The health benefits of cycling

Regular physical activity is extremely important for our health. In particular, it can protect you from serious diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis. Riding your bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems cyclephotoassociated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It is also fun, cheap and good for the environment.

Cycling is:

  • Low impact – it causes less strain and injuries than most other forms of exercise.
  • A good muscle workout – cycling uses all of the major muscle groups as you pedal.
  • Easy – unlike some other sports, cycling does not require high levels of physical skill. Most people know how to ride a bike and, once you learn, you don’t forget.
  • Good for strength and stamina – cycling increases stamina, strength and aerobic fitness.
  • As intense as you want – cycling can be done at very low intensity to begin with, if recovering from injury or illness, but can be built up to a demanding physical workout.
  • A fun way to get fit – the adventure and buzz you get from coasting down hills and being outdoors means you are more likely to continue to cycle regularly, compared to other physical activities that keep you indoors or require special times or places.
  • Time-efficient – as a mode of transport, cycling replaces sedentary (sitting) time spent driving motor vehicles or using trams, trains or buses with healthy exercise.

And cycling regularly has several health benefits such as:

  • increased cardiovascular fitness
  • increased muscle strength and flexibility
  • improved joint mobility
  • decreased stress levels
  • improved posture and coordination
  • strengthened bones
  • decreased body fat levels
  • prevention or management of disease
  • reduced anxiety and depression.

Riding to work is one of the most time-efficient ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine. It only takes two to four hours a week to achieve a general improvement to your health.

As well as the many health benefits of cycling, there are also several economical, environmental, social and mental well-being benefits of regularly riding your bike.

Information retrieved from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/cycling-health-benefits


Brisbane Councillor Schrinner visits Cycle2City

Great to catch up and show Cr Adrian Schrinner Cycle2City facilities and discuss future opportunities. We thank Cr Schrnner for taking time to vist and discuss bringing bigger and better options to our members. Cycle2City prides itself on innovation, we were one of the firsts to introduce such a facility to Brisbane. We provide an alternative to public transport with high quality, safe and secure bike parking, showers, lockers and support services at great value for money so that cycle commuting becomes the absolute pleasure it should be.

Our facilities are superior to most End of Trip Facilities found amongst newer buildings. Did you know you get your own locker, hot shower and a fresh daily towel to use all for the low cost of $4.88 per day (12mnth membership). We also offer great discounted rates to businesses either small or large in Brisbane. Be part of the Cycle2City movement by joining today or contact us directly reception@cycle2city.com.au

Become A Member


10 Fun Facts About Bikes

 

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  1. In 1817, Karl Von Drais (a German baron) invented a horse-less carriage that would help him get around faster. The two-wheeled, pedal-less device was propelled by pushing the feet against the ground. This device became known as the “draisine”, which led to the creation of the modern-day bicycle.
  2. The term “bicycle” was not introduced until the 1860’s. It was coined in France to describe a new kind of two-wheeler with a mechanical drive. 
  3. Orville and Wilbur Wright (the brothers who built the first flying airplane) operated a small bike repair shop in Dayton, Ohio. They used their workshop to build the 1903 Wright Flyer. 
  4. In 1935, at the age of just 25, Fred A. Birchmore circled the globe by bicycle. The entire trip through Europe, Asia and the United States covered 40,000 miles. He pedaled about 25,000 miles and wore out 7 sets of tires. 
  5. There are over a half billion bicycles in China. Bikes were first brought to China in the late 1800’s. 
  6. About 100 million bicycles are manufactured worldwide each year. 
  7. Over the past 30 years, bicycle delivery services have developed into an important industry (especially in cities) where the couriers have earned a reputation for their high speed and traffic-weaving skills. 
  8. Americans use their bicycles for less than 1% of all urban trips. Europeans ride a lot more often – in Italy, 5% of all trips are on a bicycle and in the Netherlands, 30% of all trips are on a bicycle. 7 out of 8 Dutch people over the age of 15 own a bike!
  9. The Tour de France is one of the most famous bicycle races in the world. Established in 1903, it is considered to be the biggest test of endurance out of all sports. 
  10. Bicycle Motor Cross (BMX) (an extreme style of bicycle track racing) became a sport in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Latvia’s Maris Strombergs received the gold medal for Men’s BMX, and France’s Anne-Caroline Chausson took home the gold in the first Women’s BMX Olympic event. 

Source: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/stories/morestories/ten-things-about-bikes/

Image: http://blog.hostelbookers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/lined-up-colourful-wheels-e1271695342522.jpg


Cycling Myths Exposed

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Nothing gets motorists quite as fired up as someone on a bike, however cyclists aren’t as bad as many may think. Despite the fact that cycling is good for your health and means one less car on the road, cyclists cop a lot of criticism. But why? Because apparently cyclists break the road rules, speed, weave in and out of traffic and show irresponsible behaviour on the roads. And it’s true, not every cyclist is an angel, but we need to do something about the blame game that takes place on our roads everyday. Arguments with motorists, while in a bike lane, are a common occurrence, and many experience verbal abuse, threats and general harassment. There are articles that blast cyclists as Lycra-wearing, careless road users, and Facebook pages aimed at picking up everything that is wrong with cycling. Most cyclists just want to use the road and get to work safely without the threat of conflict, therefore it is necessary that we get a few urban cycling myths straight. 

1. Cyclists should stay off the roads: 

Every state in Australia has laws dictating that cyclists can use the roads. If people really want this changed, they will have to find a way to change the law – otherwise they will have to deal with it. 

2. Cyclists always use the footpath:

It is not illegal for cyclists to use the footpath if they are under 12 years of age or riding with a child. Cyclists are also allowed to use footpaths if they are designated shared paths. These paths are often marked and sign posted. 

3. Cyclists shouldn’t ride side-by-side:

It is a myth that cyclists are not allowed to do this. Under New South Wales law, riders can travel a maximum of two abreast in a lane as long as they are not more than 1.5m apart. In Queensland, the law now states that cars must drive at least 1m from cyclists and 1.5m in areas above 60km/hr. Check with your local transport authority if you are not sure.

4. Cycling benefits are overrated:

The health benefits of cycling are well known, but did you know that cycling benefits the economy as well? According to a Department of Infrastructure report released in 2013, every time that someone rides their bike for 20 minutes, the economy benefits by more than $21.00.

5. Cyclists cause accidents:

Cyclists do indeed cause accidents, that is no dispute. But then again, so does every other road user. Cyclists are not always at fault when it comes to accidents involving cars, although many people think they are. In fact, studies show that cars are more commonly in the wrong. According to the Centre for Automotive Research, in 79 per cent of cases the driver of the vehicle was deemed to be at fault. 

6. Cyclists are a menace on the road:

Nobody is a perfect driver. While some cyclists may take risky moves in traffic, other roads users are just as guilty of doing the same thing. 

7. Cycling isn’t dangerous:

An alarming number of bike riders are being killed on the roads at a faster rate than in past years. Australia is one of the only countries in the world that had an increase in cycling deaths between 2000 and 2011. This isn’t because cyclists are taking unnecessary risks, but more so due to an increase of cyclists using the roads. It is important to remember that cyclists are often motorists too, normal people with friends and family. Be sure to think about this next time you are passing one of them.

8. Cyclists should pay registration:

This has long been desired by those who want to make cyclists more accountable. However, bike registration is an option not even Australia’s peak motoring body agrees with. The NRMA’s Peter Koury said it would be difficult to enforce and there would be potential safety risks. For example, the idea of displaying a number plate like you would on a motor vehicle caused concern about injuries or distractions. “If we really want to see accidents involving cyclists drop, we need more education, better use of cycle lanes and better separation of cars and bikes,” he said. “We want to encourage people to use their bikes and registration won’t do that.”

9. Cyclists cause congestion:

Unless cyclists are taking up an entire lane for the whole duration of their journey, it is unlikely that they are causing more congestion. Overtaking a cyclist is no different to overtaking a parked car, but if it really bothers you, the best solution would be to avoid main roads with cycle lanes.

10. Bike lanes are unnecessary:

Bike lanes make cycling safer but according to the NRMA, they need to be in the right places. Mr Koury said the organisation was happy to promote the separation of bike and car users but that lanes should be built in appropriate places and not on busy roads. On the upside, the cost of a typical off-road path is about $1.5 million per kilometre, far cheaper than building billions of dollars in highways.

 

Source: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/cycling-myths-debunked-why-cyclists-arent-as-bad-as-you-might-think/story-fneuz9ev-1226925509305 


Cycle on through Winter

 

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We all know that when the weather gets colder and the days get shorter it’s harder to stay active and motivated. Lying in bed all day seems so tempting, but you don’t want to lose the fitness you have worked so hard for! Cycling is one of the few sports that you really can do all year-round, so here are a few helpful hints to keep you cycling through the cooler months.

  • 1) Dress for the weather – with the latest cycling clothing it is perfectly possible to insulate and protect yourself from the elements so you can cycle quite happily through the winter. And, when you buy new clothing, you’ll benefit from the motivation to try it out.
  • 2) Preparation is key – don’t leave everything until the morning. Get all your clothing, kit and bike prepared the evening before, so when you wake up everything is laid out and ready to go.
  • 3) Get some lights – don’t let the dark mornings and evenings put you off. With a set of modern high powered lights, you can get outside before most people are even out of bed.
  • 4) Enter an event – set your sights on a future event. You will have the incentive you’ll need to summon up the motivation to ride because you’ll want to stay fit and improve your fitness so that you arrive at the starting line in the best possible shape.
  • 5) Have a winter plan – having a goal to give you a sense of purpose can be a great way to get you outdoors on the bike when the weather conditions might be less than favourable. It can be anything from deciding to commute to work twice a week, to setting a weekly or monthly distance or duration goal.
  • 6) Cycle commuting – if you don’t already cycle commute, then winter is a great time to start. Not only is it a great way to keep your fitness ticking over, but it will save you money and is exhilarating compared to being stuck in a train, bus or car.
  • 7) Explore new routes – avoid riding the same routes all the time. Instead, plot new routes to explore roads around your local area and to discover new roads and new ways of linking up existing roads.
  • 8) Meet a friend for a ride – cycling on your own is hugely rewarding, but sometimes when the weather is bad it can be really encouraging to plan a ride with a friend. You’ll have the incentive of not wanting to let them down and having to meet them at a certain time to force you out the door. Riding with a friend in bad weather can be great for moral as you’re both in it together. It can be good from a safety point of view too.
  • 9) Ride with a local club – these clubs are not only a good way of making new friends, but having a regular meeting time gives you the boost of motivation you need to get on your bike. Riding in a large group is good for spirits when the weather is bad, and you can also usually ride a bit faster and seek shelter from the wind by taking it in turns at the front of the group. Time flies by compared to riding solo.
  • 10) Get a coach – If you’re a competitive sort and maybe fancy doing some racing next season, then enlisting the services of a professional coach can be a really good idea. It might seem an elaborate expense and only for the professionals, but a coach can help cyclists of all levels and abilities.
  • 11) It’s only weather – just remember, it’s only weather so don’t let it put you off riding in it. We’re fortunate here that the winter is mostly mild and is well suited to year-round cycling.
  • 12) Just get outside – don’t think too much about how bad you think it might be and instead, don’t think about it at all. Just get dressed, get out the door and get riding. Most of the time it’s never as bad as you think it will be. And the reward for having gotten out will be immeasurable.

So there you are, no excuses now! Go into winter with a positive attitude and come out of it feeling fit and healthy and well prepared for the following Summer months.

Source: http://road.cc/content/feature/99064-16-top-tips-keep-you-motivated-and-cycling-through-winter

Image: http://to.yale.edu/sites/default/files/image_galleries/metro_bike_snow.jpg?1392324364


Cycling Safety Tips

With winter just around the corner the sun is beginning to rise later and set earlier, which is why it is important to take extra precautions when riding to and from work. When cycling, the Brisbane City Council says to be sure to wear an Australian standards approved helmet, wear appropriate footwear (enclosed shoes), stay hydrated and know your fitness level/riding skills. Ensure that you obey all road rules, and, if possible, find a bikeway to plan your route. 

Staying safe in the darker months requires you to be seen – use reflectors, use lights and try to wear brighter clothing. Remember to always keep a minimum distance of 1 metre between yourself and other vehicles, and be constantly aware of your surroundings by scanning and shoulder-checking. Make sure you let others know the direction you are travelling by using hand signals, and most importantly be aware of intersections and car doors!

By following these simple tips you will create less danger for yourself and can continue to cycle happily and safely. 

Sources:

http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/facilities-recreation/sports-leisure/cycling-brisbane/cycling-rules-signs-safety-tips 

http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Travel-and-transport/Cycling/Cycling-safety/Tips.aspx#cyclists


Brisbane Cycling Launch Next Week!

Come along to celebrate the launch of Council’s Cycling Brisbane membership program and enjoy cycling demonstrations, music and entertainment. Cycle 2 City will be amongst many other organisations getting involved in advocating active lifestyle. We will have workshop demonstrations and Q & A on bike maintenance running all day.

 

Cycling Brisbane is free to join and aims to encourage people of all ages and abilities get out on their bike to see Brisbane. Sign up to Cycling Brisbane on the day and go in the draw to win prizes. Your membership will also give you access to discounts, deals and more.

 

 

When: Wednesday 26 March 2014, 7am – 2pm

Where: King George Square, Brisbane CBD

What: The official launch of Council’s Cycling Brisbane membership program. In addition to having the opportunity to meet 12 time Tour de France competitor Robbie McEwen, the event will include cycling demonstrations, bike mechanic demonstrations, music, giveaways, and information and deals from supporting businesses.

If you sign up to Cycling Brisbane on the day, you will go in the draw to win prizes including a Reid Cycles bicycle and overnight accommodation at the Pullman Hotel Brisbane.

Cycling Brisbane aims to encourage people of all ages and abilities to get out on their bike to see Brisbane. It’s free to join and membership will give you the latest news and information about cycling in Brisbane.

We hope to see you there!

 
For more information on the Cycling Brisbane launch event, visit Council’s What’s On website <http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/whats-on/featured/Events-in-Brisbane/index.htm?trumbaEmbed=view%3Devent%26eventid%3D109464909> .


Farewell Sarah!

Yesterday we fare-welled the lovely Sarah from the C2C reception team as she begins her journey around Australia. Sarah has recently graduated from university and is now eager to spread her wings and explore what life has to offer her. Sarah has been a valuable staff member here at C2C over the past 12 months, bringing a positive energy to the centre every day. We wish Sarah the very best in her future endeavours, she will be missed!


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

 

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All of the staff here at Cycle2City would like to wish our lovely members a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We hope each and every one of you have a wonderful and safe festive season and a very happy and healthy 2014. Thank you for all of your support this year, we look forward to seeing you again in the new year. Enjoy!!!


WINNER of the 6 MONTH MEMBERSHIP

 

We are pleased to welcome our latest member Ryan Tierney to the Cycle2City family! 

Ryan is the lucky winner of the 6 month membership that was up for grabs at the Pedal Expedition held in West End on Friday 15th November. 

Welcome to the centre Ryan, we are happy to have you on board and we hope you enjoy your time here with us at the Cycle Centre!


CYCLE2CITY IS BACK IN ACTION!

After an eventful morning, Cycle2City is once again open to our members!

Fortunately, the burst water main did not cause any damage to the centre.

We would like to thank everyone for their patience and cooperation…

Have a wonderful day!

 


BURST WATER MAIN AT KGS: NO ACCESS TO CYCLE2CITY TODAY.

ATTENTION: BCC has restricted all access to the centre today due to a burst water main in King George Square Station. Please do not enter the bike way this is deemed hazardous. There is minimal water damage in the centre, however no one can enter the centre until the situation is resolved by BCC. We will provide status updates about the situation through the website. Thank you for cooperation at this time.


Cars vs. Cyclists

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Just over a month ago the channel 7 TV program Sunday Night aired a segment based on cars versus cyclists, the point of which was to plea with people for more calm and consideration on our roads. To reinforce this plea, the program highlighted what can happen when things go wrong due to the actions of careless motorists.

Although portrayed as a “war”, surely it can’t be considered as such when one side has a weapon of massive destruction, and the other side is unarmed and defenseless. 

Despite this, there have been suggestions made that cyclists should be banned from city centers, or become registered as a “way for motorists to take cyclists seriously”.

The idea  that cyclists hold up traffic is proven entirely wrong by a man named Tim Golby, who created a “How many cars did I pass today” section on the Bicycle Channel. He filmed his commute from the Melbourne suburb of Essendon to the CBD, and by adding the number of cars he overtook and subtracting the ones that passed him, he shows himself beating 589 vehicles into the city.

This is both quick and cheap and keeps you energised and healthy. Think of how much better it would be for all of those involved, including the jammed motorists, if there were more cyclists travelling to work in this way. And the more cyclists there are, the safer it gets for the cyclists on the road. 

 

Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/executive-style/fitness/cyclist-passes-589-cars-on-way-to-work-20130828-2sqh5.html# 

Image: http://lovingthebike.com/uncategorized/cycling-versus-driving


Stronger Muscles, Longer Life

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Over a period of 18 years, researchers have been conducting a study involving nearly 9000 men. This study has compared things including muscular strength in the upper body and legs, to the chances of dying from any cause – particularly cancer or heart disease. It has been suggested that being strong may result in a longer life, as muscle strength seems to protect against cancer and all combined causes of death. Poor muscle strength in the male participants was associated with being unhealthy, but when they tested for things like high cholesterol, fatness, smoking and blood pressure, muscle strength protected the body.

Muscles can change the way that insulin works, and insulin may affect how cells in the body grow. A greater muscle mass also means that more calories are burned at rest, giving some protection against weight gain which is known to be cancer associated.

Researchers aren’t exactly sure why this association between muscle strength and cancer protection might exist, but it sure is a good reason to incorporate some more resistance training into our exercise schedule.

Image: http://restaurants.mu/article-fitness-nutrition-guideline.html

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/health/minutes/stories/2008/07/21/2305160.htm


Aqua Cycling

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The latest and greatest exercise trend in Europe, and more recently in the US, is underwater cycling! Aqua Cycling is yet to take off here in Australia but it won’t be long before we too have the opportunity to dive into an aqua spin class.

This activity is set up exactly like a spin class, except that the stationary bikes are in a pool. Aqua cycling has many benefits, perhaps the most significant being that your body weight is supported by the water. This means that there is virtually no physical impact on the body, which allows the joints to be protected.

However, a great alternative while we wait for Aqua cycling to make a splash in Australia is deep water running. Deep water running requires you to be submerged in water and allows you to feel resistance through the entire body. This resistance forces opposing muscles to work, providing a great cardiovascular and strengthening workout. In addition to this, being deep in the water decreases stress on the joints and increases the body’s range of motion.

So while we hang out for a ride in the pool,  try out water running and let your body thank you.

Source: http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/health+news/aqua+cycling,25765

 


Benefits of the Bike

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Did you know that on a bicycle, you can travel up to 1,037kms on the energy equivalent to that of a single litre of petrol? Taking the bike instead of the car has so many benefits, benefits you had probably never even thought of. Like the fact that if you cycle regularly, you can expect to be as fit as an average person 10 years younger than you. Or that on a bicycle your heart works as your own motor which improves it’s own strength and efficiency. When you are cycling through city traffic you are not only faster but friendlier and more free than any other vehicle on the road, meaning you start and finish your day on a higher note.  Other interesting facts about bikes include:

  • On a bicycle you use fewer watts of energy than a car consumes to simply power it’s lighting system for the same distance
  • On a bicycle you consume a 50th of the oxygen consumed by a motor vehicle
  • A moderate half-hour each-way commute will burn eight calories a minute
  • Bicycles have outsold cars for the past six years in Australia, with sales of more than a million bikes per year for three years in a row
  • Driving 4km less a day reduces driving by 1,460km a year – this cuts greenhouse gas by 3,358kg and running costs by $876 for an average medium car

So what more excuse do you need! Keep those legs pedalling and enjoy the wide variety of benefits that riding your bike has to bring.

 

Source: http://www.bicyclerecycling.com/5.html

Image: http://en.clipdealer.com/video/media/1258386


Brisbane Bike Adventures

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Now Australia’s third largest city, Brisbane is one of our country’s most unique. With such a convenient location, Brisbane is within close proximity to many beautiful beaches, mountain ranges, and much, much more – what better excuse to jump on the bike and explore what Brisbane has to offer. There are many bike paths around Brisbane which can be used for both fun and fitness, with some favourites including the Boondall Wetlands ride, Brisbane City, Kedron Brook, New Farm, Toowong and West End rides. All providing different surroundings and scenery, these rides are a great way to love and appreciate the great outdoors of the capital of the beautiful Sunshine State.

For more info on Brisbane’s bike adventures visit:

http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/facilities-recreation/sports-and-leisure/cycling/Brisbane-Bike-Adventures/index.htm

http://qutparkingday24.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/skyscapers-light-the-night/ (Image)


Cyclists are Out of This World!

 

The benefits of commuting to and from work via bicycle are astronomical. When cycling, positive implications begin to surface across all aspects of both the personal and professional life. Implications within social, environmental and economic realms have been seen to extend to the wider community. As a sustainable mode of transportation, the bicycle alternative is not only responsible but also holistically profitable.

The words ‘traffic congestion’ are often enough to cause prickles of frustration to crawl across ones’ skin.  In the frantic rush of commuter hour, cyclists are provided with an opportunity to bypass the morning mayhem with exclusive access to bike paths and designated lanes.  Avoiding congestion saves on vehicle operation costs and unnecessary exhaust emissions. Cycling, as a form of zero emission transport contributes nil to air pollution thus creating benefits for both oneself and broader society.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (2007) found that during the 2001-2006 period in Brisbane, the bicycle alternative rose as much as 18%. Figures demonstrate that with an increasing road presence, the safety of cyclists similarly increases. With this in mind, many commuters have been seen to ride to work in groups of two or more. Such a trend generates a great sense of mateship and enthusiasm. (It is much more difficult to hit snooze if you know that your commuting counterpart will be waiting by the servo at 6am sharp). It is relationships like this that forge friendships and make your experience at Cycle 2 City all that more enjoyable.

That being said, as a lone ranger, I cannot stress the extent to which cycling provides a clear state of mind.  It provides the perfect timeframe in which to ponder the days’ proceedings and generally just have a good ol’ think. Apparently Einstein came up with the theory of relativity while riding his bicycle and although I do not think that my morning musings may be of such a groundbreaking calibre I do treasure the clarity and sense of accomplishment that it grants me.

 

All that aside, whether solo or socialite, the benefits of cycling are transcendent. It comes as no surprise that cycling is closely linked to better health, an elevated quality of life and increased overall fitness. Incorporating bicycle commuting into your everyday routine can assist in protection against sedentary diseases, poor physical and mental health. The World Health Organisation (WHO) found that cycling reduces the incidence of mental health disorders such depression and anxiety. Can you imagine how chirpy your workplace could be if everyone kick-started their day with a ride?

Speaking from experience, it is felt that there is no better way to start your day than with the first downward slope of the journey. This increasing momentum coupled with a cool dose of winter morning and that ‘Oh *%$&’ feeling that forces you to become suddenly very, very awake. It is mornings like this that make the hot shower at the end of the route all that more enjoyable.


Myths about Nutrition

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There are plenty of facts out there about nutrition and well-being, telling us both what is good and what is bad. However, many of you will be pleased to know that some of these facts are actually myths! That chocolate bar that you are craving at 3pm to get you through those last hours of work may in fact have some potential, and those foods containing carbohydrates are made up of nutrients and fibre that are vital to our health. Check out the article linked below to find out 13 of the biggest nutrition and food myths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

(Website) 

http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/the_13_biggest_nutrition_and_food_myths_busted

(Image)

http://tsh.to/pages/Demystifying-common-food-and-nutrition-myths


Swap the Bike for a Snowboard This Winter: 4 Reasons to Take a Snow Holiday.

Got some time off this winter? Why not kick it up a notch and head to the slopes for an action-packed ski adventure! Although it might be tempting to escape to warmer climates or curl up on the couch with a good book and hot chocolate, a ski holiday offers a unique balance of adventure and relaxation that you won’t find from the comfort of your sun lounge.

 

This week, Morgan Lee from Snowcentral has given us some great insights into why a snowboarding holiday might be just what you need this winter.

 

Cycling and snowboarding in a sense are very similar. You might find many of the reasons listed here match up with the reasons why you started cycling! So as the snow begins to fall, let’s have a quick look at why you should try snowboarding this season.

 

1. Fitness

Snowboarding can significantly improve your physical and mental fitness. It tests your vision, balance and coordination while providing an intense cardio-vascular workout. Exercise is also key to a good night’s sleep, guaranteed after a big day on the slopes. What’s more, if you spend most of the day skiing or riding, chances are you’ve burnt off those apres-ski beers from the night before.

2.  Mountain Lifestyle

Even if you only get to experience it for a few days, there is something special about being on a mountain. After a solid day of snowboarding, kicking back in front of the fire in one of the many lounges dotted around most ski resorts,means kicking back with great people. Snowboarders are adventurous and open-minded, and more than happy to listen to your stories of how you got some big air or almost hit a tree. Like cycling, snowboarding is a social experience and a great way to meet like-minded people.

3. Family Friendly

Nothing beats a family ski trip. There are heaps of things to keep the kids entertained from sledding to building snowmen and even the occasional snowball fight. But the real gem is ski school. Ski schools offer lessons for all ages at every skill level and while the kids are busy making friends and tearing up the bunny hill, you’re free to duck off to a more challenging part of the mountain or perhaps a quiet, kid-free lunch.

4. Natural Beauty

Standing a few thousand metres above sea level, looking out at the valley below is a pleasant reminder of just how breathtakingly beautiful this planet can be. The fresh air, free from the stench of exhaust fumes invigorates your body, and the rush of the cold wind in your ears as you cruise down the run awakens your senses. There’s no need for motors here, just you, your snowboard, and nature.

Snowboarding
About to shred down the mountain

 

Okay, so who’s ready to hit the slopes? All you need now is some comfy snowboard boots and a board and you’re well on your way! Snowboarding is a fantastic sport that improves your wellbeing and opens you up to the beauty of nature. If you do manage to get to the mountains this winter, I guarantee you will come back feeling a million times better than if you spent your holiday lazing on the beach!


Cycling and Yoga – The Art of Zen

“Ouch! My hamstrings! I’m feeling yesterday’s ride today”. How many times have you or one of your friends or teammates fallen victim to over-used, under-stretched muscles? These days many cyclists practice yoga to alleviate muscle tightness from logging long hours in the saddle.

Some key areas that we can suffer from overwork or strain during a ride are the hamstrings, quadriceps, hips and the lower back (caused by a constant forward flexion of the spine). The muscle groups in these areas become sore and tired because they are being used in the same way for hours at a time. The same or similar motion is repeated, without properly unwinding or re-energizing.

Physiologically, here is what happens:

  • Quads get tighter as they get stronger
  • Hamstrings contract, tighten on back of legs (plus, they are never fully extended)
  • Shoulders get rounded over straining upper middle back thoracic spine
  • Low back (lumber area) gets pushed out if core strength is not maintained

How yoga helps:

Yoga poses help open what is contracted. Yoga creates flexibility where there is only strength, which balances the action. Many find relief from muscle pain caused by tightness in lower and upper body while practicing yoga. Others have brought spines back into optimal alignment.

Many cyclists are also often surprised to find something beyond the physical from yoga. Anyone on two wheels knows that cycling often requires intense concentration and focus to succeed (especially when Mountain Biking, or cycling in traffic). The work we do on the mat focuses on breathing, cultivating a mind-body awareness and increasing resonance with the energy of the earth, which is transported to the bike to maintain a calm mind and zen-like clarity.

Many of you have probably already flirted with the idea of practicing yoga, or at the very least basic stretches, but find it is too difficult/time consuming/inconvenient to learn the traditional poses.

Below are a couple of links to some informative Youtube videos which you can practice in the comfort of your own home.

And here is a basic guide to some of the poses mentioned.

Happy cycling 🙂


Flood-affected Brisbane cyclists

Residents of the greater Brisbane region are currently enduring the aftermath of ex-cyclone Oswald. Floodwaters have proven a concern for many homeowners and businesses alike, causing many changes in both the built and natural environment. With such change comes growth, the opportunity to adapt, adjust and strengthen important community bonds. Here at Cycle 2 City we are pleased to report that the centre was largely unaffected by river surges, as such business has resumed as usual.

For those of you whose commuting route has been affected, you may want to consider some DIY bike adjustments!

Unfortunately our on-site workshop does not offer these services, however if you have encountered damages or would like anything modified, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly staff on reception or make a booking on 3221 6868.

Wishing you all the best from here at the centre!


“The Art of Getting Back Up”

One of the most difficult things in life is sticking with something you love, when the fear is threatening to outweigh the joy. If any of you have ever experienced an accident, you will more than understand what I am talking about. I have come across an inspirational and heart warming article written by Joe Kurmaskie titled “The Art of Getting Back Up”. It features Doug, a man who was willing to face his fears and do something nobody ever thought he could. If he can do it, you can too…



The Art Of Getting Back Up

By Joe Kurmaskie

The world can feel unfathomably large, random and knock the life out of you for no apparent reason. That’s what happened to Doug Markgraf a few years back. What happened next is the important part, the meat of life and what keeps me humble, inspired and in the saddle. My role in this story has been to provide some guidance and gear as Doug took on the monster-sized task of piecing his life back together one mile at a time.

On a spring day in May 2006, Markgraf’s life changed forever. As a college sophomore and member of Drexel’s Cycling Team, he was training on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia when a pickup truck pulling an ATV plowed into him. The driver fled the scene and left him alone and seriously injured. He doesn’t know how long he was in the street before help came.

Someone called the ambulance. EMTs measured his level of consciousness at the scene using the Glasgow Coma Scale. Anything less than a three on the scale is considered a vegetative state.

Doug was a three. He also had a shattered arm, most likely from trying to shield himself from the oncoming truck. He remained in a coma for 14 days. Though he woke after two weeks, the doctors gave his parents what Doug refers to as the “doom and gloom” report.

“Initially doctors were unable to say much at all,” he said. “They told my parents that it’s unlikely I’ll ever do things like return to college or ride a bike again.”

After waking up from the coma, Doug suffered from post-traumatic amnesia and for weeks could not remember what anyone told him about the accident.

“I was so confused. All I wanted to do was sleep because I didn’t understand why I was in a hospital bed.”

Six weeks after the accident, Doug was allowed to live at home while undergoing outpatient occupational, physical and speech therapy. According to him, it was like he had gone back to being a child. He had someone helping him 24 hours a day.

“I just wanted to go back to normal life but I didn’t necessarily know what normal life was at that point,” he noted. “More than anything I just wanted to get back on a bike and I kept pushing my doctors and therapists to be able to do that. I wanted to prove to myself and to everyone else that I could do it.”

It was almost exactly one year after the accident that Doug defied the odds and got back on a real bike, on the open road. With his parents following closely behind in the car, video camera in hand, he rode his bicycle for 62 miles.

“I never had any fear about getting back on the bike, but my parents did,” he mentioned. “You might think it’s hard for the person who has the TBI [traumatic brain injury], but I think my family had it much worse. It was scary for them because they didn’t know what would happen to me. I always knew that I would keep pushing forward.”

As a result of his traumatic brain injury, reading for any sustained amount of time was difficult to impossible, and he continues to have trouble remembering things. Struggling with the injury’s damaging effects, Doug attempted to go back to his engineering studies at Drexel, but failed several classes.

“It was really, really hard and I felt like I was pushing myself back instead of forward,” he explained. “I started my second Co-op and realized that it was no longer what I was meant to do. I’d be forcing myself down a path that wasn’t right for me.”

He decided to change his major to education and graduated in 2010. He now teaches robotics to sixth, seventh and eighth graders at the Universal Institute Charter School in Philadelphia. Having summers off from teaching, Doug decided to do something that he has wanted to do for a long time — ride his bicycle across the United States.

“I told myself that if I ever got back on a bike, I would ride as far as I possibly could,” he said.

Doug made a journey from San Francisco, Calif., to Tom’s River, New Jersey. Carrying supplies with him and only sleeping in hotels when weather conditions threatened, he raised funds for the Raisin Hope Foundation, which was started by a friend, fellow bicyclist and TBI survivor, Saul Raisin.

What he considered one of the most important aspects of his journey was stopping at hospitals and rehabilitation centers along the way to speak to individuals with traumatic brain injuries. There are a lot of good charity rides that happen all over the country. But it’s rare and beautiful to see the victim of a terrible accident get up and raise money and awareness for something that nearly took him out of the game.

http://bicyclepaper.com/articles/391-The-Art-Of-Getting-Back-Up

For more information visit www.dougtrails.wordpress.com) or watch the trailer for his Full Length Feature at youtube.com/watch?v=dNbUgdj_558.


Places to visit this Christmas!

With Christmas and New Years just around the corner, some of you may be feeling the stress of shopping, the burden of work deadlines and that nagging feeling that you are slacking of a little on the exercise front.

As a reminder to get out and about during the holiday season, I’ve found a small list of some beautiful places around Brisbane that are worthy of a good exploration. So instead of sitting around home watching “It’s a Wonderful Life”, pack a tasty lunch, round up the kids and get in touch with some of Brisbane’s best and finest.

Reblogged from Emma Elliott at bucketfulloflists.squarespace.com/

1. Kedron Brook

Length: From Brookside Shopping Centre to Toombul Shopping Centre – 13 kilometres one way.
Why I Love This Path: This pathway has recently been renovated by the Brisbane City Council. This cycleway will take you alongside the Kedron Brook (a river inlet from the bay). Although this path will take you across some main roads, you will enjoy interrupted paths and back streets the majority of the way. There is a beautiful park just over the bridge from Shaw Park (Kalinga Park) which is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic.
Connects with: Jim Soorly Bikeway (Boondall Wetlands)

2. Redcliffe/Deception Bay (Morten Bay Cycleway)

Length: Approximately 26 kilometres from Ted Smout Bridge to Deception Bay one way.
Why I Love This Path: With views over to Morten Island and across the bay, this bike path is nothing short of picturesque. Have a dip in the lagoon at Redcliffe, enjoy the markets, the beach, the cafes, throw a fishing line off the jetty (if you can cycle with your rod), picnic in one of the gorgeous beachside shelters or cook a barbecue. You will be spoilt for choice out here.
Connects with: Jim Soorly Bikeway (Boondall Wetlands). Exciting new developments are happening here. By 2014, this route will connect with northern and southern parts of Brisbane to make what will be the biggest cycle route in Eastern Australia.

3. Wynnum/ Manly

Length: Around 10km return journey.
Why I Love This Path: Another bayside tranquil ride with lots of things to do along the way. Picnic, barbecue, swim, cafes, pub lunches and markets.

4. Boondal Wetlands (Jim Soorly Bikeway)

Length: About a 30 kilometre roundtrip from Boondall to Toombul.
Why I Love This Path: This area of Brisbane is different and stunning. Cycle over the boardwalks that sit just above the wetlands and swamps and enjoy the many different terrains that unfold before you on this trip. Don’t forget to take a quick side trip down to Nudgee Beach!
Connects with: Morten Bay Cycleway and the Kedron Brook Cycle Path

5. The City

Length: 26 kilometres, 12 kilometres, 5 kilometres – there are a lot of different routes you can take.
Why I Love This Path: These bike paths circulate some of the most beautiful parts of Brisbane’s inner city. With a multitude of things to do and see along the way- it will be the perfect day.

Take into consideration that there are plenty of parks, beaches and stunning views to enjoy along each of these journeys. One of my favourite things to do is to take along a picnic and find the perfect place to enjoy it along the way.


New Study Suggests Handlebar Level Can Affect Sexual Health of Female Cyclists

 A new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine reveals that handlebar position is associated with changes in genital sensation in female cyclists.


Led by Marsha K. Guess, MD, MS, of Yale University School of Medicine, researchers evaluated bicycle set-up in terms of the relationship between the seat and the handlebars. 48 competitive women cyclists were studied.

Researchers measured saddle pressures and sensation in the genital region to see if placing handlebars in different positions affects pressure and sensation in the genital region. Results showed that placing the handlebar lower than the seat was associated with increased pressure on the genital region and decreased sensation (reduced ability to detect vibration).

“Modifying bicycle set-up may help prevent genital nerve damage in female cyclists,” Guess notes. “Chronic insult to the genital nerves from increased saddle pressures could potentially result in sexual dysfunction.”

“There are a myriad of factors affecting women’s sexual function. If women can minimize pressure application to the genital tissues merely by repositioning their handlebars higher, to increase sitting upright, and thereby maximize pressure application to the woman’s sit bones, then they are one step closer to maintaining their very important sexual health,” explained Irwin Goldstein, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Published July 7 2012- Science Daily Online