Tag Archives: Cycling

Cycling training: how to start your training plan

Are you about to take on a cycling adventure? Perhaps you’ve committed yourself to try something new, and you don’t know where to start? Well don’t worry, in this post we will talk you through creating a cycling training program to get you motivated and moving.

Getting your body into a condition fit for cycling a long distance means preparation. The earlier you begin your cycling training, the easier it will be and the better your body will adapt to the physical demands of riding long distances. Training early also means you can avoid the risk of injury.

Before you go on your adventure, you will need a comprehensive and sensible training plan. Our adventures are not a race, but being fit ensures you get the most out of it!

Building strength and stamina

Your main goal when you train should be to build strength and stamina, because that is what will get you through even the most challenging uphills. Stamina is the ability to sustain prolonged effort, and it can be strengthened by doing cardiovascular exercises.

Cardiovascular exercises increase heart rate and allow oxygen to be pumped through the body more easily. Exercises include; running, skipping, jogging and spinning (cycling). To boost the effects of these exercises; you should try to incorporate interval training. Interval training is the practice of alternating between high intensity and low intensity workouts. By doing these exercises you will build endurance and be able to take on even the toughest and longest cycling rides. Check out this sample training plan from British Cycling:

Cycling Training

Following the right diet

In addition to a cycling training plan that keeps your heart pumping, you will need to fuel your body with the right nutrients. Since you’ll be riding for kilometres all day, you will need to have a high-energy diet, with plenty of protein and carbohydrates. Consider having small frequent meals when you train, as this will ensure your blood sugar levels remain consistent and you will not experience a drop in energy.

Have rest days

Rest days are important when you are undertaking fitness training. The body needs time to recover and repair itself from the strain of exercise. If you push yourself too hard, you risk injury.

Exercises that will make it easier

Mixing up your cycling training with other exercises is going to make you stronger. Here is a list of exercises you can perform:

  • Planks and side balance crunch to work your core – a strong core will support your posture on the bike so that you avoid injury.
  • Leg curls, barbell deadlifts to work the hamstrings
  • Squats, lunges and leg raises to work the gluteus muscles. Working your glute muscles will give you better peddling power and ensure you don’t get tired as quickly. Strong glutes will support your peddling.
  • Warm up before you work out to avoid injury
Cycling Adventure
Cycling for a cause

Monitoring your progress

Keep track of how you are going, this will motivate you and you’ll have confidence knowing you can complete the challenge!

Feeling inspired?

Why not check out our cycling adventures and upcoming cycles. You never know when your next adventure awaits!


Get on ya bike: Sydneysiders cycling again

There is something about riding a bike that energises and inspires. The wind is blowing through your ‘helmet hair’ as the scenery passes you by, and fellow cyclists give you a smile or friendly nod. It’s a great feeling!

But is it all too good to be true? Whatever the reason may be—perhaps it’s the adverse weather or that pesky rush hour—not enough people are choosing the option of two wheels to make their commute to work.

We caught up with Katie Bell, Manager of the Sydney Rides Business Challenge, to hear about how the City of Sydney is making cycling an accessible and exciting way to commute, exercise and move.

What was the inspiration behind the Sydney Rides Business Challenge?

The Love to Ride initiative began in 2002, when Thomas Stokell started the first ‘Workplace Cycle Challenge’ in New Zealand. He wanted to use an online community platform to change people’s attitudes and behaviour towards cycling.

“If we can normalise cycling, there will be a change in culture and attitude between cyclists, commuters and pedestrians.”

Cycling has many benefits for your health, is great for Mother Earth and is one answer to solving transport congestion issues. Today there are 50 cities contributing to the Love to Ride online platform, where riders can ‘log their ride’ and see the kilometres they are clocking up.

How is the Sydney Rides Business Challenge getting people moving?

1) A challenge with achievable goals

The best way to motivate people is to give incentives and support. The Business Challenge pits workplaces and organisations against each other to see if they can encourage new riders to cycle for only 10 minutes during the challenge period. 10 minutes is an easily achievable target over three weeks.

2) Try-a-bike sessions

Over the course of the challenge, the City of Sydney and Sydney Cycleways have organised free ‘Try-a-bike sessions’ to get busy workers out of their office and into the saddle. Colleagues get together to try-a-bike around Hyde Park and the separated cycleway and return for a free lunch and juice. Free food and sunshine, Inspired staff found it hard to say no to that one…

3) Education and free tune-ups

Sydney Cycleways has been providing courses to teach people how to cycle on the roads to give them the confidence to navigate traffic, share paths with pedestrians, indicate correctly and know what to do if their bike needs maintenance.

So how can you get back into cycling?

Use separated cycle-ways: When you are easing back into cycling, a busy road is not the best place to start. Find a park with a path that suits your confidence level.

Time right: Choose a time that isn’t too busy for traffic, joggers and pedestrians. Perhaps go for an early morning ride on the weekend?

Hire a bike: It is true; you can’t get into cycling if you don’t have a bike. But instead of rushing out to buy one, try hiring one for the day and exploring your local area.

Feeling inspired?

Beyond the Lycra: Best Cycling Gear

Inspired Adventures staff have covered more kilometres on bicycle saddles in Southeast Asia than most. Here are our top gear tips for cycling adventures throughout SE Asia and beyond.

Cycling in Southeast Asia is an experience like no other! Scooters and tuk-tuks zip through the seemingly organised chaos, honking their horns to alert you they’re passing by. Street vendors and market stalls line the roads with an array of local delicacies and squeamish culinary delights. As you cycle along unpaved and uneven surfaces, the humidity causing you to sweat uncontrollably, locals will come out to wave and cheer you on. The adventure may be tough; however, preparing for your cycling challenge is half the battle.

There’s a cycling kit, and then there’s a Cycling Kit. So let’s start at the bottom (literally) and invest in a good pair of padded cycling shorts. Personally, I would buy at least two pairs, so you can enjoy the luxury of a clean pair, while the first pair is drying after a good wash. Wrapping the washed pair in a towel and then twisting the towel, will wring out a great deal of the excess water. This will help combat the humidity while they dry, but get used to the fact that each day you will be wearing clean, but slightly damp shorts.

A couple of good quality wicking t-shirts are also worth their weight in dollar coins. Designed to draw the moisture away from your skin, they are invaluable when faced with the heat and humidity of Southeast Asian countries. I recommend long-sleeved wicking shirts for the added protection against sunburn. Light colours are best!

Buying a top quality cycling helmet is also a must. Make sure it is adjustable and has appropriate ventilation. As you will find, some models have huge vents that, along with fresh air, allow large insects to fly in. I always choose the models that have thin mesh covering the vents. Dealing with a creepy-crawly inside your helmet while negotiating the bustling streets of a foreign country is not desirable. I also recommend that you invest in a helmet hat to protect your face and eyes from the sun.

Speaking of eye protection, sunglasses not only offer protection from the sun, but also from air-borne dust and insects. I always take a spare pair with me, and advise that you do the same. Most helmet straps do a good job of holding sunglasses onto your face. However, if you are worried about them falling off while cycling, buy or make straps for them. A couple of elastic bands looped together works quite nicely.

Having covered heads, shoulders and knees, let’s move on to toes. Most of you do not intend to turn your cycling adventure into a professional cycling career, so rethink the need to purchase cleated cycling shoes. The bikes we use also don’t have cleated pedals. If you do choose to use cleated shoes (or you have them already), pack your pedals and our bike mechanic will happily swap them over for you. With all that motion, there’s bound to be some friction, so make sure you pack plenty of socks! And don’t forget some thongs or sandals to let your feet air out after a long day pumping the peddles.

Southeast Asia is as unpredictable as it is alluring. Always carry a waterproof jacket and trousers, as well some layers to change into if and when the rains come. You can keep these items safe and dry in the support vehicle. The only thing I recommend that you carry with you while cycling is a small backpack rehydration system. This allows you to drink (via a hose and mouthpiece) while keeping both hands safely on the handlebars. Ingeniously, the packs also have a small pocket for lip balm, sunscreen and snacks. Camelpack is the brand everyone knows, and they’re great, but you can find cheaper alternatives at most adventures stores.

Finally, it is imperative that you go to a trusted cycling store, where the staff themselves are keen cyclists. They will have the knowledge and know-how to properly prepare you for the adventure ahead. Who knows, they may have even cycled in similar conditions.

Feeling Inspired?

Visit the Inspired Adventures Calendar to find a cycle!