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10 things to remember to help you stay motivated to cycle this winter

1. You’ll burn more calories

If you cycle to work, you could burn up to 540 calories per hour! That means that if your commute to the office and back is around an hour each way, you could burn a massive 1,080 calories just getting to where you need to be!

2. You’ll create less fumes

If you’ve ever been in a city centre at rush hour, you’ll know what it feels — and smells — like to be surrounded by damaging exhaust fumes. This one is obvious: by hopping on a bike instead of in your car, you’re helping the environment as well as your lungs!

3. You’ll get there faster

Did you know that cycling is around three times faster than walking? So, by just getting on your bike instead of walking, you’re making back valuable time to invest in other things. And, if you’re no stranger to rush hour, you may even argue that cycling is faster than driving to and from work, too…

4. You’ll build more muscle

Did you know that cycling works almost every major muscle group in the human body? By cycling to work or going for a ride in evening, you could build muscle without even noticing it!

5. You’ll have a lower risk of cancer

This one might surprise you! One study found that women who walk or cycle for 30 minutes each day have a lower risk of breast cancer. Exercise is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, so getting in a short bike ride each day could stave off disease and decline.

6. You’ll be younger than your age

This one is also surprising! An adult cyclist “typically has a level of fitness equivalent to someone 10 years younger and a life expectancy 2 years above the average.” Cycling helps you live longer and live stronger!

7. You’ll lose more weight

In our opinion, this one is less of a surprise. According to some estimates, the average person will lose around 13 pounds in their first year of cycling to and from work. So, for anyone who thinks that losing weight is hard; swap the bus for a saddle! You’ll soon see results.

8. You’ll have a lower blood pressure

Did you know that one study, which included nearly 2,400 adult participants, found that people who cycled to work were “fitter, leaner, less likely to be obese, and had better triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and insulin levels” than people who drove or took public transport to work?

9. You’ll get to enjoy the great outdoors

This one definitely goes without saying. Cars and buses restrict you to the road, while trains restrict you to the rails. You see the same things every morning and every evening on your way to and from work. Cycling, however, can take you anywhere! Just pick a route — through the town, along the beach, through the forest, across the fields, or down the cycling path — strap on your helmet, and experience it all.

10. You’ll have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke

As mentioned above, engaging in physical activity as often as possible is key for a long, healthy life. We already know that cycling could work to prevent breast cancer, but did you know that cycling for 3 hours, or 30 kilometres, per week may halve your risk of heart disease and strokes?


Fact of the week: The longest tandem bike ever had 35 seats!

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Fact of the week: Cycling is 3 times faster than walking!

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Our October route of the month: Afan Valley, Wales

Overview

Start from Port Talbot and watch the landscape change before your eyes into a magical world, where the leaves are crisp and red and the all the animals that call the Afan Forest their home roam free.

Details

  • Area: South East Wales

  • Start: Port Talbot

  • End: Afan Forest Park

  • Distance: 6 miles

  • Type: Easy

Description

Saddle up and fasten your helmet at Aberavon Seafront, where this lovely route will start to wind northwards to link up with Port Talbot Bus and Train stations. Soon after this, however, you can wave goodbye to the urban part of the route, as it will take you on to a riverside path framed by woodland. Glide past Cwmafan and Pontrhydyfen — two old mining communities — and you will soon be in the Afan Forest.

Admire the changing trees and relish the way the wet autumn mud splashes against your calves as you peddle along this gorgeous woodland path. Eventually, you will come across three steel statues that represent Richard Burton, Rob Brydon, and Dick Wagstaff, all local heroes.

Perhaps more exciting than these proud monuments, however, is all the wildlife you may get to see; the Afan Forest Park is home to all sorts, including red deer, buzzards, squirrels, and more. Let us know if you were lucky enough to see any of these majestic creatures!

The route will continue to wind northwards until you stumble upon the Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre. From here, you can rent a mountain bike and head out to explore the Forest’s world-renowned mountain biking trails. Or, simply give your legs a little rest and kick back in the visitor’s centre café with a cold or hot drink. For those interested in history, you could even take a look at the nearby mining museum.

From here, continue northwards and you will eventually connect with the Llynfi Valley route, which has some beautiful, picturesque valley landscapes to offer.

Published Wednesday 24 October 2018


Don’t let the changing weather alter your cycling routine

The sun seems to be retreating for the year, and sprinklings of frost are beginning to spread across our garden paths and car windscreens. But although rain is making a comeback and the cold is creeping in, let’s try to stick to our cycling habits as best we can.

For a start, working those legs as you pedal furiously to and from work is a great way to keep warm during the long and depressing minutes of a winter rush hour. I know it may be tempting to jump in your car or onto a bus, but just think about how many others are doing just that! If you stick to cycling, not only will you burn off the warming comfort food you ate for lunch, but you’ll also help protect the environment.

Speaking of comfort food… we all seem to relax our diets in the run-up to Christmas (who can say no to a generous portion of turkey or turn down a warm mince pie, smothered in cream?) and have a great time doing so. Many people will pile on the pounds over the festive period, but sticking to your cycling habits when you can will reduce your risk of doing the same. Cycling works most muscle groups in the body, helping burn unwanted calories and keeping your muscles toned and firm.

We’ve discussed protecting the environment from harmful emissions and cutting your risk of piling on the festive pounds, but it’s just as vital to cycling during the winter simply because we want to; because the browning leaves, frosty pavements, and the fresh morning air are all beautiful.

Most of us have a lifelong passion for cycling, so why shouldn’t our regime be year-round? So, pack your Rock Bar, put on your gloves and helmet, and hit the road.

Published Tuesday 25 September 2018


Lovely words from off.road.cc magazine and Single Track World!

Is the Rock Bar gear and training case "the most versatile piece of bike packing kit yet?" The online magazine off.road.cc seem to think so! In their recent article about the Rock Bar, author Rachael Gurney explains that it "can fit on [y]our bike in a multitude of ways and store pretty much anything." 

"Before you think this might just be for the gravel enthusiasts out there," she adds, "there is an interesting mountain bike application too..."

To read more about what Rachael and the team think, visit their full article here.

Single Track World were similarly thrilled with the product. In their recent review of the Rock Bar, author Andi Sykes called the gear and training case "a multi-purpose storage case that attaches to your bike, bars, your pack, or even a set of rigid forks."

Andi even goes as far as to say that the Rock Bar's capacity to hold 7lbs of steel weight is something that "We've all wished for!"

To hear more from Andi and team about a range of other products, visit their full article here.

Published Saturday 1 September 2018


The Rock Bar: Your perfect companion

There are many things that make the Rock Bar special — including its removable water-repellent sleeve pouch, its versatility, its sheer and uncompromising roominess, and its excellent potential for portability.

The Rock Bar also lends itself well to customisability; you can attach your Rock Bar to almost any part of your bike, and you can put almost anything you want inside it (within reason, of course). We've seen it used to carry small energy drinks, cereal and granola bars, mini pumps, first aid kits, and more. 

And while it is was designed with cyclists in mind, one of the best things about the Rock Bar is that it can be used by anybody, at any time. That's right: you can attach it to your backpack for a bit of additional storage (or even to carry your wet umbrella — that is where the water-repellent removable sleeve pouch comes in handy!), keep it in your vehicle to store your car-essential items without having to proudly display them for the whole world to see in the back seat, and even take it on your run with you (as safe phone storage).

There truly is no limit to how the Rock Bar can help to streamline your life. Buy yours now for just £29.99 via Amazon.

Published Thursday 21 June 2018