Friday, June 28, 2013

5 Necessary Mountain Biking Safety Accessories

As the song goes – “you and I in the beautiful world….” the same feelings must arouse within when you ride through the terrains and valleys seated upon your bike. But, such rides can turn out be treacherous too, especially when you ignore the basic safety accessories and hit the road without giving a damn to personal safety. At times, accidents can lead to severe fatalities including bone fractures, brain hemorrhage etc.

Having all the tools and accessories is the first step to ensure your personal safety on the road. Listed below are 5 absolutely necessary tools/equipments/accessories that a mountain biker must have:

01. Helmet Breeds Confidence

Have you ever ventured out on the roads (on your bike) without wearing a helmet?
If no is the call then why take chances in the creepy mountains where you will find more rocks than roses. If you get what we’re implying, do NOT let yourself depend on fate and act like a super hero. Head banged against a hard rock; very few have chances of escaping the accident without a serious injury. 

02. Gloves Ensure Comfort and Safety

Your hands (along with your legs) are the only companions in the mountainous journey. A beginner tends to grip the bike handle a bit more tightly than an experienced biker. It can be brutal to your hands which guide you tirelessly in the long run. Make sure you always wear bike gloves for increased safety and comfort. Full-fingered gloves are much better than half-fingered ones as they provide firmer grip.

03. Bike Shorts: The Way to Go

No longer is a biker observed in tight ‘Lycra’ mountain bike shorts as there are better substitutes available in the market. You should purchase a pair of shorts that makes you feel casual and make way for the accumulated perspiration to evaporate through the pores. And, adding to what was mentioned before; shorts should be purchased bearing in mind the comfort factor it can offer and not on the basis of its appearance. Mind you, appearances are often deceptive. 

04. Eye Protection

Keep a pair of high quality sun glares to neutralize the wind and dust particulates. Clear eyesight paves way for better and hassle free ride. An ideal pair of sunglasses wins half the battle for you.

05. Repair Kit: The Need of Tough Times

You can easily get stuck in the woods at some odd hours and there is every possibility that no one will hear your desperate screams. Such incidents do occur and they happen mostly due to mechanical troubles in bikes. So, you should be well prepared to prevail in such situations with a multi-tool repair kit.

You should also pick up a pair of shoes that complement the pedals fittingly. Other than that, you should carry an extra pair too, in case the sole comes off (highly likely!) on a long ride. Mountain biking is full of thrill and excitement but you must not take safety considerations for granted no matter what. Even the most professional bikers in the UK don’t do that, really!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Wiggle French Revolution – 1 Day Ride to France

Wiggle French Revolution
The Wiggle French Revolution Sportive sees entrants meet at the Dover’s ferry port before they head to northern France to get on to a 55 and 74-mile sportive ride.
One of the most exciting and innovative sportive, the Wiggle French Revolution is essentially a day trip in France. Beginning from the Dover ferry port, where from a ferry is arranged (with parking facility) to get you to Calais in northern France so that you can mingle with the French spirit after a 1.5 hour long luxurious journey, and then kick of the riding event.
The event
The ride comprises of two courses, the Epic 75 miles or Standard 59 miles rides. The routes are naturally beautiful and scenic, and take riders’ trough the amazing North Coast and the National Park, also adding to the cyclist adventure with traffic free cycling on extremely well organized courses.

The Route
Both the routes on the Wiggle French Revolution sportive start with a seven mile flat stretch along the north coast to Sangatte. Hereafter the course becomes a little demanding, and requires lot of training , as you pass through the stunning Mont d’Hubert & Cap Blanc Nez. The mounts are reminiscent of the World War II and forts and bombing creators for the devastating war can still be seen on the cliff tops. So, it’s all in all a very historic ride amid naturally beautiful sites.
As the riders climb to the top of the Mont d’Hubert, the journey is tiring, but worth all the hard work – from the cliff atop the mountain, riders are up front with one of the most magnificent view of the English Channel and the white cliffs of Dover – a sight to savor, to say the least.
After the picturesque view and sightseeing from the mountain top, the route leads cyclists into the amazing ‘Foret Domaniate de Guines’ National Park, which is a nice climb up to Mont d’Licques. Hereon, the route will head west word and join the main course on the spectacular coastline.
Moving north words along the coastline towards Calais, the riders will be treated to the beauty and treacherous mountain roads as they pass the Mont Duez, Mont de la Louve and Wissant before the final climb of the day at Mont d’Hubert. This is followed with a level 7 miles ride to the finish line back at the Calais Ferry port itself. Riders are served with refreshments on arrival, and there is facility available for changing and shower.

Benefits along the Wiggle French Revolution

Besides the opportunity to ride in the magnificent landscape, in a non-competitive ride, the bikers are also treated with facilities like feed stations, mechanical support, bike wash facilities, signposted courses and event photography etc.

Opportunity and requirements

A rider who participates in the Wiggle French Revolution – 1 Day Ride to France should have a valid passport and travel insurance and should be above 16 years of age.
The entry to the sportive is limited to 700 riders and the maximum luggage a rider can carry is limited to one small rucksack only (which will be stored safely, when you are out on the ride).
The Wiggle French Revolution 2013 is slated to begin on 16 June and the entry fee is as follows:
·         Epic    120km / 75 mile ride -  £59.00, with parking and the ferry crossing included
·         Standard 94km / 59 mile ride - £59.00 with parking and the ferry crossing included

Author: A software engineer by qualification and a writer by choice, Adam Jackson is a biking enthusiast. Be it a posh city or a tough mountain terrain, he likes to dare the traffic, mud, boulders, rains and darkness every now and then when he ventures out to unknown territories on his bike. He regularly writes on bike light accessories, bike tour events and other subjects