Cycling is a truly invigorating and liberating experience, enjoyed by people of all ages and from all walks of life. If you’re just getting started, it’s necessary to review some safety tips and gear checklists. Check out our guide to cycling for beginners. Remember, we also offer repairs if you find yourself in need after bringing out the bikes, dusting them off, and getting ready to ride after some time off.
All you need to know about getting into cycling, including:
- benefits of cycling
- cycling safety tips
- organized cycling events
- safety gear checklist
- bicycle road safety check
Find out about the health benefits of cycling and get tips on equipment, road safety, and cycle routes.
Benefits of cycling
Cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine because it’s also a form of transport. Cycling also:
- saves you money
- gets you fit
- helps the environment
It’s a low-impact type of exercise, so it’s easier on your joints than running or other high-impact aerobic activities. But it still helps you get into shape.
The best way to build your cardiovascular fitness on the bike is to ride for at least 150 minutes every week. For example, you could cycle to work a few days a week, or do a couple of shorter rides during the week with a longer ride at the weekend. You’ll soon feel the benefits.
If you’re just getting started, check out our guide to cycling for beginners.
Cycling safety tips
- Look behind you before you turn, overtake, or stop.
- Use arm signals before you turn right or left.
- Obey traffic lights and road signs.
- Don’t ride on the pavement unless there’s a sign that says you can.
- Don’t cycle next to another person on busy or narrow roads.
- When overtaking parked cars, watch out for car doors opening suddenly and allow room to pass safely.
- Don’t use headphones while cycling.
- Never use a mobile phone while cycling.
The British Cycling website has recreation and travel sections that can give you information and hints on everything you need to enjoy cycling, whether you’re a cycling commuter, mountain biker, or first-time cyclist.
The site includes a national leisure cycling advice on training, maintenance, and improving fitness.
It has a function where you can map where you’ve ridden, log the miles you’ve traveled, and rank yourself against other riders.
You could also join a club in your area and go on organized bike rides.
Safety gear checklist
Wearing a cycling helmet can help prevent a head injury, if you fall off your bike.
It’s important to wear a helmet that meets the following criteria:
- It’s a snug fit and positioned squarely on your head. It should sit just above your eyebrows, not tilted back or tipped forwards.
- It’s securely fastened by straps, which aren’t twisted, with only enough room for two fingers between your chin and the strap.
Make sure you replace your helmet every five years. Don’t buy a secondhand helmet – it may be damaged and may not protect you properly.
Lights and reflectors
If you use your bike at night, it is compulsory to have:
- a white front light
- a red rear light
- a red rear reflector
- amber/yellow pedal reflectors front and back on each pedal
Reflectors fitted to the front and the spokes will also help you be seen.
You can get lights that are steady or flashing, or a mixture of steady at the front and flashing at the back. A steady light at the front is important when you’re cycling through areas without good street lighting.
Additional lights and reflectors
You can use other lights as well as the compulsory ones, but they must:
- be the right color – white at the front, red at the back
- not dazzle other road users
If they’re flashing, it must be at a rate of one to four equal flashes per second.
Bicycle road safety check
Do the following checks on your bike regularly to make sure it’s in good working order.
Front tire and wheels – Lift the front end of the bike by the handlebar stem and then:
- give the top of the wheel a bang with your hand to check it doesn’t fall out of the forks or move from side to side
- check the wheel doesn’t move from side to side when you try to wobble it to be sure the bearings aren’t worn
- spin the front wheel – the brakes shouldn’t rub on the wheel rim
- squeeze the sides of the tire – inflate it if it feels soft
- look for gaps, cuts, or bulges on the tires – these are signs the tires are worn and need to be replaced
If you have a front mudguard, there should be at least 5mm between the front mudguards and the tire. Remove the mudguard if it rubs against the tip of your shoe when you pedal.
Lift the rear of the bike by the saddle and go through the same checks for the back wheels.
Brakes – Apply the front brakes. Check that:
- the brakes work – try pushing the bike forward with the brakes on
- the brake pads sit evenly on the wheel rim – they shouldn’t touch at one end and not the other
- the cables inside the brake levers aren’t frayed
- the brake levers and hand grips are tight on the handlebars, all the nuts and screws are attached, and the ends of the handlebar tube are covered
Apply the back brake and go through the same checks. The back tire should slide, not roll, when you apply the brakes and push the bike forward.
Handlebars and steering – All the parts on the handlebars should be tight and you should be able to steer freely. Release the brakes and stand in front of the front wheel and grip it between your knees.
Then make sure nothing is loose when you try to:
- turn the handlebars from side to side
- apply the brakes and try to rotate the handlebars
Saddle – Your saddle should be set at a height that’s comfortable for you. Place one heel on the pedal. Your leg should straighten when the pedal is furthest from the saddle.
Make sure you don’t raise the saddle high enough to see the height limit mark on the seat post. If the saddle needs to be this high for you to sit comfortably, you probably need a bigger bike.
Move towards the rear of the bike and hold the saddle tightly. Check that you can’t move it up and down or side to side. If it moves, tighten it.
Chain, gears, and pedals – Ask someone to work the pedals by hand while you hold the rear wheel off the ground by the saddle. Then:
- shift through all the gears on the back sprocket (a small wheel the chain passes through) and front gear changer to check the chain stays on and moves smoothly
- wobble each pedal from side to side to check they don’t move too much – if they do, the bearings in the bottom bracket need replacing
Make sure the chain isn’t hanging off, broken, or rusty. Lubricate the chain with some oil, if necessary.
For advice on buying and looking after cycling equipment and correct riding positions, go to your local bike shop.
We offer all-inclusive guided eBike, road, and mountain bike rides at bucket-list destinations across Southern California. Rent the perfect bikes for awesome adventures with us. Call us at 949-484-6409 or visit our Facebook page. Have pics to post? Tag #SynapticCycles so we can enjoy them too!
If you ride your eBike right, not only is it a form of transportation, but it can also count towards your daily exercise. With today’s busy schedule, being able to kill the proverbial two birds with one stone makes the purchase of an eBike the practical and efficient way to get from point A to B, while also getting in your elevated heart rate moments throughout your day. As pandemic restrictions are lifting, people are looking for other methods of transportation that are not ride-sharing programs, or packed commuter trains. An eBike may provide the opportunity to quicken your commute safely while giving you an opportunity to exercise – plus, well — they are super fun!
The benefits of an eBike:
- Commutes are quicker versus a standard pedal bike
- Reduces ecological impact by driving less
- Decreased perspiration compared to pedal bikes (ie: You won’t arrive a sweaty mess!)
- Physiological benefits through elevated heart rates
And…did we mention super fun?
Depending on how riders adjust their bikes, the benefits of exercise can be witnessed. A technological compromise between a standard bike and a scooter, eBikes look very similar to a self-powered bike but come fitted with an electric motor to help assist pedaling, adding extra power to every stroke. Most eBikes will assist in pedaling for you until you reach a speed of 20 MPH, or until you stop pedaling. Essentially, the goal of an eBike is to make pedaling less taxing, helping you to get to your destination more quickly while reducing the amount of sweat and physical exertion that comes with a traditional self-powered bike. Additionally, eBikes can help assist riders with trickier parts of their commute, such as riding uphill, providing another advantage. (And they are super fun.)
Measuring the physiological benefits, in tests done on those who ride an eBike, it became evident that yes, commute times were quickened with an eBike (3 miles in 11 minutes compared to the 14 minutes it took on a standard bike), but heart rates and respiration also rose enough to qualify it as a moderate workout. Therefore, the commute becomes easier, and over time, there are fitness benefits to taking your eBike on your daily commutes. The findings of the study show that by utilizing an eBike, riders can both improve their commute, their health, and the environment.
The assistance level on your eBike and your experience with riding one should all be taken into account, as well as following all safety protocols to make sure you get to your destination safely, and efficiently. Every rider will require different levels of assistance, and your individual circumstances should always be taken into consideration.
We know eBikes! Our experienced and passionate team is here to help you get the ride that is best suited for you and your lifestyle! Visit our Facebook page or give us a call at 949.484.6409 to get fitted for your ideal ride!
Everyone fuels their rides a little differently, which is perfectly normal. Cycling nutrition and hydration are definitely not one-size-fits-all, but there are key principles cyclists should use as a starting point. We’ve selected below seven foods that are powerhouse choices to fuel up. Enjoy your ride!
On a basic level, food serves as fuel for your workouts—but not all forms of fuel are equal in terms of quality. Just like with a car, you could fill your tank with high-octane fuel or cheap gas. Sure, your engine will run either way but you’re not likely to get the same level of performance out of both types—and the same is true with food and your body.
The following seven foods are powerhouse choices to fuel up for an indoor cycling session, give you sustainable energy, or help you recover afterward. Bon appetit!
A great source of whole grains and soluble fiber, unprocessed oats are loaded with energy-generating nutrients like folate, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
Oatmeal can be made sweet or savory, depending on what you add to them—and it can be “prepared in advance so you have one less thing to do before an early-morning ride,” says Leslie Bonci, M.P.H., R.D., director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and author of Bike Your Butt Off.
Plus, eating oatmeal improves satiety (feelings of fullness), according to research from Louisiana State University.
A good source of calcium, potassium, and vitamin B-12, low-fat Greek yogurt offers an ideal blend of carbohydrates and protein in a portable portion. The high protein content offers long-lasting energy since it takes a while to digest and the carbs provide a short-term energy boost to get you pedaling strongly.
What’s more, consuming a higher-protein Greek yogurt as a snack leads to increased feelings of fullness and delays the desire to eat again more than a lower-protein yogurt does, according to research from the University of Missouri.
A 2014 study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that when trained cyclists consumed 75 grams of almonds before an indoor cycling session, they covered more distance and performed more efficiently than when they consumed the same number of calories from a sugary food. (Almond butter is also a good energy-boosting choice.)
What’s more, almonds contain an impressive mix of protein, complex carbs, fiber, and healthy fats, as well as magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, folate, and vitamin E. These nutrients help combat oxidative stress, increase oxygen in your blood, and help your body unleash energy from other foods you’re eating.
Tuna or Salmon
Besides being a stellar source of lean protein, which provides a slower, more sustained rise in blood sugar, tuna and salmon are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease inflammation in the body; this, in turn, boosts your circulation and the efficiency of your heart and other organs, thus helping you feel less fatigued.
Proof positive: Research from Australia found that when well-trained cyclists rode a stationary bicycle at an intensity of 55% of their peak workload under two different conditions (after consuming olive oil or fish oil capsules), their heart rates and oxygen consumption were lower as they cycled to the point of exhaustion after swallowing the fish oil.
In a 2012 study, researchers at Appalachian State University found that when trained cyclists consumed bananas during a 75-km time trial, their cycling performance and their bodies’ ability to use fuel were enhanced considerably more than when they swallowed a 6% carbohydrate drink.
What’s more, bananas are rich in potassium, vitamins A and C, folate, and resistant starch, a type of fiber your body can’t absorb, so they keep you feeling full for longer. Bananas are an especially good pre-cycling source of fuel.
When researchers at The Cooper Institute for Human Performance and Nutrition Research gave cyclists 15 grams of honey every 16 kilometers during a simulated 64-kilometer time trial, the participants generated more watts and improved their time during the final 16 kilometers of the ride.
Because it’s an easily digestible source of carbohydrates, “honey provides a quick energy boost and it’s sweeter than sugar so you don’t have to use as much,” says Bonci.
Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice is an ideal beverage to have after a cycling workout—and not just because it helps you stay hydrated.
In a 2015 study involving trained cyclists, researchers from the U.K. found that consuming tart cherry juice accelerated recovery and reduced exercised-induced inflammation after a strenuous cycling session.
This effect can be a serious perk when it comes to dealing with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Chalk these effects up to the juice’s anthocyanins, which fight inflammation and speed healing,
Enjoy a fantastic ride with one of our perfect bikes (we even offer ‘The Perfect Fit! — ask us!) Here at Synaptic Cycles, we have a bike for everyone. Rent a bike or schedule a tour today at 949-484-6409. Visit our Facebook page for more information.
Triathletes from around the country — including corporate teams, professional athletes, Hollywood celebrities, and challenged athletes — gathered to race on one of the most beautiful racecourses in the sport of triathlon this last weekend. We were thrilled to be there to support them with our road bikes rentals! Check out some pictures of our stand HERE and follow malibutri for more information on the next races.
Here at Synaptic Cycles, we have just the perfect e-bike waiting for you. Enjoy the best of Orange, San Diego, and Los Angeles Counties. Call us today at (949) 484-6409 and let us help you find the right bike for your next adventure. Join our Facebook community HERE and stay tuned for more news.
Everyone’s body is different. (Yup – you heard it here first!) Thankfully, bicycles are machines with many adjustable parts. In fact, every touchpoint on the bike can be changed out, altered, or moved to fit you better. If you want to ride happily and pain-free for many years and miles to come, do yourself a favor and give yourself a proper bicycle fit. Check out this great article – but remember, we offer the perfect bike-fit service! Sign up today!
Why Proper Bike Fit is Important
“Bike fits are for everyone, especially new riders,” says Kyle Russ, a biomechanical engineer at Trek, who helped create that company’s Precision Fit system. Serious cyclists will tell you that proper bike fit is essential so that you can produce the most power, most efficiently. And that’s true. But there’s an even more important reason that matters for cyclists of all levels: comfort.
Proper bike fit means you have a position on the bike that lets you ride as long as you want, as hard as you want, and stay comfortable the entire time. A good fit can also help prevent overuse injuries that result from an improper position. The correct position will vary from person to person, depending on factors like age, style of riding, and physical attributes like flexibility.
How to Dial in The Basics Yourself
A quick do-it-yourself fit isn’t a substitute for a professional fit by an experienced fitter, but it can get you in the ballpark. After making changes to your bike, go on a few short rides to assess whether they’re working for you.
1. Size: No fit can fix a bike that’s fundamentally too small or large for you. So start by making sure your bike, or the one you want to buy, is the correct size for you. Any good bike shop should make sure you’re on the right size bike as part of the buying process. On more traditional bike frames with horizontal top tubes, look for one to two inches of clearance between the tube and your crotch. For bikes with sloping top tubes, which are more common now, look for at least two inches (more for performance-oriented mountain bikes) of clearance. You also want to make sure the length of the bike is right for you. You can make some changes with a longer or shorter stem, for example, but a bike that is too long or too short for your upper body won’t work well in the long run.
2. Seat Height: A seat that’s too low or too high can cause more than just discomfort. “That little amount of pain you are feeling right now can lead to more serious injuries down the road,” says Todd Carver, founder of Specialized’s popular Retül fit system. Use one of these two broad-stroke methods to get in the general range of proper seat height:
The new way: When you sit comfortably in the saddle, you should be able to easily reach the tops and brake hoods on a road bike, or the grips on a mountain bike. Your elbows should be slightly bent, not locked. And the lean of your torso should be supported by your core in a comfortable position. You shouldn’t have to slide forward or back on the seat.
4. Set Your Cleats: For road or mountain cleats, lightly (!) grease the cleat bolts before installing. Set the cleat on the shoe and install all the bolts, just finger tight. Then, set up position:
Tighten the cleats. Clip in and ride around until you get your natural pedal stroke. Most cleats have “float” or lateral movement. If there’s resistance, adjust the cleat angle a degree or two to the opposite side. For road cleats, once you get the right position, you can trace the outline of the cleat on the sole of the shoe so you know exactly where to replace them when it’s time for a new set.
When to Turn to The Pros
Most of us can at least get started with the DIY approach, but there are some cyclists who may want to opt for a professional fit from the start.
If you’re very short, or very tall, a bike fit can help solve issues that people on either end of the height spectrum face. If you have old injuries, or known biomechanical issues like different-length legs, then a bike fit right when you buy a new bike could help stave off comfort issues later on.
Riding a bike should be comfortable, so you should also consider a fit if it isn’t. Pain, numbness, or tingling—especially in the hands, feet or butt—are signs that something about your bike doesn’t fit you properly. The fix could be simple, but if you’ve tried the self-setup measures above, and it’s not fixing the problem, it’s time to call in the pros.
When assessing comfort, don’t focus exclusively on the contact points with the bike. Knee pain can indicate improper saddle height, while upper back or neck pain can be a sign that your reach to the handlebar is off, or even just that your bars are too wide.
A proper position is one you can maintain. If you’re constantly fidgeting in the saddle, if you can’t find a comfortable hand position, or if what feels OK in the first hour of a ride doesn’t feel good in the third, a bike fit can help.
Finally, serious cyclists who feel as though they have plateaued in terms of performance could benefit from a pro fit or a new fit. The more you ride, the stronger you get, which means you might be able to adjust your position on the bike for more speed and power, and a pro fit might help you address what’s holding you back.
What to Expect From a Pro Fit
Bike shops offer a variety of fit services, using a number of different platforms (Retül, Precision Fit, Guru, and Shimano are four popular ones). There is no one “best” fit methodology, and a good fit relies far more on the fitter than the tools. Ask how long your fitter has been doing fits and what certifications he/she has.
What it should include: A complete fit covers: a conversation with the fitter to go over your riding experience and style, particular issues you’re having and current bike setup, and a brief physical assessment of factors like flexibility and checks for issues like leg-length discrepancies. Some fits will involve checking proper saddle width and shoe size, as well as factors like insole support. Finally, there’s an on-bike session (on a stationary trainer) where the fitter will assess your fit and form on the bike and make adjustments and corrections. The fitter will address cleat setup, seat height, pedaling motion, reach to the handlebar and cockpit (seat and handlebar size). Expect a comprehensive fit to take one to two hours.
Tips: Be honest with your fitter about injuries and issues, particularly with the seat (yeah, it’s a little uncomfortable, but think of it like a discussion with a doctor). Ride naturally; don’t try to “impress” your fitter with good form.
What you’ll pay: Expect to pay $150 and up for a comprehensive fit. There may be a discount or credit involved if you schedule a fit for the purchase of a new bike. You might be swapping out a part like a handlebar or saddle, so keep those potential costs in mind. If a fit is very important to you, factor that in to your total budget for the bike.
Afterward: Your body will need time to adapt to position changes. Especially if your fit on the bike has changed a lot, back off the volume and intensity of riding for a couple of weeks to give your body time to adjust. Major changes should be made incrementally, says Retül’s Carver, to avoid shocking the body. Fits should include an optional follow-up assessment to address any persistent issues, or changes that aren’t producing positive results.
At Synaptic Cycles, we carefully check your bike fit reports to offer you the perfect bike for you. Don’t have a report? Fill in our online fit now and prepare for riding! It’s simple: you send us your info, we send a high-end, perfectly-fitted road bike straight to your door. Sign up today! Call us at 949-484-6409 or ride on over and meet us on our Facebook page.
If you’ve never tried an e-bike, be careful because when you do, it might be “Love at first ride”. Electric bikes are an excellent option for your trip. Still have some questions? We’ve love these 10 things to know before renting an electric bike.
If you have never ridden an electric bike, you are missing out on some of the best fun available on two wheels! While resembling a regular bicycle, an electric bike turns into a moped-like ride with the flick of your wrist, making your legs suddenly feel like the Bionic Woman’s as you pedal up a hill or speed along a trail. Here are 10 things to know before renting an electric bike.
1. Electric Bikes Include A Few Extra Components
While an electric bike looks a lot like a traditional bicycle, it includes a few extra components — most notably a motor and a six- to eight-pound battery pack that typically snaps into the down tube or beneath the carrier above the back tire. You’ll also find a throttle incorporated into one of the handlebars and an LCD console. Like a car’s dashboard, this small digital panel allows you to track your speed, monitor your bike’s battery level, and more.
2. An Electric Bike Is Easy To Ride
As someone who had never piloted a motorized two-wheeler (and who hadn’t ridden a traditional bike in quite a while), I have to admit I was a little nervous about hopping onto an electric bike. But I found the classic expression about riding a bike to be true, The experience is a lot like riding a traditional bike, but when you want to kick things up a notch, simply pull the throttle and the electric bike’s motor will kick in, giving you a boost.
The most important thing to know about operating an electric bike is to always ensure that the bike’s pedal assist is powered down to zero as soon as you dismount. If you forget to do this, and your bike is resting on its kickstand with pedal assist still engaged while you wander down to a creek or enjoy a picnic, your rented e-bike might take off without you.
3. An Electric Bike Is Heavier Than A Standard Bike
The motor and battery pack that convert a standard bike into an electric bicycle add a bit of weight to your ride. While a road bike typically weighs around 20 pounds, and a mountain bike is a bit heavier, an electric bike typically weighs between 50 and 70 pounds, making it at least twice as heavy. I didn’t find this weight difference noticeable while riding my rented electric bike, but I definitely felt the extra heft when I walked the bike and lifted it over a curb.
4. An E-Bike’s Battery Pack Won’t Last Forever
When you rent an electric bike, the bike shop should send you on your way with a fully charged battery. But how long the battery pack keeps its charge depends on several factors. How often are you pedaling the bike yourself versus relying on the motor? Is your route relatively flat, or does it include many thrilling hills? Generally speaking, a fully charged bicycle battery will last anywhere from 10 to 60 miles, but how you ride (and where you ride) will determine where your battery life falls within that range.
When I rented a Pedego Electric Bike to explore Livermore’s beautiful wine country, I pedaled up and down rolling hills for miles and miles as part of a day-long rental and only used about 25 percent of the bike battery’s juice.
Pro Tip: Your electric bike’s LCD panel will keep you posted on how much battery life remains on your rented ride. And, the full-service bike shops I’ve rented from include running a new bike, battery, or tire out to renters if there’s an issue.
5. You Can Still Get Plenty of Exercise On An Electric Bike
Despite the luxurious boost of a 250- to 500-watt motor to help you scoot up a hill, you can still get plenty of exercise when renting an electric bike. Not only can you choose to save the electric bike’s battery until you need it (which means the two-wheeler is fully powered by you), but even when you do kick it into turbo mode, you’ll likely find yourself pedaling (albeit with a bionic boost). Plus, if your trail ride outlasts the electric bike’s battery, the return trip will feel a lot more like a basic bike ride.
Pro Tip: Looking for fantastic places to ride your rented electric bike? We’ve got all sorts of great ideas here, from the best rail-trails in America to the coast-to-coast bike trail and more!
6. You’ll Want To Dress Appropriately
Just like riding a traditional bike, you’ll want to be sure you dress appropriately. And because their business (and insurance coverage) depends on it, bike rental shops often insist that you wear closed-toe shoes and don a bicycle helmet. So when you rent an electric bike, it’s best to leave your sandals or flip flops at home and prepare for a possibly less-than-stellar hair day.
7. Add-Ons Are Often An Option
Most electric bike rentals typically include a bicycle helmet, especially where the local or state laws require cyclists to wear them. But your electric bike rental may include other items, either in the hourly or daily rental fee or at an additional charge. If your trip includes stops to explore by foot, be sure to ask about a bicycle lock. If you plan on riding to a picnic spot or doing any shopping, ask for a bike with a basket or pannier bag. And if you’re exploring by bike with one or more friends, ask the bike shop if they have wirelessly connected bike helmets so you can chat about the sights along the way while riding single file when necessary.
8. Electric Bikes Are A Little More Expensive To Rent
When renting an electric bike, expect to pay slightly more than when you rent a standard bicycle. Not only is the base model a bit more expensive — $900 to $5,000 for an e-bike vs $400 to $1,000 for a traditional road or mountain bike — but the ongoing maintenance of the motor and battery pack is more expensive with an electric bike. Naturally, rental prices will vary by location, but expect to pay roughly $10 to $20 per hour to rent an electric bike. Most bike shops will offer discounts for longer rentals, so be sure to ask about four-hour, all-day, 24-hour, and multi-day rates.
9. Be Smart About Bike Safety
In a country with more bicycles than people, the Netherlands takes bike safety very seriously. From Amsterdam to Maastricht, the Dutch hold automobile drivers highly accountable for giving bicyclists and pedestrians the right of way. Having lived there for nearly four years, enjoying the lush countryside and bustling cities from dedicated bike paths, it’s a big adjustment riding in the United States where bike paths are often tiny strips along busy roads and cyclists often compete for space with distracted drivers in speeding cars. So before you jump on your rented ride, be sure to brush up on these biking rules.
Pro Tip: When exploring a new area by bike, consider taking an electric bike tour. Often available through bike rental shops, these adventures are led by a local with expert knowledge of the bicycles and trails.
10. You’re Likely to Experience Love at First Ride
When I returned my first electric bike rental to the shop after an exhilarating day on two wheels, the Pedego Electric Bike slogan — “Love at first ride” — hit me hard. I couldn’t think of a better way to describe the amazing time I’d had on my rented electric bike! Thankfully there are a growing number of electric bike rental options available from coast to coast, making it easier for people to enjoy their own backyards and travelers to enjoy new destinations on two wheels. And, if the electric bike bug bites you hard and you want to purchase one, consider our picks for the best affordable e-bikes of 2021.
We have just the perfect e-bike waiting for you. Enjoy the best of Orange, San Diego, and Los Angeles Counties. Call us today at (949) 484-6409 and let us help you find the right bike for your next adventure. Join our Facebook community and stay tuned for more news.
Have you ever heard about bike packing? Perhaps you want to get away, but are not ready to hop on a plane but want a different kind of staycation? With summer pretty much here, it’s time to prepare already! From packing to routes, here’s everything to consider on a trip, according to experts. California is a recreational playground offering outdoor enthusiasts a wide range of mountain bike trails. Here at Synaptic Cycles, we offer eBike, road, and mountain bikes for your journey. (Plus: did you know we offer to pick and deliver – AND repair?)
The past year was one many spent not just in their seats, but with their seats firmly planted on a bike saddle. Bikes sales took off when the pandemic hit, and already by April 2020, they were up 75 percent over the past year.
Think of bikepacking like backpacking, only on your bike, though backpacking can be a little more forgiving. The bike carries the weight for you. And if you ask the experts, the bike you ride doesn’t matter so much as long as it’s comfortable. Sales data from early in the pandemic showed a spike in purchases of both mountain bikes and more casual, basic bicycles under $200. Either works for bikepacking. The limiting factor is where you want to go.
For bikers who started cycling during the pandemic, longtime hardcore cyclists or anyone looking for a new way to travel, bikepacking can be safe and affordable. It takes all comers. All you need is a push out the door. Here are some tips to get you started.
Amateurs and professionals alike give all sorts of reasons for why they bikepack, but the original impetus is often pretty simple. Lael Wilcox, for instance, didn’t drive, but she wanted to see the country.
“I was riding to work,” says the Alaskan, “and then I thought, ‘If I could ride to work, I could ride all over the city, I could ride to the next city, I could ride across the country.’” She has since become known as one of the best ultradistance cyclists in the world.
She did her first tour from Portland, Maine, to Montreal, and then down to Key West, Fla. It was 2008, and she was 20. She had no idea what she was doing.
Avid cyclists might not know why they love cycling so much, but there’s actually science behind each pedal. Check out some of cycling’s unique health benefits and get even more motivation to ride! And if you’re looking for bike fun and adventure, Synaptic Cycles offers many options. Don’t dismay if you’re a newbie – everyone can bike and we can get you sorted with all that you need to begin to enjoy cycling right away!
There’s a saying among medical (especially orthopedic) professionals that even when you can’t walk or hobble, you can still ride a bike. You can do it if you have bad knees. You can do it if you have bad hips. You can do it if you can’t run more than five feet. Nearly anyone of any fitness level can pedal a bike for five or more miles. Regular or daily cycling has been found to prevent weight gain (and boost fat loss), fight depression, and help stave off a host of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Those are some of the more obvious benefits, but cycling also offers plenty of other unique health benefits that should get you even more motivated to ride. Here are just a few.
STEADY, SUSTAINABLE FAT LOSS
If you’re looking for a quick weight-loss fix, that doesn’t exist. But by cycling daily, you may lose weight, but those pounds will peel off at a reasonable, steady, and, most important, sustainable pace.
Even at a recreational pace, cycling sparks metabolic and physiological changes that turn you into a highly efficient fat and carbohydrate burner all day long.
Cycling also coaxes your body to continue burning fat and calories for hours after you’ve racked your bike. For one, while you’re riding, your LPL (lipoprotein lipase, a fat-shuttling enzyme) activity goes into high gear, and it remains elevated for a full 30 hours after you’ve stopped riding. After a ride, your body—hence your metabolism—is still revved up, working to replenish and (if you worked really hard that day) repair your muscles. As you get fitter and stronger, your basal metabolic rate (BMR)—the calories you burn by just living—goes up. Getting just 30 to 45 minutes of exercise most days of the week can boost your BMR and keep it in the up position permanently.
The end result is fat loss—and lots of it. Even better, you’ll lose it first where you want it least, in your belly, where it smothers your organs and leads to heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases. In one study of 24 men and women with diabetes, those who biked 45 minutes three times a week for 8 weeks decreased their visceral fat (the deep belly fat) by a staggering 48 percent.
BETTER HEART HEALTH
Cycling is a cardiovascular activity, so it goes without saying it makes your heart stronger and healthier. Exercise like cycling also makes your skeletal muscle more insulin-sensitive, so you’re better able to control your blood sugar level—something scientists now know is essential for clear arteries and good heart health. The overall protective impact cycling has on your heart is pretty impressive.
The British Medical Association reports that cycling just 20 miles a week slashes your risk of coronary heart disease in half when compared with staying sedentary. That’s just three miles a day, or five miles four times a week.
A BIGGER, HEALTHIER BRAIN
Neuroscientists think of exercise as Miracle-Gro for the brain because it’s a powerful, neuron-building stimulant that works remarkably fast. Exercise that raises your heart rate, like cycling, dramatically increases the production of nitric oxide (a potent vasodilator) and neurotrophins (growth factors) such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor and a protein aptly named noggin, which promotes stem cell division and new brain cell formation.
The end result is that cycling will give you better, sharper memory skills, stronger concentration ability, more fluid thinking and reasoning, and greater problem-solving abilities. All this brain-health building also protects you from age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
SLEEP LIKE A BABY
It’s hard to overstate the importance of sleep. Your body and brain heal while you rest. Without enough sleep, your hormone levels (especially stress hormones) get out of whack, and you’re more likely to overeat and gain weight, as well as have more mood disorders and lowered immunity. In one of the most striking studies on the subject, the sleep habits and body-weight trends of 68,000 women were studied over a period of 16 years. The researchers found that those who slept only 5 hours a night were 32 percent more likely to gain 33 pounds or more over the course of the study compared with their peers who slept 7 hours a night.
Regular aerobic exercise like cycling promotes quality sleep even among those who struggle to get their shut-eye. In a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, previously sedentary insomnia suffers who started cycling just 20 to 30 minutes every other day reduced the amount of time it took to fall asleep by half and increased their total sleep time by nearly an hour.
MILES OF SMILES
You rarely see someone finish a ride grumpy. To the contrary—they’re usually grinning from ear to ear. Cycling lifts your spirits—nearly immediately. In one study from Bowling Green State University, researchers found that as little as 10 minutes of cycling improved the mood in a group of volunteers compared with their peers who just relaxed for the same amount of time.
Undoubtedly, part of cycling’s mood magic results from its de-stressing effects. Exercise, such as pedaling a bike, burns off excess adrenaline you’ve built up during meetings with the boss and the hassles of the day; it also slows the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to weight gain. Cycling also boosts the production of feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine. For some people, it can work as well as antidepressants. Even better, research shows that by doing regular vigorous exercise, you’re less likely to develop anxiety disorders and depression to begin with.
From avid cyclists to curious travelers, we have the right bike for every journey and biker. Synaptic Cycles offers one of the best road bike rental fleets in Southern California. Let us bring a clean, well-maintained bicycle directly to you. Call us at (949) 484-6409 or visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/synapticcycles.
According to Southern California Beaches, “The Strand” which is also known as The Strand Bike Path/ Marvin Braude Bike Path is “one of the most fun things to do on vacation in Southern California.”
This path technically starts from Torrance, CA and goes all the way up to The Will Rogers State Beach which is a total of 22 miles to be precise; however, the most popular segment of this path starts around Redondo Beach and reaches Santa Monica Beach which adds up to 16.5 miles.
When you’re planning for a bike ride like this one, you should pack and be ready for a 40-mile round trip. Make sure to bring your bike locks as there are a lot of places and activities that might interest you along the way, sunscreen, plenty of water, and a couple of snacks.
The beauty of this bike path comes down to the fact that for the majority of the ride, it keeps you along the coast, it goes through all of the main South Bay beaches in addition to two iconic harbors.
This action-packed ride is one filled with views of beach volleyball, surfing, hang gliders, sun-baked sandy beaches, gorgeous waves, and towering palm trees. It’s really something you have to experience for yourself because words don’t do it justice.
When you start your ride at the Redondo Beach Pier, after shortly passing the Seaside Lagoon on N Harbor Dr, you reach The Strand path which passes by the Hermosa Beach Pier, then the all too well-known Manhattan Beach, followed by Dockweiler Beach where you’ll be able to watch some hang gliders, and then Playa Del Rey.
Shortly after you take a right at Playa Del Rey, you’ll find the gorgeous Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve. Then you have the option of making a stop at Venice Beach, or continue to Santa Monica beach.
Near Santa Monica Beach, you’ll find the perfect coffee shop, Urth Caffe – Santa Monica which offers amazing food, pastry, and coffee.
However, if coffee is not really your thing or you just want some high-quality American food, then the Library Alehouse might be your best next option. This is a nice and casual food spot that offers an amazing selection of craft beers and comfort foods all in a library setting. Which is truly a unique experience.
Another spot along the path that is the perfect stopping point is Manhattan Beach. It has a pier and an Aquarium that’s currently closed due to safety measures, Roundhouse Aquarium.
As far as food options go, Manhattan Beach also happens to be the ideal spot for that as well. There’s Uncle Bill’s Pancake House, Nick’s Manhattan Beach, The Kettle, Rock’N Fish, and Paradise Bowls depending on what you’re in for.
Uncle Bill’s Pancake House is ideal for breakfast, lunch, and coffee. It has spacious outdoor seating and beautiful views of the ocean.
Nick’s Manhattan Beach specializes in traditional American food and is currently rated 4.6 stars on Google (695 reviews). However, please note that this restaurant is a little bit on the budget-unfriendly side.
The Kettle is one of the best diner options that’s both affordable while it maintains excellent quality.
Rock’N Fish is perhaps the best choice for seafood lovers and it offers some of the most outstanding cocktails that you can find along the coast.
Last but not least, when it comes to food, Paradise Bowls is the healthiest option that offers the most fruity and light acai bowls.
Before you leave this page, remember that here at Synaptic Cycles, we carry the perfect kind of electric bikes for this type of route. You can ask for our super-quick Aventon Pace 500, or our 750W Fat-Tire Beach Cruisers or Folding Bikes.
It really comes down to your choice and where you plan on riding the bike. No matter what, we will ALWAYS have an option for YOU.
We can get as many bikes as you would like delivered to you for a full day or a number of days.
For more information, Press the Call Button on this site or give us a ring at (949)484-6409
South from Dana Point/San Clemente hills: https://www.strava.com/activities/1548142204
South from Dana Point to Las Pulgas- flat/coastal: https://www.strava.com/activities/585447942
Laguna Niguel/Dana Point climbs: https://www.strava.com/athletes/408629
Newport Coast/Shady Canyon Loop: https://www.strava.com/activities/402103875
Santiago Canyon, Live Oak Canyon, Silverado Canyon: https://www.strava.com/activities/583537272
Laguna Beach Climbs- amazing views: https://www.strava.com/activities/784510328
San Gabriel mountain/Glendora Mountain Road to Hwy 39 to Crystal Lake: https://www.strava.com/activities/98155429
Mount Baldy ride: https://www.strava.com/activities/39266087
Swami’s ride from Encinitas: https://www.mapmyride.com/us/encinitas-ca/swami-s-saturday-ride-route-63844274
Rancho Palos Verdes ride: https://www.strava.com/activities/220287131
Simi Valley/Thousand Oaks/Santa Monica Ride: https://www.strava.com/activities/99133843