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There bicycle, the simplest means of locomotion, contains many positive aspects both at a psychophysical and environmental level. Loved by sportsmen but also by cinema, so much so that it was praised to the world with the masterpiece "bike thieves”By Vittorio de Sica in 1948, the bike represents the real one ecological footprint mobile in the age of alternative energy.
In Europe, it is increasingly a mass phenomenon travel by bike both for short Sunday excursions and for long holidays. This growth has made it possible to cycle away from traffic, on marked routes and often with other collateral services. Paths which, when connected to each other, are defined as "cycling tourism networks”European, national, regional, etc .. The cycle tourism it has also become an interesting source of income with various sites dedicated to cycling networks where information links are collected for descriptions of routes or travel diaries.
For travel by bike some aspects are fundamental starting from the type of bike to the highway code. Here are some tips for traveling by bike without nasty surprises.
How to travel by bike. The type of bicycle
The first distinction to be made is betweencity bikeand mountain biking and to choose one over the other, it is essential to know the type of route you will have to tackle.
The most inexperienced believe that the bike is just a set of wheels, saddle and handlebar. This consideration prompts them to buy one at random, based on the shape or color. Purchase the bicycle adatta is more important than you think as an incorrect posture would cause annoying back pain or worse cause severe inflammation of the tendons and muscles of the legs.When choosing a bicycle it is essential to consider your height, the positioning of the center of gravity and, most importantly , the use that will be made of it.
The problems concern over height, the size of the seat: it is not congenial, contrary to what one might think, to use spacious and comfortable seats. The wide seat, in fact, does not bring stability and you end up swinging from one side to the other. Consequently, there is more friction and more pelvic problems. Not even the padding is important, but it is more important to distribute the weight evenly so not all of it on the buttocks. You have to find the right seat height: too high causes too many oscillations and too low leads to excessive folding of the legs. The ideal is to be able to rest your foot on the ground when sitting on the saddle. All other information can be provided by the authorized bike dealer.
How to travel by bike. The right clothes
For travel by bike it is important to choose the right clothes: today there are many garments and fabrics that keep you warm by letting sweat transpire. The concept of dressing in layers remains valid without exaggerating as excessive sweating is the enemy of your health. Pay attention also to the chosen itinerary, those who ride mountain bikes are less exposed to the wind and enjoy the protection of the environment but undergo more intense efforts by facilitating sweating.
How to travel by bike. What to bring
When travel by bike it is important to limit yourself to light luggage. The luggage rack must be roomy for two waterproof bags, easy to attach and remove, equipped with handles for carrying by hand and night reflectors.
Heavier objects should be stored low to bring the center of gravity of the machine closer to the ground bike. For frequently used objects, a rigid, waterproof handlebar bag with map holder window and zip that can be opened when pedaling is recommended. In Bike it is not advisable to wear backpacks and fanny packs which, especially in the summer, do not allow good perspiration and condemn you to back pain.
You may also be interested in our related article on what to bring when you travel by bike.
Another important thing is the stand and the position in which to mount it: the assembly depends on the weight and distribution of the load. Don't forget the helmet, even if it may seem like a hindrance, you must always wear it on your head and well fastened.
It is important that the helmet is well ventilated, that the air flows are well distributed, that it is equipped with an anti-insect net, which protects the nape well and refracts the light to be visible even at night. For the winter season it is advisable to get a thermal balaclava. The pedal counter must not be missing, an indispensable tool that serves to control and optimize the pedaling rhythm.
How to travel by bike. Traffic laws
Before setting off, make sure you travel in compliance with the highway code. Being visible is a legal obligation, therefore the bike must be equipped with a buzzer, white front and red rear light, red front and yellow side reflectors.
New article published: Read our new guide to choosing yours bike helmet with the advice of our cyclist Tullio and the links to buy the models with the best quality / price ratio.