Why Do Some Cyclists...

Why do some cyclists….

Type those words into your internet browser and Google will automatically list the most searched phrases that begin with those same words. We often have people walk through the doors of Rapid Cycling who are new to cycling with questions. People who want to enjoy the benefits of riding a bicycle but are hesitant because they are unfamiliar with the cycling community. 

In an effort to make you feel more comfortable with the idea of riding a bicycle for fun/fitness/joy, I am going to answer the most common autofill questions on Google. And maybe it will convince you that it is time to enjoy the immeasurable benefits of cycling.

Why do some cyclists...SHAVE. 

I love that this is the top question, it amuses me that of all the things people can ask about, shaving is at the top of the list. For many cyclists, shaving is a tradition within the sport. Pros have been shaving for so long, it has become the norm for all road cyclists to keep their legs smooth. Professional athletes shave for speed as smooth legs improve aerodynamics on the bicycle. Shaved legs also make massage after a ride a lot less painful. 

Shaving has become more mainstream among mountain bikers as well. “While the tradition started with road cyclists, shaving is becoming more common with cross country mountain bikers too, for all the same reasons,” said Jordan Bracken, Shop Manager at Rapid Cycling. 

Why do some cyclists...WEAR SPANDEX.

What you wear when riding a bicycle makes a difference. If the goal is to be comfortable on a ride, Lycra plays an important role because it moves with you as you ride. The stretch in the material prevents bunching and chafing. As you move and start to sweat, the breathable fabric moves moisture away from your skin, allowing it to evaporate. You don’t get wet and cold.

Efficiency also plays a role in why some cyclists wear spandex. Loose fitting clothing acts as sails when you are riding a bicycle. The resistance slows you down, meaning you have to work harder to go the same speed. Besides speed, Bracken also said, “Wearing tight shorts makes it so your shorts don’t catch on the seat.”

Why do some cyclists...HATE EBIKES.

Ebikes can be a controversial topic. An ebike is a bicycle with a battery which monitors the rider’s pedaling and automatically adds some motor boost. Though an ebike offers pedal assistance, it can still give you a workout, improving cardiovascular health, overall fitness and aerobic capacity. 

Ebikes for off-road are especially divisive because it is feared that mountain ebikes will do unnecessary damage on the beloved trail. To that, I encourage riders to follow the rules posted. Mountain ebikes can be enjoyed anywhere a motorized vehicle is allowed. Get out and ride in approved areas and you will see why so many cyclists love the thrill of an ebike.

On-road ebikes allow you to “experience higher performance on the road with an added boost of power.” That is what Giant Bicycles has to say about their Road-E+ and I have to agree. Some cyclists feel like ebikes are “cheating” and shouldn’t be allowed in bike lanes or on the paved trails of Southern Utah. Ebikes make cycling accessible to anyone who wants to feel the thrill of riding a bicycle. 

Originally published in St. George Health and Wellness May/June 2018.