This is a guest feature from Neilson Active Holidays. Neilson’s passion for lifestyle sports over the last 40 years has driven them to create an exciting range of summer and winter holidays for people who find the best way to relax is to switch off by doing something – learn more on neilson.co.uk.
At its heart, cycling is a simple sport. All you need is a set of wheels and that incredible feeling of freedom and exhilaration is all yours. If you want to take things a step further, or just want some creature comforts in the saddle, then there are also plenty of accessories to enhance your cycle ride.
It might sound optimistic to be starting with sunglasses – we’re all hoping for beautiful sunny bike rides all year round! The truth is, a good pair of shades helps to protect your eyes from more than just sun – rain, mud, wind, dusk and the occasional insect. Plus, if you do take your favourite past-time off on holiday then you’ll definitely get a fair dose of sunshine as well!
It’s easy enough to ride in regular sunglasses, but specialist cycling sunglasses often offer features that will be helpful on the bike. Interchangeable lenses mean you can adjust for the specific weather conditions, and many styles have a wider profile to protect your eyes more effectively when moving at speed.
If you are working up a sweat, or just out and active for a significant time, then cycling can be thirsty work. British Cycling recommends three gulps every 15 minutes so keeping some water or electrolyte drink handy will keep you from getting to parched.
If you’re riding with a backpack, a hydration reservoir can be a useful solution. No need to stop and pull out a drinks bottle, you can sip steadily as you go from a drinking tube with bite valve.
For road cyclists, the classic bottle format is hard to beat and there are a range of sizes and styles to make sure it fits with the crucial colour-coding on your favourite bike. On training rides and races using electrolyte tablets or energy drink mixes can help replace essential minerals lost through sweating, keeping your performance at its best.
Part of the joy when you start getting into cycling is tracking your progress, achievements and improvements. Whether you’re training for a specific goal or just want to share your cycling stories with friends, using a cycle computer can be a worthwhile investment.
Many bike-mounted computers will help you track everything, from distance covered and time in the saddle to your heart rate and calorie burn. One of our favourite user-friendly models is the Garmin Edge 25 – a simple, connected computer in a compact format.
Once you have the data from your rides, you can use it however you like. Build your training plans, push your limits, or just get involved in communities like the SportPursuit and Neilson Strava clubs.
Waterproof socks or overshoes
If you’re the kind of cyclist who is brave enough to ride through the year in the inclement British winter weather then foot protection is a must. Keeping your feet dry and comfortable will help you stay warm and generally happier!
One approach is waterproof socks, keeping the worst of the wet away. Sealskinz are renowned for waterproof accessories, from gloves to socks and beyond, so you’re sure to find a pair that suits your style of cycling.
To add an extra layer, waterproof overshoes stretch over your footwear and create a barrier from spray and splash from the road. Perfect for commuters, they are adjustable to be comfortable for any footwear, and built to withstand the worst that the seasons can throw at you.
Starting to spend longer on your bike? Keep your hands comfortable, keep a safe grip on your handlebars, and give you some protection in the event of a fall. A light pair of summer gloves will give you these benefits year-round, and can complete the look of your bike outfit as well.
Once the temperatures start to drop you’ll want to look for something warmer. Bear in mind that often it is getting your hands wet that will make them cold, so a water resistant style like the Rivelo Richmond can make a huge difference.
Your favourite cycling accessories can come in handy whether you’re on a training ride or heading off for a beachclub holiday. Neilson beachclubs with cycling activities have inclusive mountain and road rides amongst glorious sun-drenched scenery, so for once you’re guaranteed a fair-weather ride!
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