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postheadericon How to be comfortable, safe and look good when cycling in extreme events

How to be Comfortable, Safe and Look Good When Cycling in Extreme Events

Recently I took part in an organised cycling event called The Exmoor Beast.I managed to  complete the gruelling “short” course (70 miles of extremely hilly cycling over Exmoor) and during the 6 hours I was in the saddle, I had plenty of opportunity to observe what other cyclists were wearing and now feel well qualified to comment on appropriate wear for such an event. 

There were over 1000 competitors for this challenging event and so I had plenty of opportunity to see a vast variety of clothing worn by my fellow cyclists.  Being an Image Consultant I was interested in colour as well as the technical value of the kit on display.

Some of the elite athletes taking part wore specialist cycling clothing in an array of bright coloured jerseys. These outfits are designed specifically for cycling and make the rider more aerodynamic as well as warm and comfortable.  There is such a wide choice of colours that everybody would be in a position to find their perfect colour.  This type of clothing is available from specialist cycle shops and from the internet.

 The lesser mortals amongst us, such as me, were dressed in a variety of comfortable and heat efficient clothing and some were just wearing shorts and an anorak.  The single most apparent colour amongst the competitors was florescent yellow.  Although it is not a particularly flattering colour for most people, it does make the wearer highly visible. 

When competing in endurance competitions such as the Exmoor Beast, wearing sufficiently warm and comfortable clothing is essential.  Probably the single most important item is a pair of padded shorts!  The weather on Exmoor can change dramatically, but on Sunday we were lucky.  It was a dull day, but dry and not too cold, except when exposed to the strong winds.  I wore three thin layers, the inner one being a sports specific t-shirt that keeps you dry how ever much you sweat and the outer layer being breathable and waterproof.  The outer layer was the perfect turquoise blue, that suits my auburn hair and made me very visible, another essential on a dull November day as mentioned above.  I have to admit to my socks and inner two shirts being a perfect red for my colouring, even though they were not visible on the day, I just can’t help it! 

As I am an amateur cyclist, I was just pleased to have completed the course before it got dark and enjoy the comradely atmosphere of so many people enjoying a day out.  I can hardly express my admiration for the elite cyclists, who completed the 100 mile course in less than 5 hours and just hope that I can improve on my time next year.  My comfort is that I may not be the fastest cyclist but I was wearing colours that suited me!

Whilst safety and comfort are ofcourse essential, there is no reason why you cannot look good wearing flattering colours that suit your natural colouring.

postheadericon Five essentials for skiers and snowboarders

Five essentials for skiers and snowboarders

Have you been skiing in 20 degree weather without your gloves? It can be a memorable and painful experience. If you’ve been there and done that, it helps to have a checklist of things to remember when preparing for a day of skiing or snowboarding. Otherwise, you expect to pay too much money when you get to the pro shop at the ski lodge. For example, consider paying $21.99 for gloves instead of the traditional $1-$10.

This article describes five essentials for skiers and snowboarders.

The first three items are meant to protect the snow enthusiast from the elements. You need a good ski cap that covers your ears and a pair of warm mittens or gloves. Each of these items should be waterproof. For skiers, it takes a good pair of gloves that fits well and still enables you to adjust your boots and unhook your skis. The ski cap should be warm and long enough to cover all of your hair.

The next item is a good pair of snow goggles or sunglasses. When you are up on the mountain during daylight, the sun can create quite a glare on the snow. A simple pair of sunglasses will give you some protection, but a wider pair of snow goggles will protect your eyes and the upper half of your face from the sun. If the goggles are held in place by a wide elastic band, you will also be less likely to lose them on the slopes.

The final items are things that you will need after leaving the mountain. Remember items like a change of dry socks and well-insulated shoes to put on after removing the boots from your tired feet. Some people also find it comfortable to change into fresh pants and a shirt.

When you prepare to hit the slopes, follow this checklist for the most basic things to protect yourself from the severe weather of the snow-covered mountain. Then focus on other items like ski gear or snowboarding gear, boots, sun block, and lip balm.

A final tip is to choose ski pants that have plenty of pockets. You will need places to put your keys, money, locker key, receipts, and other small items while on the slopes.

Have fun in the snow with the added peace of mind that you arrived well-prepared!
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postheadericon How the selection of your mountain bike tires can influence your riding

How the Selection of Your Mountain Bike Tires Can Influence Your Riding

As a beginner, it could be very confusing for one to just stroll into a bike shop to buy their very first mountain bike. And what is more confusing is what all accessories one would need to start biking.

Mountain bike accessories and other mountain bike products one would want are available in plenty. A shopkeeper will be looking for a profit and would sell everything he can, but what beginners and customers with a budget need is a bike that has the proper accessories to make the ride safe and pleasant. These accessories given below will give one a good idea of what to buy and what not to buy.

Mountain bike tires are broader and knobbier for more grip and absorption of shock. In modern bikes, suspension for front wheel has become the custom while suspension for the full front and rear is becoming more and more general.

In few mountain bikes, the handlebars are fixed with bar ends, but riser handlebars which are made such that they oppose to a flat straight handlebar are becoming increasingly popular because a very few riders use bars with their ends extended.

These bikes usually have 26 inches or 559 mm wheels, but after year 2002 many bikes are available in the markets, which have 29 inches or 622 mm wheels. This is the diameter universally used for other normal road bikes which is also known as a 700c.

One may have never thought about the parts that are required to make a mountain bike while riding it. But sometimes it becomes important to know the parts. You never know where they will help you.

Tire: they are on the outer part of the rim. They make contact with the road while riding and also provide a grip. The tires have to be selected carefully with care.

A huge variety of tread patterns are being manufactured to suit different needs and for different conditions in the mountain bike tires. The different types of tire patterns available in the market are: slick street tires, snow studded, street tires with a center ridge and an outer tread, fully knobbly, rear-specific, and snow studded, front-specific.

These mountain bike tires can be specially designed to suit the bike in dry weather or wet weather and also according to the terrain whether it is hard, soft or muddy conditions. There are many other designs that are applicable in all kinds of weather and roads. For the same application, there are also light tires that are more expensive and have less or no rolling resistance.

For free rides and downhill descents a new kind of sticky rubber mountain bike tires are available. These tires may wear out very fast but they are extremely useful during cornering. There are tubeless that run at lower air pressure which improves traction and also rolling resistance. Tire manufacturers for mountain bikes are in plenty. A brand may be selected to suit the users’ needs.