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Biking

How to Ride an E-Bike

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E-bikes, or electric bicycles, are growing in popularity in the United States and around the world. By 2023, the industry is expected to sell more than 40 million units globally. If you’re considering purchasing an e-bike, what do you need to know before you bring one home? Are there any tricks to caring for one? How long will a charge last? Here’s everything you need to know about going electric.

What Is an E-Bike?

E-bike is short for an electric bike. These models come equipped with a small motor and a rechargeable battery. Unlike other bicycle motors, these electric ones aren’t designed to turn your bike into a motorcycle. Instead, it offers a bit of a boost to help riders conquer hills or other challenging terrains.

Electric bicycles are becoming a popular choice for commuters in cities around the globe because you can ride your bike to work without putting a ton of effort into it. You’re still the primary power source for forwarding momentum, but you don’t have to exhaust yourself trying to get up hills.

How to Ride an E-Bike

If you know how to ride a bicycle, you might think you know how to ride an e-bike — but they’re not exactly the same thing. Instead of pedaling at full tilt to maintain your top speed, you only need to occasionally spin the pedals to keep yourself going. The max will depend on the specifications of your e-bike, but most models top out at around 15 mph. You may find models that offer between 20 and 28 mph, but the motor will stop engaging at that point.

They may also have a variety of settings — like low to save power when you’re pedaling down a flat highway or boost to help you get up a steep hill.

You will need to continue to pedal to keep the motor engaged, though. It won’t do all the work for you.

Keeping Your E-Bike Charged

The big difference between an e-bike and a regular bicycle is that you need to keep it charged. Most e-bikes come with a charger, and most will take between two and six hours to reach full power. If you don’t have that much time, an aftermarket charger can help. Some are capable of charging your e-bike battery up to 400% faster than the stock model that comes with your bike.

Choosing Electric for The Environment

If you’re looking for a way to reduce your carbon footprint while still commuting to and from work, an e-bike might be the best option. Not only does it help keep you fit because you’re the primary power source — the battery and motor only assist — but it also creates no emissions. They get even greener if you charge them with wind or solar energy.

E-Bikes Are the Right Choice

E-bikes are becoming more popular, and with good reason. They allow you to stay fit and exercise on your commute without exhausting yourself trying to get up any hills that might lay in your path. They’re better for the environment, help reduce traffic congestion and just look cool.

There is a bit of a learning curve if you’re transitioning from a traditional bicycle to an e-bike. Just remember that the motor isn’t doing all the work for you, and you need to keep pedaling to maintain your speed. While you’ll never be as fast as a motorcycle, it’s still faster than riding a human-powered bicycle. Don’t forget to keep it charged, and your e-bike will serve you well — and save you from traffic jams — for years to come.

How to Train for a Triathlon

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Triathlon races are mentally and physically challenging, but with the drive to properly train, your body can be sufficiently prepped to perform well in a matter of weeks.

To compete in a triathlon, you’ve got to be in peak condition for cycling, running and swimming.

If your exercise has been inconsistent, it’s best to give yourself roughly 12 weeks to get in shape for the race. During this time, the focus of your workouts should be to improve your endurance, integrating combination workouts to prepare for the race’s mixture of physical activities.

It’s important to remember that triathletes need to conserve their energy for subsequent legs of the race, so their workouts shouldn’t be the same as athletes exclusively conditioning for cycling, running or swimming.

While you shouldn’t allow yourself to get bogged down doing the same workouts as you train, you can take advantage of developing strengths beneficial to multiple parts of the race.

In preparation for your triathlon, develop specific conditioning and increase your performance in each of the areas of a triathlon.

Conditioning for Cycling

With cycling, work on developing a cadence to your pedaling during your workouts. Once you get more comfortable in a rhythm that works for you, your cycling movements will develop instinctively, propelling you toward greater success.

Practice in varying terrains with different gears to acclimate your body to numerous conditions. During your rides, be sure to also rehearse shifting gears, starting, stopping, turning and even drinking from your water bottle in the midst of cycling.

Develop a consistent cycling workout strategy, planning for two to three sessions on your bike each week while gradually building up your endurance so you can comfortably ride between 15 and 20 miles at once.

Conditioning for Running

One of the most difficult sections of a triathlon to tackle is the transition from cycling to running.

To account for this and prepare yourself, introduce combination workouts — also known as brick workouts — into your training. These sessions force you to complete your cycling and running workouts back-to-back.

Similar to cycling, for your running workouts, establish a stride cadence to settle into a relaxed, steady rhythm. Lean slightly forward and ease your hands, allowing your arms to comfortably swing.

Plan to run two to three times per week while training, with one of those runs following your longest bike ride as part of your brick workout. You can train to build on your speed with sprints, but only do so once you can complete at least three miles.

Conditioning for Swimming

Even if you consider yourself a good swimmer, you’ll likely have to adjust your techniques to more adequately suit swimming in a triathlon, as the skills necessary for excellence differ from those you’d use in a regular pool.

For triathletes, swimming outside in a generally uncontrolled environment poses a more considerable challenge, as they could encounter choppy waters and currents. In these conditions, triathletes tend to rely on the freestyle stroke to propel them through open waters.

Experienced swimmers who trained in pools are probably used to breathing close to the surface, but in a triathlon, this would give you a mouthful of water. Instead, triathletes need to develop a high-profile style of breathing where they don’t come up for air too close to the surface.

As for kicking, bearing in mind the cycling and running portions ahead, triathletes should conserve their stamina and aim to kick less frequently than swimmers would in a pool. Balancing and body position likewise play a huge role in sustaining energy, since your body needs to exert more effort to correct itself whenever it’s off balance.

Exercise Properly and Work on Crossover Benefits

Every stage in a triathlon requires a shared skillset. Whether you’re conditioning for cycling, running or swimming, you’re improving your aptitude to handle other legs of the race through transferable training. If there are particular areas you may be weaker in, strengthen your ability to manage them by making the most out of crossover benefits during your workouts.

With proper discipline and thorough training, it won’t take long for you to become a successful triathlete and thrive while competing.