Numbers Speak: Health Perks of Cycling

cyclcingWe hear a lot about how cycling positively affects one’s health, but up to what extent? There is a large body of studies proving the health benefits of cycling. Read the following five health perks and be more motivated to pedal your way to health today:

Longer Life

Yes, you read right. The Copenhagen Center for Prospective Population Studies looked at the difference in mortality rate among regular cyclists and non-cyclists. [Read more...]

Bicycle Gears for Safety

Sprinting cyclistsThere are a number of bicycle gears you simply cannot do without. If you want to keep yourself in one piece during bicycling trips, get your hands on these gears:

Helmets

One of the common injuries attained in cycling accidents is head injuries. Forty to 45 percent of adult and children cyclists suffer head injuries like brain damage and skull fractures. To avoid serious head injuries you should never forget to wear helmets whether you are going to the mountains or just a nearby grocery store. [Read more...]

Biking tours of Boston

We have just come back from a fabulous holiday in Boston Massachusetts.  We fancied a city break as a change from a beach holiday and so we decided to just book into a hotel and take it from there.  We searched the internet and came up with a really helpful site that lists Boston boutique hotels and made our choice from there – one of the best hotels we have ever stayed in.

Seeing the Sights

We had never been to Boston before and wanted to see a few of the sites but, rather than hiring a car, we chose to hire bicycles instead. You get to see so much more that way – and it’s healthier!

We booked a couple of organized group tours which took us round the Italian quarter in North End, through Fenway Park, up the Esplanade that runs by the Charles River and up to Beacon hill.  From there we visited Greenway and Copley Square and loads in between as well.

These bike tours are great for riders of all levels – Boston is pretty flat so there’s no hot and sweaty hills to get up and down and you get the services of a professional bicycle tour guide.  They have set routes but you stop off at all the major attractions on every route and learn about the surrounding areas as well.

Safety First

Whether you go on a proper bike tour or choose to hire your own bike and go it alone, you need a safety helmet – this is law and you must wear it. Bike tours supply the helmets but if you choose to be on your own you do need to buy one – they are not expensive, around $10. 

As well as it being a requirement, bear one thing in mind, something we saw with our own eyes – drivers in Boston are nutcases! Any pedestrian or cyclist literally takes their life into their own hands and, for this reason, you are probably better off booking a tour.

This was one of the best holidays we have ever had and next year we are planning on doing the same thing but in a different city.

Cycling- What’s In It For Me?

Cycling is becoming a far more popular pastime these days. Not only is it cheaper, it’s beneficial to health and to the environment. Some people choose to cycle for fun, others take part in races while some use a bicycle as their main means of transport.  For those of you who curse at cyclists or sped your time getting from A to B by car, here are a few very good reasons why you might want to consider the switch to a bicycle:

Health and Fitness

Cycling is one of the best ways to get fit and improve your health at the same time.  It helps in weight loss and improving long-term fitness – strength, stamina, muscle and aerobic fitness.  Cycling coms under the heading of low-impact exercise meaning you are less likely to do any damage to your joints or muscles.

Cycling is also an excellent way to help you give up smoking, shed weight and reduce the chance of a heart attack. As well as that, it is also a great stress reliever. Cycling not only takes your mind off things, it also releases endorphins in the blood, endorphins that produce the feel-good factor. These endorphins make you feel better about yourself and about life in general and serve as the perfect pick-me-up.  Try listening to some music while you are cycling – it makes a great deal of difference to the way you exercise. This website offers up reviews of the best headphones under 100 dollars.

Help the Environment

Most of our journeys tend to be, on average, less than 5 miles in length. That would take you approximately half an hour on a bicycle and allows you to skip round traffic jams or take short cuts to your destination.  Cycling comes in a close second to walking as the most efficient way of getting somewhere and you are contributing to the environment by not sitting in a car that kicks out emissions into the air.

There is no air pollution associated with cycling, no noise pollution and no congestion. Obviously, it isn’t practical to cycle everywhere but you can use your bicycle to get to a train or bus station instead of using the car.

Cheap to Use

Apart from the cost of a bicycle and a good cycle helmet, there is very little cost involved with a bicycle. Running costs are limited to replacing tires or parts on the bike. There are no constant stops at the fuel station, no parking fees to pay, no tax or insurance (although that is a highly debated point). There is also no circling a car park half a dozen times, looking for a parking space and many car parks now include dedicated cycle parking spots. Add to that the cycle paths and cycle lanes on the roads and you have a much faster, more efficient and cheaper method of transport.

Many people listen to music while they are cycling – they say it helps the journey go faster and helps them to cycle more efficiently and effectively. Take a look at these reviews for the best over the ear headphones under 100 dollars – these are the best type to use as they more secure than others do.

Cycling Popularity in Different Incarnations

Cycling is getting popular again. Nowadays, the popularity is being driven by several forces. The biggest growth has been in mountain bikes. Although these are built to be sturdy and rugged, mountain bikes have found a following even with urban bikers. Another trend which has been gaining popularity is the folding bike. These are small work bikes which can be folded and easily carried up to the office. The biggest trend has been the increase in number of users from the older age group. The 30-and-up set has rediscovered biking and are slowly getting back on the saddle.

There are other trends which have proven to be contributors to the growth of urban biking. Besides the high cost of energy, there is also the retro and the hipster factor. It is fashionable again to be riding a bike. There was a time, when a biker had to be dressed up like a biker. With the retro look of the fixie, and the folding bikes, the biker can be fashionable with regular clothes, instead of some type of sports clothes.

Viral media has also been helping biking without actually knowing it. There are a lot of bikers who use sports cameras on their bikes. This has given people a POV thrill about biking, even if it is as mundane as riding up a steep hill. It also gives viewers something to look forward to compared to just staring at a desk full of paperwork. So far there has not been any viral media which feature shipping containers in a yard. In any city, there can be found plenty of used shipping containers stacked and tightly packed together on vacant lots. Possibly these were also the ones which used fixies and folding bikes were shipped in.

In recent years, one of the most popular viral media about cycling, is an alternative to wearing helmets. The video was for crowdfunding a balloon helmet which work much like a car’s airbag It is worn like a collar, and has sensors which detect when the rider is going to fall. Once deployed, it protects the head with a ballon like helmet.

Ultimately, bicycle use is less of an environmental statement, but more of a fashion statement. Local rules and regulations also apply, but people would not even begin to ride one to the office if they have to wear things to fit the model. A lot of people think that cyclists look cool. However, they don’t see themselves wearing the same type of clothes. The tight pants, and the colorful jerseys, as well as the unwieldy shoes, are not for everyday wear. A middle aged man with a paunch does look a bit funny when wearing cycling outfits. Women would not even imagine themselves wearing something like that if they were a pound more than a size 0.

However, with the new generation of fixies, folding bikes, and mountain bikes for urban riding, there is no need to be sporty fashionable. Comfortable clothes will do.

Why I Think Cyclists Need to Carry a Pocket Knife

My first love is cycling (I guess you may already know that), but I also love cycling because it allows me to get out into the great outdoors and enjoy the peaceful environment. I have always enjoyed taking a camping vacation and getting away from things for a while. My love of camping and the outdoors also means that I am likely to be carrying my pocket knife while cycling and it has just occurred to me that my knife has come in handy for a number of reasons over the years. I thought I would share some of these and encourage other users to consider carrying tools (not necessarily a pocket knife) while riding.

Repairs
A pocket knife or multi-tool is a great help for certain repairs that you may need to undertake while out riding. For example a pocket knife can help you to complete a puncture repair in a fast an efficient manner. It can be used for prying the tire off the wheel frame, cutting patch material and similar tasks. I have also used my pocket knife to remove twine that was caught up in my spokes (this is something that has happened to me twice!). A multi tool also has added attachments such as screwdriver bits, scissors and other tools that are useful for general repairs. These are lightweight and can even be stored on your bike so you are ready for a situation to arise. They are also inexpensive and it really makes good sense to carry one around with you. Additionally, some manufacturers make multi-tools that are designed for cyclists!

Survival (always be prepared)
Most people don’t consider survival an issue while cycling around a major population area (although we all have to survive altercations with crazy motorists from time to time!). However, if you enjoy cycling in the wilderness like I do from time to time then it is a good idea to be prepared for survival in the event of an accident or breakdown. I usually ride with at least one other friend in this situation, but you just never know when the unexpected will occur. For example, a seasoned mountain biker became lost in the Colorado Springs backcountry in 2013 and was found 30 hours after leaving her home. If you are mountain biking in the backcountry then you really need to carry survival equipment!

Considerations
It is also important to consider the legality of carrying a knife, which is classified as a weapon in many part of the world. It is a good idea to confirm the legality of carrying a pocket knife while cycling with your local police department or sheriff’s office. If you are unsure or unable to receive clarification on the matter then a simple multi-tool should be a safe alternative. It is also important to purchase a quality pocket knife/multi-tool, because the cheaper models are not usually suitable for heavy-duty use. You can find more information about choosing the best pocket knife at http://bestpocketknifeadvice.com/. Finally, you should encourage all of your cycling friends and acquaintances to be well-prepared. It is always a good idea to tell someone where you’re going and to carry survival equipment.

Organize a Cycling for a Cause Project to Buy a Community Dumpster

Being involved in cycling alone is already a good way to show your support for environmental causes. However, you can put it a notch higher by using cycling to campaign for another environmental cause. One of the problems faced by the society is waste management. Every day, tons of waste materials are being produced. Worse, people don’t even know how to practice recycling until now. They also don’t care where they throw their garbage.
Despite strict rules in regards to waste management, many people still don’t care.

One of the reasons why it is difficult for them to manage their waste materials if they are in public places. Therefore, the best thing to do is to have dumpsters located in key places so people can throw their garbage properly. Huge dumpsters may also contain various types of waste materials, without necessarily polluting the surrounding with its odor. Therefore, if you are into cycling, you might want to organize a project in which the proceeds will go to the purchase or rental of dumpsters needed for a particular area.

Organizing the Event

To begin with, you need the support of your fellow cyclists for this cause. You need to make sure that you can delegate the tasks to them. You should also get help in spreading the word so that more people will support the project. You can also get major sponsors especially from companies that are supportive of environmental causes. Then, you can organize a cycling competition and invite both professional and amateur cyclists to join. Once everything is ready, you can set the date and the venue for the event. You can also gather more funds during the event by selling tickets or setting up booths where people can buy food and other items.

Maximizing the Proceeds

If this event succeeds, then you will definitely have a lot of money to begin your project. Gather these funds and find out how many dumpsters you can rent or buy. You can use the remaining amount for the next cycling project. If you wish to find out more about dumpster rental services, visit http://www.beachcans.com/.

Best Places for Cycling in Africa

Africa has a lot to offer when it comes to breathtaking sceneries. One of the best ways to appreciate these views is by cycling around the area. If you are planning to travel to Africa and cycle, then you are making the right choice. The moment you set foot in the continent and start seeing the majestic views, you will surely be glad that you have chosen to cycle there. To help you in this trip, here are some of the best places that you should not miss:

• Tanzania. Cycling around the mountains and lakes of Tanzania has become more popular. You can start at Tarangire where you can check out the National Park and have a picnic lunch. You can head to Lake Manyara which is north of Tarangire where you can find breathtaking sites, and places where you can have a quiet walk.

Cape Town, South Africa. If you wish to start in a place where there are a lot of cyclists who will join the fun with you, then go to Cape Town. Moreover, this place is also filled with historically rich sites. The best part is that there are companies in Cape Town that allows you to travel from the southern part of Africa all the way up.

• Uganda. This might not necessarily be a popular place to visit for many people. However, if you are brave enough, you can take the 11-day Safari cycling trip in the country. You will see the gorilla safari and a lot of other exciting activities.

A Few Tips

If it is your first time to travel in Africa, make sure that you are fully prepared. You have to get all the possible details of the places that you are visiting and secure your documents ahead of time. You should also know which routes are safe to travel. If possible, you can seek for help from a local guide or go in groups with other cyclists. If you wish to have a more organized and customized tour, you can go for a tour package organized just for you. Find more about Africa Tours here.

Bicycling and How it Helps the Body

Bicycling is a form of sport and exercise that provides plenty of health benefits. It can be done even just at home on a stationary bike, but most people prefer doing it on the road and cycling trails to add some challenge. While some people do it just for fun, there are also those who do it because of the health benefits cycling provides.

Health Benefits

Just like any other processes that involve a lot of movement, cycling can help in improving cardiovascular fitness. Starting from the easiest level of trail is recommended for first-timers to avoid injuries. On the other hand, hardcore trails are normally taken by professional cyclists who already mastered the basic and advanced cycling techniques.

Another popular benefit of bicycling is the enhancement of balance. There are some people who are born with a perfect balance, while others have difficulty in keeping their balance. This is also a reason why parents allow their children to ride a bike as early as possible.

For some reason, bicycling is also associated with increased life-years. It is said that people that ride their bikes regularly are more likely to have a longer lifespan.

A lot of people make it a habit to think happy thought while riding their bike. That, combined with fresh air, is a great happy mood-setter. It can relieve stress and help improve mental health.

While the feet are busy moving in circular motion, the hands are responsible for steering in the right direction. The simultaneous movement when bicycling helps in improving foot-and-hand coordination.

The measurement of the waistline is a big deal for women these days. Therefore, a lot of them are taking up cycling, which is known to burn a lot of calories. Even just at a slow pace, bicycling can burn unwanted fats. But if the cyclist wants faster and better results, faster cycling is recommended.

Not Just a Form of Exercise

Bicycling is also associated with physical therapy. Physical therapy in Irvine like In Motion in Irvine, California, recommends bicycling as remedial training for people having difficulty in walking straight, such as those that have just had a mild stroke or suffering from temporary paralysis. Cyclical therapy is very safe, especially if under professional supervision. It is done indoors where exercise bikes are used.

Top First Person Shooters & How To Keep Kids Safe From Firearms As A Result of Virtual Violence

Games like Halo, Call of Duty, and Battlefield, are all great ways to blow off steam and have a bit of fun. All of these games feature a lot of violence killing your fellow man in a lot of different settings. Some of the games have very controversial scenes.

Shock Value Driving Sales

For example, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 had one mission where the player had a machine gun and was tasked to shoot unarmed civilians in a crowded airport. In the game’s industry, everyone is trying to outdo each other in any way possible so that they can maximize sales. Relating back to Modern Warfare 2, it had one of the most controversially violent scenes in recent video game history at the beginning of the game. It was so bad that it got banned in some areas. As a result, a lot of people bought and played the game for that reason alone. It was probably responsible for converting some people to Call of Duty players because they just needed some kind of initial draw to get them to play the game.

After playing that level and the rest of the game, many players they found out that they really liked the game for its core mechanics. Ultimately, that controversial scene was just a publicity stunt that was meant as a method of getting new people to play the game for the first time. Most people come for the single player campaign for the spectacle, and then they stay for the highly competitive multiplayer where your performance is rewarded with progressive unlocks for things like gun accessories and ways to customize your playstyle.

Video Games Translating To Real Life

It’s fair to say that first person shooter video games are among the most popular video game type today. Most of the game’s target audience is around 17-23 years old. However, there is still a large portion of kids who play these games. That alone isn’t something to worry about. Only a very small percentage of kids who play violent video games ever actually commit crimes with fire arms. Criminal behavior usually only occurs as a result of environmental influences like peers or family members.

That doesn’t mean that it’s not a good idea to practice gun safety whenever possible around kids. If you own a gun and have kids, it’s a good idea to not hide the subject from them. You don’t want to make guns something forbidden. They might not fully understand the damage that guns can inflict, and that’s when accidents can happen. Teaching your kids about guns is only one step though. Make sure that you have your guns in a secure a place. Gun safes are a great investment for both safety and security reasons. Finding reliable firearms and weapons security vaults is as easy as typing it into Google. Violent video games are unlikely to cause more harm than poor understanding of fire arms ever would. Make sure that you practice gun safety whenever possible and that you educate your kids about the proper handling of guns.

Gaming On A Jailbroken iPhone 4s

Mobile gaming has been heralded as the future for some time now. While playing games on a console or PC is still immensely popular, doing so on a mobile device such as an Apple iPhone is a growing trend.

While users of a default iPhone and also a jailbroken iPhone 4s can log onto the Apple app store and download hundreds if not thousands of games designed for the device, this number is further increased by using Cydia. This alternative app store allows people who use an iPhone 4s jailbreak to get access to more games and game emulators.

For instance Robert Broglia’s emulators which are available to download from the Cydia app store and allow users to play SEGA, SNES and other classic games directly from their jailbroken Apple iPhone 4s is incredibly popular. We are always on the lookout for new ways in which to play games and having the original Sonic on our iPhone is a big plus for us. A great thing about this particular emulator is that it displays the virtual controls on the screen but has them with a lot of transparency so that they don’t impact upon the actual graphics of the game itself.

We have been recommending jailbreaking for the Apple iPhone for a while now due to the many benefits and features it brings to mobile gaming. While there are many games available for the iPhone through the default app store, you don’t often get access to classic like Sonic unless your iPhone 4s is jailbroken.

In a way we can use the iPhone, and jailbroken iPhone devices in particular, as a way of demonstrating how mobile gaming has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. We all remember the days of Snake and look back at these with a certain amount of nostalgia however it is hard to deny that mobile gaming is better these days than it ever has been. In fact that market is expected to grow to over $14 billion worldwide in the next 3 years and the iPhone has played a major role in this development.

Indeed with apps and games from Cydia now allowing you to connect to another jailbroken iPhone there are many people who now play multiplayer games on their morning or evening commute or just in general. The iPhone 4s is one of the leaders in the mobile gaming and technology market given its current spec and the endless opportunities that come from having it jailbroken.

We hope to see more game emulators beyond the one we mentioned at the beginning of this article that can hopefully bring many more old school and recent games to the mobile platform. Mobile gaming itself is evolving every year and with jailbreaking an Apple iPhone 4s on the rise as well the two are working together to create a bigger market for those who regularly play games on their mobile device.

Most people will play a game on their phone at least once and with technology getting better and more and more games being made available this is only going to grow and grow in the coming years.

The Winner of the Console War

Many gamers are invested in keeping tabs on the console war. That means they want to know sales figures for games and consoles from Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. It’s rewarding for those who back a certain console maker to see them pulling ahead in a particular month or to hear great news coming from their camp.

But as these corporations duke it out for a piece of the gaming pie, gamers may not realize that they have their sights set on the wrong direction. It is the gamers who are winning the console war.

Gamers Reap the Service Benefits

The end result of the console war is not that one console will reign supreme and force the others to go the way that Sega did back at the turn of the century- making games for the competition. Instead, it means that these console platforms will evolve and change in new and exciting ways. The console manufacturers are looking for ways to appeal to gamers, to get them to choose one console over the other.

To do this, they offer more enticing services over time. Just look at how a service like Xbox Live has changed over the years. It used to be the only comparable service in town. It offered friend lists, party chat and smooth online play at a premium price. But now Sony is doing pretty much the same thing with its premium online service. But when Sony stepped seriously into the online game, it also offered free game rentals for its subscribers.

So Microsoft responded by offering up Games for Gold- two games each month that subscribers get to keep. As the services keep trying to one-up each other, the only clear winner becomes the consumers. Gamers are enjoying a wealth of free games no matter which of these two systems they own.

And Nintendo continues to try to draw in gamers by making sure that all of the games that come to the other two consoles are arriving with spiffed up versions on the Wii U. Wii U versions that come out later than other console versions tend to get upgraded and have additional features to help them stand out. And that’s another win for gamers who want to experience their favorite games in new ways.

Pushing the Envelope

Each console wants to prove it can provide the best experiences. Never before have video game cars looked so good emerging from behind their garage doors. Games like Grand Theft Auto allow the user to blow up various buildings and areas, wreaking havoc to buildings and causing tons of damage to buildings and garage doors, making it obvious that virtual garage door repairs could become a fun way for the developer to add in some more real life twists into the game. Never before has television and gaming been so closely intertwined. That’s because console makers and game makers are looking for new ways to draw in consumers.

As gamers, we are getting to enjoy the best graphics we have ever seen with games like Driveclub and Forza 5. But we also get innovative ideas like television show integration with games like Defiance and Quantum Break. These aren’t just quick cash-ins like we used to see. No, console manufacturers and game developers are looking to draw in gamers from the television viewing public through partnerships with television studios and the production of quality entertainment.

This is the kind of synergy and evolution of the industry that really ends up benefitting gamers. We get to try new and better looking experiences that are different from what has come before. And as game makers struggle to make sure their game is front and center in the public attention, they will continue to push the envelopes of technology and innovation.

There Are No Losers Here

Despite what some fan boys will tell you, none of the big three companies are bowing out anytime soon. Neither Microsoft, Sony nor Nintendo will stop making console to focus on games for other systems. All three companies are doing well, despite who outsells who each month.

Right now, there is room for all of them to have space in the market and on retail shelves. And while the tile of this section stated there are no losers, it only applies to the companies themselves. They are all thriving through one way or another. Nintendo continues to kill it in the handheld market, even if the Wii U isn’t selling gangbusters. And Sony’s and Microsoft’s consoles are almost neck and neck, particularly when you consider the PS4 is probably only outselling the Xbox One because of its availability in more regions.

The only real losers here are the people who stand too strongly behind one console and don’t get to see the bigger picture. None of the console manufacturers deserves undivided loyalty, and all of them offer something unique that gamers off all types will enjoy. If fan boys can take their heads out of their shells and see objectively what is being offered, they will find plenty to enjoy this console cycle.