Why I ride

Thursday, May 31, 2018. Author Dr. Haran Sivapalan

Haran shows off his track stand

We have several keen cyclists at FitnessGenes, and to honor World Bicycle Day on June 3rd, you'll meet a few of them and learn why they love riding. 

Dr. Haran Sivaplan is our lead Science Writer, author of many articles on our website and in our newsletters, and the sole member of the team who can perform a "track stand". 

Here's his personal story:

I’ve been commuting by bicycle in London for over a decade now. It’s often the quickest way around town; it’s environmentally friendly, it gives me a greater appreciation of my surroundings and, of course, it’s a great a form of aerobic exercise. As an avid runner, cycling also doubles up as a good cross-training activity. I tend to commute on a fixed gear track bike that I built myself, reserving my ‘Sunday best’ geared road bike for longer weekend jaunts in the countryside.
You can’t coast on a fixed gear bike, so my legs are constantly spinning. I once hit 190rpm going down a hill in Scotland! Cycling at high cadence helps to improve lactate threshold – the point at which lactate builds up in the bloodstream faster than it can be removed and used for energy: a useful marker of endurance fitness. In addition to a front brake, you slow down a fixed gear bike by applying backward pressure on the pedals, which serves as an excellent eccentric exercise for my quadriceps muscles.
Taking the fixie for spin in the countryside

Taking the fixie for spin in the countryside

There’s a formula that’s often bandied about among cyclists: “The optimum number of bikes you should own is n + 1, where 'n' is the number of bikes you currently own.” I think this is a great quote, which accurately reflects the versatility of cycling. Whether it’s a jaunt to the shops on a Dutch-bike with a basket, a folding bike that can easily be taken on public transport, or a mountain bike for hitting the trails, there’s probably a bicycle suited to your needs. Whatever your steed, cycling is most likely going to be better than driving for both your body and environment! As the science fiction author H.G. Wells once said, "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race."

For further reading

I hope you enjoyed this article.  Please read my other blogs:    

The benefits of a weekend lie-in

Is eating protein bad for your bones?

Should I go Mediterranean or Nordic?

5 ways to make healthy changes in your life

The Human Genome Project at 15: What have we learned?

Chia seeds: superfood or media hype?

Does exercise make you happier?

The truth about eggs and cholesterol

More exercise burns fewer calories?  You can't be serious!

How muscle memory makes you stronger

FitnessGenes publishes new research on obesity gene

The top 5 fitness trends of 2018

Nutrition tips for exercising in the snow

What do elite athletes think about DNA analysis

Health benefits of Christmas foods

How much coffee should I drink?

Air pollution and exercise:  Is it safe to train outside?

Is struggling with weight your destiny?

How Your Finger Length Influences Overall Strength

Just Say No to Upselling

Unravelling the Secrets of Our Circadian Rhythm 

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