Ride Lighter in 2014 — Bicycling Burns Calories Faster!

Keep Calm and Ride On jerseyTrying to stay in shape this spring? Bicycling burns calories faster than most other forms of exercise. That’s right; no need to pound the pavement (and your knees) running; no need to swallow chlorinated pool water swimming; no need even to watch Richard Simmons “sweating to the oldies.”

Exercise is an essential part of any weight-loss regime. Losing weight and building muscle all revolves around burning calories — and the more exercise you do the more calories you’ll burn. It’s that simple. Cycling is our bread and butter (but stay away from those fatty foods!) here at Ecycling Store, and today we’re here to tell you how you can get in shape and burn that fat by cycling more. But in addition we’re not going to be shy about telling you that cycling is not only more enjoyable, but it also is more efficient than lots of other forms of exercise.

Bicycling burns calories faster than most other common exercises. Comparing running vs. cycling in various calorie-burning calculators, you can see that bicycling burns more calories over a shorter time with the same distance and body weight of the rider than running. A 180-lb runner who makes 10 miles in a little over an hour and a half only burns 1300 calories, while a 180-lb bicyclist making the same trip at a pace of 15mph or so will burn over 1600 calories!

It’s not all about mindless exercise, by the way. Bicycling not only helps burn calories, but covers much more ground doing so! See the sites, take the scenic route and experience nature while moving at a brisk 10-16 mph pace- burning fat and going far at the same time. Strenuous exercise feels a lot easier when you’ve covered miles and miles while doing it.

Whether on a pleasurable ride through the country or an off-road trail to beat your best time, bicycling burns calories fast!  Get in shape and ride lighter in 2014, and get your best biking equipment at Ecycling store — the best discount cycling gear website you’ll find online. Get your gear and then get in gear!

Top 10 Cycling Essentials | #7 Cycling Hydration

This ones a no brainer, staying hydrated while cycling is important no matter how you look at it. Cycling is a vigorous activity resulting in perspiration.  Perspiration can cause dehydration, there are several warning signs to look for:
•    Immoderate thirst
•    Muscle cramping
•    Headaches
•    Nausea
•    Exhaustion

If these symptoms go untreated, in extreme cases, dehydration can lead to heat stroke.  Staying hydrated while cycling can be simple:
•    Drink at least 16oz of water before your bike ride
•    Consume at least 16oz of water during your bike ride
•    Consume at least another 16oz of water after your bike ride
•    A protein rich post-ride drink will help replenish essential nutrients your body needs.

Caffeinated beverages, like soda, tea and coffee, as well as anything alcoholic, will play roles in dehydration.   Stick to liquids that are caffeine and alcohol-free. Energy or “sports” drinks replenish electrolytes and calories to help keep you going during your bike ride. Water however, is still the most important aspect to hydration, and it’s very inexpensive. Take a look at our cycling water bottles.

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Top 10 Cycling Essentiels | #8 Cycling Glasses

Cycling eye protection is nothing to blink about, cycling has a number of hazards that can take a toll on your peepers.  Aside from protecting your eyes from injury by keeping dust and debris out, harmful rays of the sun etc, you need your cycling glasses to be comfortable, versatile, and of course stylish, because lets face it, looking good is important too.

Unfortunately, many view cycling glasses as a nuisance and “nerdy” product. Though if you follow a few key steps before you purchase, you will find that not all cycling glasses are nerdy or a nuisance.

  • Value:  it is certainly the most important factor that comes first while choosing the most appropriate sunglass. Cheap cycling glasses enhance your personality and make you good looking exactly the same as sunglasses from some popular brands. More and more, it also protects your eyes from hard sun light and dust, so it actually serves the same purpose what the branded items meant for!
  • Quality:  it is something that should never be comprised when purchasing any item. When it comes to the sunglasses, you should emphasize on the best quality that can protect your eyes more effectively.
  • Style:  cycling sunglasses are meant to be stylish, so if you want to look good and excel your personality, choosing the stylish cycling glass will certainly help you a lot while on a ride.

 

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Top 10 Cycling Essentiels | #9 Cycling Bag

Cycling bags provide you a solution for your next cycling adventure.  Whether it’s long-distance, daily commuting or weekend recreation, Cycling bags allow you to store important items.

The narrow profile of cycling bags ensures that they are kept out of the way of a rider’s movement on the bike. Their attachment straps are designed not to interfere with the bicycle’s cables and housing.

Things to consider before you buy a new Cycling Bag:

  • Size and capacity: Cycling bags come in a wide range of shapes and sizes to fit your bicycle and your riding needs.
  • Main compartment: The main compartment of a cycling bag is slim and slender, so that when the bag is packed it doesn’t interfere with rider movement.
  • Internal compartments: For extra security and organization, many cycling bags have internal compartments and pockets to help keep your gear in its place and stored safely within the bag.
  • Weather resistance and durability: When you have some great riding adventures planned, you want a cycling bag that will withstand the elements and accompany you on many additional trips.
  • Reflective features: It’s always good to add some extra visibility to your favorite cycling bag, and fortunately, most manufacturers already do it for you with built-in reflective elements for riding in low light or at night.

Cycling bags allow you to store important items, because lets face it, while those cycling shorts look damn good on you, there is no more room for your iPhone.

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Top 10 Cycling Essentials | #10 Cycling Computer

With the cycling season upon us, we take a look at the “Top 10 Cycling Essentials” all cycling enthusiasts should have before trekking off this cycling season.

Cycling safety items are undoubtedly the most important “must haves” for any cyclist, however, we believe that while being safe is important, looking good ranks high along with the latest and greatest in cycling technology (safety first of course).  See how your list compares.

Number 10 on our list of “Top 10 Cycling Essentials” is definitely a great addition to help improve any true cyclists ride.

10: Cycling Computer -

Cycling Computers will inform you of your speed, distance and how long it took you to do it, and your incline.   Good tool if you just want to know what you are doing on your bike and a great training tool to compare to previous times and distances.

We live in a world where the answers we need, and want, are at our beck and call.  We can find out anything with the simple push of a button, and cycling computers fit right in with the modern cyclist.  The time is no longer, “around noon,” but rather “eleven fifty-seven,” and we don’t just glide down mountain roads on our bicycles at incredible speeds, we go down at 50 miles per hour with a heart beating 110 times per minute while maintaining an average pedaling cadence of 85 rpms.

Having a computer on your ride will give you as much information as you can stand to consider.  It may increase your accomplishments, your health, and even your personal satisfaction, but remember one thing: the joy is in the riding.

We Drink to the Trail!

Glass of Vodka with Ice and White BackgroundIt’s one of those freaky medical paradoxes that not even doctors and scientists can actually explain. But many studies have continually provided outcomes suggesting that individuals who refrain from alcohol consumption tend to bite the dust prior to those who drink (to a moderate degree of course).  Honestly, at first this doesn’t make any sense. How does drinking a highly toxic, psychoactive irritant that induces higher risk of cancer, heart failure and liver problems increase our life-span?

We live in an age of infinite reduction, and every outcome from every action is examined at the most basic level. And so these studies should definitely lead scientists and doctors to start exploring the positive effects of things like wine, with its natural antioxidants. It may even inspire the public to explore alcohol’s positive effects at a cardiovascular level, on account of many of the healthy drinking outcomes include good cholesterol levels of wine, beer and hard liquor drinkers.

But even the if medical health benefits to drinking proved to be false, there would still be reason to drink moderately. Consider, for just a minute, the cultural aspects to drinking. The primary cause for alcohol consumption is to loosen up, a function of booze’s anxiolytic attributes. This is, for instance, the very famous drink after a day’s work. At the end of an eight-hour turmoil, half a day of arduous tasks and responsibilities, there is something extremely therapeutic in a modest dosage of alcohol, whether it be a beer, a glass of red wine, or a shot of whiskey. It hushes the incessant buzzing of the mind by up-regulating the “GABA receptors.” However it is important not to take it too far or get carried away, because even though the moderated ingestion of alcohol may reduce stress, blood/alcohol levels above 0.1%, (most states consider 0.08 the legal limit for driving) trigger an extreme release of stress-inducing chemicals that can also lead red army vodka cycling jerseyto hormone imbalance. And although you feel relaxed, your body is lead to act as if it has been poisoned to a mortally threatening degree. Especially if you do a lot of outdoor activities, for instance biking, these negative effects of too much alcohol can be severe, and extremely influence your capacity to ride and perform well.

So all of this might be a rationalization for that after-ride beer, or it could be a bunch of information you can use to justify wearing our just plain cool Red Army Vodka cycling jersey.  Remember, drink responsibly, but ride crazy.

Exorcising Those Downhill Demons

Downhill Mountain BikingEven if you are an experienced mountain biker – even if you regularly take risks and know what you’re doing, downhill and technical descents can be, well, frightening. If you’re travelling down an abnormally steep or technical slope, sometimes you have to inch and slide down like a cautious penguin on an icy hill.

Downhill mountain biking is becoming more and more relevant in the warm season tourist community, especially in Switzerland and France, and even in many American resorts. Perhaps this downhill community is a bit less-known to many. If you are an avid cross-country or endurance rider, you probably have a light-weight bike, and may just avoid downhill riding for pragmatic reasons.

But if you are able to get a more suitable bike, and summon courage, the downhill ride is more than just crashes and burns. Albeit, you will have to come to grips with the fact that falling, and sometime injuries, are part of the sport. Downhill biking isn’t just a way to build confidence, nor is it a thrill-seeker sport, it can also be a spiritual experience. The wind blowing across your face and the speed elating your spirits and allowing you to forget about stressful parts of your everyday life is important not only for focus, but also for the body and its need for dopamine and adrenaline release. Not to mention, it’s just an extremely fun and elevating experience when you get deeper into it.

To start out you will probably want to begin with a blue or green run (assuming you’re riding in a developed area, of course: they use identical color-coded terminology for the trails that skiing does), because if you do start out going on black runs there is a high chance of injury and crashes, which are never, ever fun.

It can be potentially nerve-racking the first time, especially if you crash. If you don’t have the proper confidence, or simply need to rebuild that confidence, you are more likely to tighten up, think too much, and end up in a messy and painful situation. In order to move beyond your fears and second thoughts you need to learn how to ride pretty impulsively. If it’s a very technical trail you will need to plan and navigate with much more precision, but eventually it is of the essence to move beyond hesitation.precaryous crash and burn orange jersey

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it slow (after all, I’m not advocating dangerous behavior), but if you are focusing on one maneuver and end up changing that decision at the last moment you could end up hurting yourself, or even others depending on the population of the ride.

Ultimately, it’s a mind game.  And sometimes your mind has to embrace the fear of failure rather than fighting it.  Here’s one way to do that: buy and wear our precaryous crash & burn jersey.  “Come to the downhill side, Luke.”

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Ride My Bike

World Jerseys Nuke em Jersey

World Jerseys Nuke ‘em Jersey

I think I first viewed “Dr. Strangelove” a few years ago. I remember finding it very funny and not frightening even in the least, even though we have been standing on thin ice at certain points in history regarding nuclear war. I actually find quite a bit of wisdom and humor in the movie, and maybe that’s a bit messed up, or perhaps it was because Stanley Kubrick obviously meant for the movie to be humorous. Not to mention, there is not an alternative way to see Peter Sellers in three roles, including the quirky, crippled German scientist named Dr. Strangelove. George C. Scott definitely played his quirkiest character throughout his career; Slim Pickens as a cowpoke of a fighter-pilot was classic.  For example, Sterling Hayden infused his role as the psychotic air force general with a fetish for bodily fluids with deliciously crazed bravado. Kubrick and Terry Southern gave us characters with such improbable names  as President Muffley, [Soviet] Prime Minister Kissoff, General Jack D. Ripper, Colonel Bat Guano and T.J. “King” Kong, telling us in no uncertain terms that this movie will not tolerate a serious moment.

The plot is pretty basic. A general (Sterling Hayden) who believes water fluoridation is a Russian scheme, orders an entire fleet of bombers to go forth and drop their bombs on the then-fearsome Soviet Union. Once his commanding officer (George C. Scott) finds out what has occurred he informs President Muffley (Peter Sellers) and the whole of the presidential “War Room.” They rush to discover the code to make the bombers retreat. In the meantime, Cpt. Mandrake (Sellers again), an English officer assigned to Ripper as part of a fictitious “officer exchange” program with the Royal Air Force, has noticed that Ripper has gone insane, and he, also, tries to get the code.  Hanging over the heads of all the participants in this black comedy is a fabled “Doomsday Machine” – a secret device created by Soviet scientists that will destroy all life on planet earth if they are attacked.

Kubrick does an amazing job turning up the suspense, even for those of us who have seen the movie. I always find myself getting concerned for the people in the fighter plane (including Pickens and a pre-Darth Vader James Earl Jones), and for the unfortunate President Muffley and Cpt. Mandrake, who vainly try to do the moral thing. With the Doomsday Machine shadowing their future, it honestly does not make a difference if they are wonderful people or utterly mad or pure evil, however I am always chewing down my finger nails being concerned for their well-being nonetheless.

For a movie lampooning the stupidity of those sad souls who place exorbitant quantities of faith in machinery, “Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” still fleshes out brilliant, satirical, and even sympathetic Vonegutian characters. It is satire on humanity. One guy and the machine he instigates can totally annihilate the Earth, however the nukes didn’t launch themselves, did they?

In order to celebrate this fantastic movie, you can don our World Jerseys Nuke ‘em cycling jersey and be glad that Dr. Strangelove was only a movie…so far. Cheers!

The 5 Top Spots to Include in a New Zealand Cycle Tour

The 5 Top Spots to Include in a New Zealand Cycle Tour

Photo credit: Valaia Flickr

Of all the decisions that I have made in my life, I think deciding to get fit and healthy after years of self-indulgence was probably my best one. My life used to involve eating far too much; drinking most days and my idea of exercise was walking to the pub once a month.

Thankfully life is different now. I take part in many fitness activities such as swimming and cycling. I live in New Zealand which fortunately for me has a huge range of places which are ideal for cyclists.

I wanted to list my top spots here for people to include in their cycling tour. We have some amazing off road mountain bike tracks, but as I’m more of a road person, the locations I’ll list here are all on road (with a few gravel roads).

Volcano Ranges

Tongariro National ParkNew Zealand is rife with volcanos. While these certainly do add a level of danger to living here, they also give us some of the most outstanding rugged mountainous views around.

If you want to include volcanos in your cycling tour then you really do have a lot of choices, but my personal top pick is the volcanoes in Tongariro National Park.

The park is located south of the huge Lake Taupo on the North Island.

If you’re doing a tour over a week or two then you could start in Auckland, ride southeast over a number of days to Rotorua (make sure you try their volcanic hot springs there) then south to Taupo and finally reach the Tongariro National Park.

The views are simply jaw dropping and if you also like to trek then you can try one of the many long walks in the national park. Be careful though as I found the wind was extremely strong on top of the volcanos. Only try these long treks with the proper clothing and walking boots.

Around Tekapo

tekapo new zealandIt was difficult for me to name this section as it isn’t really just Tekapo but indeed the countryside around it. There are lots of roads you can ride, most of them with fantastic mountain and lake views.

As well as the lovely rides around the large lake you can also head into the hills and even try your hand up a small mountain (Mt John) which has good roads all the way to the top. You’ll find a café there but I found the prices to be rather expensive (not too surprising though in that location).

While you’re at the top, I highly recommend you check out the Mount John University Observatory (they offer nighttime tours as well).

Crown Range

Wanaka New ZealandThis is a hugely popular ride which runs from Wanaka to Queenstown (or the other way around). It can be quite a challenge due to the steepness of the roads but well worth it in my opinion.

On a clear day you should be able to see for a great distance and be rewarded with some of the best views in New Zealand.

Clyde to Middlemarch

Otago Centrail Rail TrailCommonly known as the Otago Central Rail Trail, this really is a popular ride and it’s less challenging than the Crown Range. It is mostly over gravel roads running alongside the old railway line (which has been ripped up now), through tunnels and over brides.

                              Mount Cook

It would be shameful for me not include New Zealand’s tallest mountain; so I will.

mount cook

You have two options for this: You can stay in a place which offers views of this famous mountain as part of your tour. A great example is Fox Glazier which has a number of hotels and lodges with a clear view of the mountain.

The other option is to ride to the mountain itself along State Highway 80.

Either way your eyes should be prepared for a treat.


Jack Harris is a traveler and writer. He currently writes for Pedaltours a cycle touring company based in New Zealand. They offer a range of packages where you ride in various locations around New Zealand (and other countries), staying in very interesting and historic accommodation.

British Columbian Mountain Biking

North Shore British Columbia Mountain BikingThe suburbs of Vancouver, British Columbia’s Northern Shore, are globally recognized for their mountain biking thrills. Positioned on the steep terrain that makes up Burrard Inlet’s north shore, there lies a vast array of trails through the mountains. The best known of these include Cypress Mountain, Mt. Fromme, and Mt. Seymour. Even though it is not technically within the North Shore, Coquitlam’s Eagle Mountain and Mt. Burke provide riding that is almost identical, however access to these rides is known to be very difficult.

The mountains are rich in dirt trails that are infamous for their intense and sometimes lethal mountainous terrain. Along the North Shore an idiomatic form of trail-building was birthed from the necessity to make a way to safely ride the terrain. The trails attack bristling natural challenges such as fallen trees, gargantuan boulders, turbulent water, and dangerous ravines with man-made embellishments.  The man-made part of a typical North Shore trail is made possible by an abundance of old-growth Red Cedar, native to the environment, which when fallen and dry, splits into almost perfectly straight platforms. These ubiquitous Cedar planks provide most of the material that goes into creating the accessories and obstacles that are used to navigate about the difficult terrain and broken trees. Most of the trails also are known to have artificial obstacles like narrow bridges, twisting ramps that are raised above ground-level, and large planks to ride over. This form of biking is known as “North Shore” freestyle, indicative of trails that incorporate organic and artificial features into the ride.

North Shore British Columbia Mountain BikingTrail-riding on the Northern Shore has been a controversial subject in the biking community. Many residents of trail-bordering neighborhoods are known to complain about riders invading their yards and other such disturbances of the peace. Here the expansion of local living-space beckons the annihilation of quite a few trails near or within Eagle and Burke Mountain. A group of activists known as the “North Shore Mountain Biking Association” is active in defending the biking and trails. They peacefully deal with residents, orchestrate the volunteering of races and trail-maintenance the trails and hold races.

If you’re an American rider eagerly planning out your next North Shore vacation, here’s a way to show common cause with those intrepid North Shore activists fighting to protect your riding pleasure: wear one of our Canadian flag cycling jerseys.  Long live the Maple Leaf!  Long live North Shore Cedar!

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