Cycling is one of the most popular ways to get around in the world. Many cities see people cycling to and from work or school regularly, and this is understandable. A car is costly and can result in being stuck in traffic jams. Hence, people view cycling as a cheap, easy, and quick way to get around while getting some physical exercise as well.
However, some people choose to go the extra mile and pursue cycling as a sport. In fact, cycle sport has a large global following, having a number of events in the Olympics and one of the most well-known sporting events worldwide, the Tour de France.
The Tour de France, in particular, is one of the most physically demanding sport competitions in the world, so much so that a mass participation event, the Etape du Tour, is held every year and open to individuals who wish to ride along the same route as one of the mountain stages of the Tour de France. Since its inception in 1993, it has also become a full-fledged tourist activity, offering various promotional packages to participants.
With both the Olympics and the Tour de France set for the summer of 2020, this is the perfect time for you to start getting into cycling as a sport. Here are some benefits to doing so:
Improve your stamina and health
Pursuing cycling as a sport means having to train on different surfaces and trails, which means cycling in the mountains, where the uphill incline forces you to exert a greater amount of effort just to make it up. You will also have to cycle for long hours on longer routes, without much break time.
These end up improving your stamina and physical conditioning. Cycling helps make your muscles and cardiovascular system stronger, as well as letting you shed a few pounds of fat. As you continue training, you will find yourself getting tired less frequently and feeling much better and healthier, even when not exercising.
Exercise without fear of injury
Unlike running, cycling is not a weight-bearing form of exercise, meaning that your body does not absorb any additional weight or force as you go along. Because of this, a lot less force and pressure exerted on your joints. This makes injuries, especially those associated with overuse, much less likely. Studies have shown that — compared with runners — cyclists report much lower rates of muscle damage and inflammation.
Discover nature’s breathtaking views
If you want to make the most out of your cycling training, you have to get out of the city. When you do so, you will be able to discover miles of freedom for you to ride on, breathing fresh air and reconnecting with nature. When you start training on uphill surfaces, you can catch some breathtaking views of the mountains that people rarely get to see in person. Cycling introduces you to the world you thought you knew, and you will wonder how you did not discover the joys of riding outdoors on a bicycle sooner.
Expand your social circle
Cycling is better when you don’t do it alone. There are many small groups or clubs dedicated to cycling, and you could easily find one that you could join for regular training sessions and weekend getaways. If you’re a first timer, going finding like-minded individuals can be beneficial, as they can teach you the ropes of the sport. There are also plenty of opportunities to meet new people at cycling events or competitions, giving you the opportunity to expand your horizons like never before.