Tips In Choosing Bike Helmets

Not everyone prefers riding a bike than a car when heading for work, going out with family and friends, or doing a work out that will keep you healthy and fit. For those who understand all the benefits that cycling provides, also understand that to enjoy the most that the discipline can provide, a rider like you should always keep in mind the basic safety guidelines.

One of these safety precautions is wearing an appropriately-fitting helmet. No one would like to ride a car without the seat belt on, why would you ride a bike without a bike helmet? So why hop on a bike without a bike helmet? It just makes sense to wear a helmet in all riding conditions. Some countries even have laws requiring them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that “bicyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injury and deaths than occupants in motor vehicles.” Meanwhile, a 2017 Road Safety Factsheet reveals that 18,477 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents in 2016 alone. This figure includes 3,499 who were killed or seriously injured. The report also indicates that of these injuries, head injuries that range from fatal skull fractures and brain damage to minor concussion and cuts, are quite common injuries to cyclists. As such, hospital data reveals that more than 40% of cyclists, and 45% of child cyclists, suffer head injuries.

Unfortunately, finding a good-fitting helmet that provides all other features that place it above other designs and makes. If you just make a quick search for bike helmets on a single e-commerce site like Amazon, you will be overwhelmed by the result. A day may not be enough to read through thousands and thousands of results.

How then can you ever decide in such a very short time which helmet you should choose?

The fact that by law, all helmets that are being sold in the U.S. must meet standards set by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) gives you the assurance that picking one won’t be that bad after all. There are also some helmets are being endorsed by other organizations dedicated to research, education, testing and development of helmet safety standards, such as the nonprofit Snell Foundation.

To easily narrow down your options when deciding which bike helmet to go, you may want to consider these tips:

Types of Bike Helmets

First of all, you need to remember that bike helmets fall under three basic categories — those that are used for recreational purposes or those that are also considered as multi-use and casual, road and mountain. These helmets are all designed to protect your head from impact even while they are lightweight and comfortable.

How do you differentiate these helmets?

Recreational helmets are the practical choice for a commuter, road as well as mountain bikers. These helmets are also popular with skateboarders and many inline skaters. They usually come with visors that are intended to protect your eyes from the sun.

Road bike helmets, on the other hand, are types of helmets that most roadie enthusiasts prefer, primarily for they are lightweight, several vents, and aerodynamic design. They normally come without visors.

Finally, mountain bike helmets are designed to ventilate well at low speeds. They can easily be distinguished from other helmet types by their visors, a better rear-head coverage and a firm, secure fit that is necessary when tackling rough terrain. They also include a full-face protection that’s why they’re preferred by downhill mountain bikers and park riders.

Construction

Most helmets are made using the in-mold construction. This is a popular process that fuses an outer shell and inner liner without the need to use glues. The end product is a light-yet-strong design.

Shell. Most cycling helmets are covered with a plastic shell that holds the helmet together during an impact. It provides puncture-resistance and also allows the helmet to slide during a crash, thus protecting your head and neck, and limiting the possibility of possible injury.

Liner. Most liners for helmets are made of expanded polystyrene foam. On impact, the liner disperses the force to protect your head. When choosing the best helmet for mountanin bike to wear, make sure to pick one with a liner that fits your head comfortably.

MIPS equipped helmets

There are many helmet designs that come with a Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) technology. This is a helmet construction intended to provide more protection from rotational forces on impact.

Helmets with such a feature are made with a low-friction layer that allows the helmet’s impact-absorbing foam liner to rotate slightly around the head on impact. Even though the movement is just a few millimeters overall, it can limit the amount of rotational force that may be transferred to the brain during a crash.

Ventilation. Helmet vent designs enhance the wind-flow over your head. The more the vents the better the chance that the helmet will help your body cool down faster. That means you will feel a lot comfortable as you ride. With more vents on the helmet, the lighter the helmet becomes as well.

When choosing the best bike helmet to go with, find one that provides a good fit. You’ll need to measure the largest portion of your head (that’s about an inch or so above your eyebrows). This  will be your reference when finding the best fitting helmet.

Make sure that the helmet fits well and won’t wobble as you move. All flat edges of the helmet should rest snugly on your skin so that you’ll feel comfortable as you go about riding around your route.

Any helmet that had endured an impact is more likely to get damaged. Make sure to replace that after a crash, even if the helmet still looks intact. After 5 years using the helmet, you also will need a replacement for that as it would have worn out over time.

There you go. That’s the basic things that you need to understand before choosing the helmet for cycling to buy. Hope this helps.

How much water do you need to stay hydrated?

About 60% of an adult body is made up of water. In addition to that, everything that we do will require our body to use some amount of water in the body. One of the reasons that you can move, blink your eyes, have the food you eat digested, and even think clearly, is the presence of body water that moves all other elements needed to accomplish specific body functions. Because of that, the water that is stored in your body needs to be replaced every few minutes to ensure that you will be at your best throughout the day. If you are heading out for the gym and you forget to bring one of the best water bottles for gym, you will soon feel dehydrated and will have to rush to the nearest water fountain or vending machine if there is one in the gym to quench your thirst with any available beverage.

The need to drink is as automatic as breathing. Every moment we take in air to live. However, even if water is an essential and basic element of life, many still fail to get as much as what the body requires to stay hydrated. As a result, many succumb to hydration. For those who would rather stand on the safer side, at times would overhydrate thinking that if they drink more, there will be more than enough for their body to keep them alert and fully functioning. Both actions are actually hazardous to health.

Read on to know how much water you really need to stay properly hydrated

how much water you really need to stay properly hydrated

Even the most active and professional athletes understand the importance of hydration. The problem, however, is that not everyone really drinks enough. Many would rely on their thirst before topping up. You have also been accustomed to many of those who teach that you need to drink eight 8 ounces of water every day and that you need to drink water before and during an intensive workout.

What you don’t realize is that your hydration need may be different from another person’s actual hydration requirement. Note that there are different factors at play that make you feel like you need water or any refreshing drink. Your age, body mass, sex, even the intensity of your activity, as well as your overall health will influence how much your body may need to replenish any body fluid that you lose.

Consider an expecting mother doing an exercise and a young male student in the same gym. Do you think they would need the same amount of water? Of course not. Other than the obvious factors that may influence each of these character’s need for water, there are also underlying reasons that may affect their need to hydrate. What we are after at the moment is not these factors but to provide a general understanding of the amount of water that anyone needs to stay hydrated.

These signs say you have not been drinking enough

Most would rely on their level of thirst before actually reaching out for a glass of water or a water bottle to top up. Dr. Irvin Sulapas, a primary care sports medicine physician and assistant professor of family and community medicine at Baylor University says that “The rule of thumb is, if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. So keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, even before you begin your outdoor activity.” Note also that by that time about 2-3% of your body water is already used up. Even if you top up it will take some time for the water to be distributed to the cells, blood, and to other parts that need it. In that case, you are even more dehydrated by the time the replacement body water is made available to specific parts of the body.

The best way to determine if you are taking in enough fluids is the color of your urine. Although there are other health conditions that may affect the color of your urine, if you are generally healthy, a dark urine means you are getting less than what your body needs.

As there are confusing thoughts on this matter, many who fear dehydrate themselves just considered drinking as much and as often as possible. This can also be detrimental to your health.

Why is too much water bad for your health?

Overhydrating can increase the liquid part of blood (plasma) at the same time decrease the sodium concentration in the body fluids. This happens as the sodium in the body gets diluted and may also be lost when you sweat. This can lead to a serious condition called hyponatremia, or low blood sodium. When this happens, it can lead to tissue damage, and will also interfere with brain, heart, and muscle functions.

Severe symptoms of this condition include vomiting, muscle twitching, delirium, seizures, and coma. It had even claimed the lives of a few marathon runners as well as military recruits. So, if you think you can get overzealous about drinking, remember that it can also have a deadly consequence just like hydration.

How much water should you drink to stay properly hydrated?

Hydration when you need to engage in an intensive activity as a workout, running, biking, and so on, should start a couple of hours even before you head out of your home. It should also be continuously done and at regular intervals throughout the activity.

Conclusion

For a more specific water intake, consider the recommendations of the American College of Sports Medicine as presented in an article published in its Health and Fitness Journal. The recommendations specifically indicate that drinking more than 800 mL per hour may increase the risk of developing dilutional hyponatremia. They also expressed the need to drink 16 to 20 fluid oz 4 hours before exercise, especially if you notice that your pre-exercise weight is reduced. Finally, they also impressed that there should be about 8 to 12 hours recovery period from your previous exercise session as this will enhance fluid replacement.

Driving like the Skoda advert!!

MAD OR JUST PASSIONATE
Last Sunday I was with my daughter Saskia for the Womens team series race in Yorkshire. Having set off from Derby at 6am we arrived at about 7.45 and promptly drove in the wrong entrance to find no-one about in the start area. After a while we found our away and found signs of life at a sports centre. The setting for the race HQ was the beautiful Ampleforth Abbey College and grounds near Helmsley.
Saskia didn’t fancy a trip round the course and duly signed on and set going on her roller warm up session. After that we were greeted by an Italian gentleman who asked if we wanted him to take our spare wheels in his service car. We welcomed his generosity and he also asked if I wanted a trip with him in the car. I jumped at the chance to follow Saskia and the race more closely. He asked if I was carsick as he was a little crazy which was a clue to what was to follow. Nevertheless I jumped in behind Flavio. I started to have visions of the Skoda team car TV advert and sterotypes of Italian drivers crossed my mind.
The car was equipped with radio supplied to listen to race progress. In the front were supplies of food and drink and in the back were coats and a pillow presumably for sleeping in the car. In contrast in the boot of the estate car were only the wheels of Saskia, another girl Sophie and Victoria Bussi (Zappi’s Ladies Team). He explained how to shut the boot gently and that we didn’t have to wear safety belts so that we could get out quicker!

Soon we were in the queue of team cars in car no.4; Flavio had been late to the briefing but was not bothered. Soon we were off in the neutralised part of the race and the weather was brightening after the heavy downpours of the night before. Within seconds one of the Matrix girls was on the floor and Flavio and the other cars all overtook her team car that dropped back. She was soon to get back in the field aided by her team-mates. The Scott Contessa team car driver started waving frantically in front and then shouted to let the Matrix car past. Flavio wasn’t too impressed and ignored the request. That was until we got told by the commissaire on the radio to let Matrix back into position!

The flag was dropped and I got chatting to Flavio who was cooly driving with one hand on the wheel. I explained that we were now in God’s county (I was born in Hull) and he said how friendly and down to earth the people were in this area. I explained how Saskia hated hills so was going to be up against it with 3 climbs on each lap. Victoria had only been riding since last year and Flavio wanted to help her with her bunch riding and technical skills.
We soon hit the base of the first climb up a steep hillside and there were some stragglers appearing. Near the top Saskia popped out the back and we both shouted encouragement out to her as we had to pass to keep in the convoy. A group of 3 was only 50m ahead and we could see Saskia and another girl trying in vain to bridge the gap. We caught another group of girls could not get past. Others caught the cars and Flavio hit the horn hard to get the rest of the convoy to move to move to one side to let them past.
At the bottom of a descent Flavio was impressed with a rider’s skills as she came shooting through a narrow gap between the cars and verge.
A few miles later there was another massive climb which Flavio said his Garmin had told him was 1 in 5 in parts. After these two climbs the news came through on the race radio that a group including Victoria had escaped in front of the bunch in a group of 11. At 58 seconds gap Flavio was getting excited but frustrated by the fact that the commissaires would not let team cars into the gap. Eventually they said they would let cars through but asked the team Zappi car to stop back as neutral service. Flavios passion was starting to emerge and he said “Why me!?” A bit further on he decided to take action and waved car no.5 up beside him. After some discussion whilst driving alongside, car no.5 agreed to stop back leaving Flavio free to go forward. He soon agreed this with the commissaires and the mood improved. But next he questioned why some cars had not moved through and the retort was that they had not been precisely called through yet. But at last we were allowed by and the foot was flat down to get past the bunch before the road started to bend.
At the end of the lap the road wound its way up through the picturesque abbey grounds where spectators had gathered. Flavio saw a member of his club who was explained was his northernmost member and was in his kit. He slowed down (a little) to pass him a new Zappis jersey and on we went. Flavio passed me a breakfast bar and tried to make a phone call to “Steve” to put something on his website/facebook. On the downhill again we sped after the leaders but in front of the gruppetto. A car came in the opposite direction and an annoyed Flavio honked the horn and manoeuvred across in an apparent attempt to get the car to stop or move over or go into the verge or something. Two more cars followed and he repeated the actions with more intention. It was obvious that he thought the road was closed but I said I thought it was a rolling road closure. They must have got on the circuit via an un-marshalled side road. Any way it didn’t stop him pulling over at the next marshall to complain.
Back up the road the group was still away and on the steep hill we slowed to give a girl some jovial encouragement- she responded in kind with some good natured expletives! Back behind the bunch the matrix team were all off the back on the same climb and Flavio correctly identified that they had dropped back to help a rider. Sure enough they were soon behind us and catching the bunch up. In the same place again we met another oncoming car and Flavio showed off his Italian driving style again! We stopped again to complain to the same marshall that someone was going to get killed but he said it was an open road circuit and he could do nothing. Up front again with the leaders and Flavio explained that Victoria was wasting energy by riding in the wind beside the others who were in line.
On the last lap she was one of 3 riders who dropped off from the leaders on a hill and Flavio was up beside giving some encouragement in Italian and beeping his horn. However a quick instruction by the commissaire for him to leave them behind soon put a stop to that. But Victoria pushed and lead the group back to near the leaders with much horn beeping in encouragement and cries of “ Forza Forza Forza” from Flavio. But we were close to the finish now and we could see the leaders ahead as we followed the Victoria group. We were told to pull over with a kilo to go and missed a crash as a rider slipped off on a corner.
We jumped out near the finish to find our girls. Victoria finished a great 10th and Saskia had been pulled out with a lap to go. And so ended an educational and exciting 2hrs with Flavio.
So mad or just passionate? Definitely the passionate.
Someone told me afterwards about Flavios past and said “All sprinters are mad aren’t they?” But Flavio really cares for his cycling and for anyone who cares about cycling. That’s what he is about.
Same time next year Flavio? Thanks again.

Starting

We all start some point, some because of the older brother passion repressed or just after watching stage of the tour de France. Normally wearing wrong size bike and not appropriate shoes and clothing. But one thing in common to all, the great feel of freedom and adventure.

So lets start get it right:

  • Check your bike size and measure. You can find hundred of website that will give advice on how to measure your body and fit your bike accordingly, one tip don’t get your position to aggressive, you need to train your back  for bicycle riding.
  • Shoes and clothing. Check position of your cleats under your shoes, wear appropriate clothes for the season, slight lighter because you are exercising. If is very cold your head, hands and feet are the most vulnerable. Keep in your pocket wind proof vest or a rain jacket.
  • Food and drinks. Don’t exercise if you just eaten give at least 1 hour or 2, take some energy bar or cake with you and water or fruit juices.
  • Spare inner tube, pump and necessary kit to fix a puncture.
  • Mobile phone and some cash, you never know you mite have a multiple puncture or breaking a wheel over a pot hole, then you need to call for help.
  • Call a friend and enjoy the ride.