerous but Adventurous

Do not take this the wrong way, road cyclists can get into a lot of danger, as well, particularly given that they can go really fast and that they are often in traffic with vehicles (many of which are careless when it comes to cyclists). Yet, mountain biking is by itself dangerous, or rather, more dangerous, particularly for the rookies.

You need a mountain bike, or rather, a bike which parts were made to withstand going off road, bumps, drops, rapid changes in the pressure on the frame, tyres and suspension. They are by their nature, heavier, with thicker frames and suspension which can save you from lots of hurt, on your wrists and posterior, to be precise. 

Mountain biking can be divided into various categories, like cross country, which is less dangerous than downhill, but also has less adrenaline. Depending on what kind of mountain biking you would like to do, your bike will need to be more or less expensive. Light mountain biking, and you can get away with a hardtail, but for more extreme variants, more expensive full suspension bikes will be required. 

Road Cycling – Fast and Light

Road bikes, given that they are built with the purpose of being used on paved surfaces, are extremely light and therefore easier to transport. Road cycling is great when you have well paved surfaces. Luckily, you can avoid most potholes with a bike easily. You can go really fast and use it as a means of transport. A close relative to a road bike is a touring bike, which is a bit more robust and has the necessary gear for you to place your baggage, so that you can travel long distances with some comfort. A road bike can be cheaper than a mountain bike, especially since they do not need suspension, neither front or rear. With that in mind, road bikes are fragile. Your wheels and tyres are thin and you can damage it significantly if you fail to notice the sewer grating which dropped ten centimeters due to excessive wear. 

Which is the Right one For You?

That depends on what kind of cycling you plan on doing. The best answer to this is, why not both? Get a relatively cheaper road bike for commuting and traveling light and fast and a mountain bike to go off roading a bit, to get your thighs active, as well as the rest of your body. Mixing and matching means that you can have the best of both worlds. Most cyclists who try either one, often end up trying the other, and having more than a single bicycle. 

Whether road or mountain biking, the answer lies in the love for cycling. Both are unique and can challenge you in their own ways. A cyclist often ends up having two bicycles, to suit their on and off road cycling needs. If you try both of them, chances are that you might like both.

The Most Extreme Cycling Events Around the World

People use bicycles to travel the world, commute, exercise, or simply as a way of recreation. Some use it professionally to earn money and compete in the hardest of competitions, whether the Olympic Games or the Grand Tours. Others use cycling as another sport to bet on, especially when the less known events are available. Experienced punters often use promotional codes to make the most of their money, like this Sportingbet Promotional Code. While you are unlikely to bet on extreme cycling events, you are definitely going to enjoy them. Spectating athletes at their peak, doing some of the most dangerous things imaginable is very entertaining. Here is a list of the most extreme cycling events in the world.

Cape Epic – South Africa

In South Africa, people go to great lengths to finish a race. All jokes aside, the race of Cape Epic is pretty difficult, the only one to be classified in the beyond category by the UPI. It is 8 days long, with stages which include a single track, lots of trails and plenty of mountains. The elevation gain is a staggering 16,650 meters. The last variation of the race was 624 kilometers long and 650 pairs of racers took place. The race is open to professionals and amateurs alike, all riding on the same track, but in different categories.

Trans-Siberian Extreme

If you like the cold, actually, if you love the cold and feel that you can endure 9200 kilometers of cycling in a very inhospitable landscape, then this race is the right one for you.

As its name might suggest, the Trans-Siberian Extreme takes you through Siberia. This race takes you through 8 different time zones. Just think about that for a second. If that is not enough for you, then know that you will also have to face 5 different climates. As if the cold wasn’t enough, you’ll also get to experience plenty more weather-related surprises. 

Race Across America

This is one of those races which is pretty long and compared to other races, really difficult. It is a non-stop race, meaning no stages. Time keeps on going, no matter what you do. If you have to sleep, make it count. If you have to empty your bowels, good luck. The race has been around since 1982 and is 4800 kilometers long, going from the west coast to the east. That has always been the direction of the race. If you want to sign up, know that the fastest cyclists need around a week or more to finish the race. Good luck.

Dragon Devil

Wales has it out for you. 320 kilometers of hardcore mountain biking. The elevation gain is almost 5000 meters and the race will take every bit of effort you can muster.

These are some of the world’s most interesting and extreme cycling races. Whether cross-country or mountain biking races, they are difficult and challenging even for the best cyclists. Will you ever dare to take part in them?

Why is Cycling Good for Children

Cycling is an activity for people of all ages. Our children are full of energy and require exercise daily. Since physical activity is important for numerous health benefits for a child, it is highly recommended that your son or daughter uses a bicycle as their means of transportation and exercise. Moreover, it is a great way to bond with your child because we can all join in a bit of cycling fun around the block or through the park. Here are some of the most important benefits of cycling for children’s development, both mental and physical.

Exercise and Healthy Lifestyle

Cycling is a great way for children to develop their muscles and endurance. Riding a bicycle will build primarily the hamstrings and quadriceps; the pedalling motion develops the lower body rather than the upper body. In the age of childhood obesity, buying your kid a bike is the best present you can get them. Cycling will burn calories, keep them fit, strengthen their immune system and develop important exercise habits that will follow them throughout the life. It will make your child enjoy sport, which is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. With cycling, you will easily motivate your child to engage in 60 min of recommended daily physical activity.

Ecological Awareness and Contact with Nature

Your child will learn to be environmentally conscious by using this eco-friendly means of transportation. Riding a bike never releases the amountof greenhouse gases comparable to that of a car, bus, or train. Moreover, by regularly cycling, your kid will spend more time in nature, breathing fresh air, that seated in front of a computer.

Being outdoors presents new challenges that would not be present in the gym. Say, on day one you may wish to go uphill and on day two ride around a lake. Children love cycling for the freedom it affords them to explore and get to know their local area.

School Success

Some schools incentivise biking by hosting competitions and rewarding children that their own bring bikes every day to school. More often than not there is a school cycling club where trips are taken to nature, which is both a fun and educational activity for children to do. Moreover, schools report that children that cycle to school are more alert and pay more attention in class than kids that arrive by car.

Building Confidence

You will notice that your child soon formulates the idea in his early teenage years that personal improvement is required if he or she will become the best they can be. The child sets a goal such as “I want to be faster so I need to be stronger.” They do this with practice and understand what needs to be done in order to improve. This is an invaluable lesson for a child – hard work and discipline will result in achievement.

Socializing

Cycling is a great way for children to socialize and have fun together. Kids love to race and go on bike adventures. Going for a bike ride together with other kinds will improve your child’s social skills.

Finally, a word of caution: riding a bike is great but teach your children to be safe and always wear a helmet. If an accident ever occurs it is best to be safe than sorry.

Where is Cycling the Most Popular Sport?

Bicycle racing is an Olympic sport and quite the popular one in fact. It has widespread popularity in Europe, especially in countries like Belgium, Denmark, France, and Spain.

Belgium

Cycling is incredibly popular in Belgium where a number of important cycling races are held. The sport is governed by the Royal Belgian Cycling League. The best Belgian cyclist of all time is Eddy Merckx and he has won the Tour de France five times along with Giro d’Italia five times, and one Vualeta a Espana. The “Cannibal”, has a huge list of accolades and it would take a while just to name them all. But being the best Belgian says a lot because the Belgians have been one of the most successful nations to compete in the sports since its inception. Likewise they host one of the oldest races from Liege-Bastogne-Liege, first held in 1892.

Denmark

Cycling is extremely popular in Denmark and it is considered to be one of the best cyclist-friendly countries due the infrastructure in place and the flat land. The sport of cycling has received some bad press in recent years due to doping scandals. Although, there has been negative press the sport has not lost its popularity in the slightest in the country. One of the most successful Danes to ride the bike has been Thorvald Ellegaard who won six sprint titles, three European titles, and twenty-four Danish titles.

France

Every July, lasting three weeks, France hosts the Tour de France. It is one of three of the most prestigious grand tours. Attracting over twelve million people and is therefore one of the most popular cycling events around. France has won their own event thirty-six times in the history of the event. The gruelling 3,500 kilometre race varies its course from year to year but almost always ends at the Champs-Elysees in Paris. The very first winner of the French event was French himself by the name of Maurice Garin. Sharing the place for five Tour de France wins are between Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, and Miguel Indurain. Both Jacques and Bernard are French competitors.  

Spain

Around 20% of Spanish people list cycling as their main mode of transportation and the country does have some cycling infrastructure put in place to make it easier and safer for cyclists to move about. The Tour of Spain is one of the most important cycling events in the world. Miguel Indurain is Spain’s most gifted cyclist winning the Tour de France five times. Miguel’s physique earned him his nickname “Miguelon” or “Big Michael” because he was 1.88m and weighed 80kg. His hour record, achieved in 1994, was a whopping 53.040km.