Get Into Road Riding
Despite its reputation for being a cluttered and congested isle, Britain has some fantastic roads that are just aching to be explored by bike. We've got mountain passes in the Lakes that have made the world's cycling pros get off and push. We've got leafy Devonian back lanes that'll make you think you've cycled back in time. We've got descents in Derbyshire that'll have you grinning from ear to ear and wearing out your brake blocks in a heartbeat. Whether you aspire to be the next Bradley Wiggins, explore the four corners of the country, or just enjoy some great weekend riding, road riding has got it all.
What is Road Riding?
It sounds a little obvious, but in fact road riding includes a whole host of different activities. For those who like to be a part of an organised event, there are long distance reliability trials, audaxes and sportives. For those who've got the competitive edge, there are a whole host of racing opportunities, both on the open road and on special closed road circuits. For those with the wanderlust, there's cycle touring, where you can pack up your bike and go, whether it's a lightweight, weekend ‘credit-card' tour or an ‘everything including the kitchen sink' unsupported camping trip in the Highlands.
There's also a whole host of informal and semi-formal activity going on in around cycling clubs. Most clubs have regular organised club runs where you can enjoy the camaraderie of group riding and benefit from the experience of other riders.
At the least formal level, there's nothing like meeting up with a group of mates and exploring the local lanes on a bright Sunday morning, taking in the odd cake stop and using the open road to de-stress and get fit.
The Road Bike
Like most kinds of bike, road bikes coming in many forms and at a variety of pricepoints. There are off the peg and custom race bikes, identical to what the pro-peloton uses. There are Sportive bikes, with special features to make long distance riding more comfortable without losing efficiency and speed. There are ‘winter' or audax bikes, lightweight, comfortable and efficient bikes with the provision for mudguards and racks - designed specifically for the demands of fast, long distance riding. Finally there are full-on touring bikes - more ruggedly built to cope with heavy loads, rough roads and even rougher baggage handlers. You can get onto the road bike ladder from as little as £400, while top end bikes can cost over £10,000.