5 Questions cyclists ask

If you don’t ask you won’t learn is a wise piece of advice that I was once given. Very often I am asked many different questions regarding just about every facet imaginable that is cycling related. Here are just a few examples :

Q : What is active recovery ?

A : Active recovery means dong something physical the day after a hard training spin at an intensity that will not stress your system. An easy hour on the bike looking over the ditches whilst ignoring any thoughts of average speed or Strava Koms would be an example. A walk in the woods with your family and the dog would be another option.

Q : Way should I go out in the rain in winter when I really enjoy Zwift and do not mind training indoors on a turbo trainer for hours on end?

A : If you want to be able to ride any targeted event where there is any possibility whatsoever that it could be cold and/or wet, then you must train in the cold and rain. My personal philosophy is to train in very cold and wet conditions so that no matter how bad the weather is at an event you can always tell yourself that you have been out in worse. Training indoors will help you go up a hill fast but what about the bike handling necessary to come down the other side, or to stay with a fast group through a series of corners and roundabouts on a wet day? These are skills that can only be learned out there on the road.

Q : What should you eat or drink on the bike if energy bars and drinks don’t agree with you?

A : Drink plain water 90% of the time. In really hot conditions add a half teaspoon of salt to a 500ml bottle and in very cold conditions make hot tea with a little honey and fresh lemon juice. You can use a thermal bottle to keep it warm. Eat something that you like. Jam sandwiches, almond fingers or a favourite at this time of year Christmas cake.

Q : Where is the safest place to ride your bike?

A : Any road where there is little or no traffic. Stay away from those busy main roads. A big wide hard shoulder offers no defence against a driver checking out facebook on their mobile phone. At least on twisty backroads they will hopefully end up on top of a ditch if they try it before hitting you.

Q : Which is better, Shimano, SRAM or Campagnolo?

A : Mechanically, Shimano every day of the week and all night long. SRAM is soft but I do like the way Etap works and that would be the only SRAM that I would consider using myself. Campagnolo is from Italy. It looks beautiful. When it works it’s smooth and sophisticated but when someone rides their bottom bracket into oblivion on salty winter rides and a poor mechanic is given the task of replacing the bearings then it is the stuff of multiple nightmares.


If you have any questions that you might like to ask just drop me a line at barry@thecyclingblog.com and I’ll be happy to answer.


All the best,





5 thoughts on “5 Questions cyclists ask

  • January 3, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Dislocated my shoulder in March 2017 and although it didn’t happen with a fall from the bike i am finding it hard to get on the bike, it’s just seems i am nervous about it. Plus now i have gained a few pounds from lack of exercise, any tips on what to do to get back on it and how far to cycle?

    • January 4, 2018 at 11:58 pm

      Hi Paddy,

      The main thing that you need to do is to enjoy riding the bike. Even if it is just cycling down to the shop in your jeans that counts as a cycle.

      Something like the Greenway or even the Blueway from Clonmel to Kilsheelan can be a great way to rekindle your enjoyment of the bike.
      Stay away from heavy traffic until you regain your confidence on the bike.

      Starting back even 5k is great. Then you can build up form there. As you see the distance increase as your fitness starts to build again you will be amazed at how much progress you will make in a relatively short period of time.

      Ideally if you had one other person to go out with once you reach the 25 – 30k mark it will keep you going out even when you don’t really feel like it. Take your time before joining larger groups or doing any sportives.

      Don’t worry about the weight for now. That will fall off again when you get back up to doing longer spins. But now is also a good time to make a few small changes to your diet. Cut out white bread and sugar if you can and drink more water.

      Take note of how you feel after every spin, even the really short ones. I would be willing to bet that you will never regret going out.

      Looking forward to seeing you out on the bike again soon.


  • January 17, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    thanks for nice ideas share with us, happy cycleling 2018 !!!


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