The Tour de France

The Tour de France

The Tour de France is the cycling world’s most famous and grueling race, with 21 days of riding across more than 3,500 kilometers of roadway.  The Tour de France wasn’t always the same distance in 1904 it was only 2,420 km but the longest race happened in 1926 at more than 5,700 km.  The three week race does include a couple of rest days for rider, or they are transported from the finish line in one village to the next town to resume the race.  During the Tour de France the country has both clockwise and counter clockwise routes through the country.

How Judging is Done at the Race

If you are a cyclist then you are judged on your overall time throughout the whole race, this is known as the general classification.  You can actually win the race without ever winning a stage.  Throughout the race there are other competitions and the winner wears a distinctive jersey.  For instance the race leader is usually wearing the yellow cycling jersey.  As a cyclist you can get deduction in your overall time for finishing first in a daily stage or reaching a checkpoint first.

Physically Demanding

Riders cycle almost 170 kilometers every day for three weeks, the Tour de France is one of the most physically demanding athletic contests in the world.  Racers work together in teams  of 20-22 members and the team members all help each other and they are followed by team managers and bicycle mechanics in cars.  Participants in the race normally start off riding together each day and the winner is in front of the pack and the first to cross that day’s finish line.  There are days where competitors race against each other or other teams.

Most of the race will take part in mainland France but it will occasionally cross into neighboring countries.  The race ends in Paris as the final leg of the Tour de France.  The terrain throughout the race can cover everything from straight flat roads to some pretty steep climbs.  The winner is the one who has learned how to master the hill portion of the race and can do well in the timed trial portion of the race.  Here is a look at some of the climbs riders must face in the Tour de France.

Prize Money

There is more than 2 million Euros that are awarded at the end of the race, with the winner taking the lion’s share of 500,000 Euros.  When you compare that to other professional sports, professional cyclists are vastly underpaid.

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Getting Ready for a Long Distance Ride

Getting Ready for a Long Distance Ride

Cycling is not only a great way to get in some much needed exercise it also gives you the chance to explore your community and check out the sites around you.  Today long distance bike rides and tours are more popular than ever.  You can combine camping and days of riding in some cases.  Getting out on the open road on your bicycle is a great way to clear the clutter and refresh mind, body and soul.  While the trip may sound like lots of fun, and it is, you also need to be prepared otherwise you can end up sore and miserable.  Getting ready for a long distance ride isn’t hard, here are some tips to get you on your way.

Have a well-defined route

Whether you are planning on a road trip for a couple of days or taking your mountain bike on the trails for the day, you still need to know your route.  You need to find a route that is challenging yet safe.  Always tell someone your route and when you should be back if you plan on going alone.

Wear the right clothes and shoes

Pedaling for miles is going to leave you sweaty and dirty and you probably won’t have the chance to change your clothes along the route.  Wear something that will wick away the sweat and keep you cool.  You might also want to invest in a good pair of padded shorts, bicycle seats are anything but comfortable.  Wear a helmet, no matter where you plan on cycling, it will protect you if you are in an accident.  Get the right shoes, in most cases a good pair of sneakers will work but cycling shoes that clip into the pedals are better.  Carrying a change of clothes isn’t a bad idea either.  Here is what to pack for a long distance ride.

Bring some snacks and water

Cycling burns a ton of calories which is why it is so healthy.  You are going to need to stop and have a snack along the way and water is an absolute must. You can pack along some trail mix or some protein bars.  Avoid anything that will give you a sugar crash, so no soda or energy drinks.

Bring an emergency kit

Before you put your feet in the pedals, make sure that your bike is tuned up and ready for the trip.  You should also know how to change a tire in the event you get a flat.  Always have an emergency kit that has patches and a tire pump.  Bring along a modified first aid kit too, with some antiseptic and some bandages.  You never know when you could end up wiping out.

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Essential Cycling Gear

Essential Cycling Gear

Do you wish to go cycling? You still not sure if you are well equipped for that road cycling event? Worry not. With some little cycling gear knowledge, you will be good to go. Cycling has proven to be a modern way of life as much as it is fun and a good exercise. Before you go for that bicycle ride, here are some essentials you need to have.

Helmet & Bike

You need to have a bike and a helmet to make cycling possible. The helmet is a very vital asset in this because it ensures your head cannot get injured in case of an accident.

The cycling gear

When you are going for that cycling event, there is some things that you must carry. These can be classified as personal gear and bicycle gear. You might be wondering what the personal stuff is needed. Don’t you have to stay safe, strong and healthy while on the ride? Of course, you do. The personal gear ensures that you do.

1. Personal gear

The things that you will need for personal care include; water, sunscreen, first aid kit, snacks, eye protection and medical care.

Water– water is vital to cool off your thirst while on the road and ensure you are hydrated.

Sunscreen– if you’re cycling takes place in sunny areas, then this will ensure that your skin remains protected from sunburn.

First-aid kit– in case you injured while on the ride, you should be able to take care of yourself quickly since you might be in a remote area all alone.

Snacks– with snacks your energy levels are all in check and you can ride along the way before you get a meal.

Eye protection and medical care. You will need eye protection like sunglasses and a medical card in case you need excellent medical attention to call for help.

2. Bicycle gear

You will need some things to help you take care of the bike in case of physical damage or break down.

Pump– if the bicycle needs some more air, you can pump some.

Tire levers– when tires have issues, you will use them.

Spare tubes– this will help you in case you get a burst tube.

With all these gears in check, you have only to get yourself comfortable for that cycling. You will need to wear padded tights, wicking top, some gloves, a watch, have a cell phone, some cash, and a map. All these will ensure a smooth bicycle ride to and fro.

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