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Get into Active Cycling

Cycling is great for all ages; even babies and young children can enjoy this activity with a multitude of special cycles, trailers, or add-ons available. Fotolia_58897537_XS

You will need a bicycle, but you do not necessarily need to buy one as they can be expensive. If you are only planning on cycling occasionally then you could look into hiring bikes. Many cities now offer bike rental schemes and there are even more cycle hire shops in popular tourist spots allowing you to rent everything you need for as long or as short as you like.

There are a many different types of bicycle but the main three categories you should know about if you are new to cycling are; “Road” (sometimes called Racing) Bike, “Mountain” Bike and “Hybrid” Bike.

Road bikes are lightweight, aerodynamic and have very thin hard tyres; they are specifically designed for cycling on flat smooth paved surfaces (roads). They usually have turned down handlebars giving the rider a more streamlined riding position to aid with cycling at higher speeds.

Mountain Bikes are heavier duty, with chunky tyres and often come with suspension. They are designed for going over rough, uneven, wet and muddy unpaved ground. Their big tyres and suspension mean they can tackle most terrains but they will be slower if you cycle on roads.

Hybrid bikes are designed to be ridden both on paved roads and on a variety of unpaved surfaces such as cycle tracks and off road in mild conditions. They have a mid sized tyre which will cope with a lot of surfaces but they are not a big and chunky as mountain bike tyres so will not cope as well with heavy mud or very rough surfaces.

There are many other types of bicycle and if you are very keen to get into cycling it may be worth speaking to an expert in-store to identify exactly which bike would be best for you.

You should also wear a cycle helmet, just in case! Other items you may need will be dependent on how far you plan to cycle and how often. Padded cycle shorts, a water bottle (or hydration system) and a lightweight backpack can all be useful but are not vital if you are just going on short, easy rides.

Dedicated cycle paths are becoming more and more popular throughout the UK and abroad so you can enjoy cycling without the constant traffic around you.

Select you own length of trip, (checking how many hills) get your bike and off you go...it is that simple.

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