Preparing for Your First Charity Bike Ride

Preparing for your first charity bike rideSo, you’ve decided to take on your first charity bike ride. Charity fitness challenges can be some of the most rewarding things you can do – for yourself and for others. You can get fitter, contribute positively to the life of someone who needs your help, and if you’re new to cycling, discover a fantastic new hobby.

But where do you start? Whether you’re already a cyclist, or you are completely new to the sport, you still need to prepare yourself, mentally and physically, for the challenge. Here are my top tips. (more…)

Getting a Better Bike Fit

Getting a better bike fitAlthough you can buy clothes from a shop and wear them straight off the hanger, you never truly feel comfortable until you wear something that’s designed for your body shape – clothes that truly fit. You may have to pay extra but the comfort is definitely worth it.

Cycling is no different. Nowadays, you can tailor your ride further, synchronising your cycle to your body type and shape. Essentially, this means altering your ride so that you can sit more comfortably, which in turn means you can ride for longer. A bike fit is generally performed for new riders or for people who aren’t comfortable with their current set up. But what is a bike fit and how do you improve yours? (more…)

Win tickets to SPIN, cycling’s coolest consumer show


SPIN - The Cycling FestivalOrdinary Cycling Girl has teamed up with SPIN – The Cycling Festival to offer 10 lucky readers a pair of tickets for their urban cycling event that is coming to Manchester for the first time in May! *Exciting!*

What is the SPIN Cycling Festival?

SPIN – The Cycling Festival is the go-to event for cycling enthusiasts, and will take place from 6-8 May 2016 at the Victoria Warehouse off Chester Road near Old Trafford in Manchester.

Showcasing more than one hundred of the most forward-thinking cycling brands, the show celebrates cycling, fashion, design, innovation and culture. Expect an alternative selection of some of the world’s best British and international bike brands such as Cinelli, Brompton and Boardman alongside newer independent companies such as Shand, Pure Fix & Hiplok. Heritage from East Lancashire based Carradice bags meets innovation with the latest cycling fashion from MEAME.

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How To Avoid Feeling SAD This Winter

SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder

The last few weeks have seen a number of storms work their way through England! Gale force winds and unpredictable weather can make cycling in winter an irregular form of exercise. This recent post will give you some ideas on how to maintain your fitness over winter in preparation for those summer cycling smiles but how do you keep the winter blues away when you can’t exercise outdoors as much as you’d like to? Here’s some top options to keep your mind fit over winter. (more…)

Winter miles for summer smiles: cycling fitness over the winter months

cycling fitness, winter cycling

Winter miles for summer smiles – that’s what the pros say…

Not only is it blowing a gale out there today, the windchill makes it feel really cold and sometimes, cycling in winter in the UK, is less than appealing. Have no fear, exercising indoors during the winter months can still offer some good options to ensure you don’t lose your cycling fitness over the winter period, guaranteeing summer smiles. (more…)

Seven healthy reasons to get on your bike and pedal

Why cycling is good for you, reasons to cycle, Seven healthy reasons why cycling is good for you

It doesn’t matter what kind of bike you have sitting in your shed or your garage, dig it out! It doesn’t matter how long it is since you last rode it, dust it off! Give it a wipe down, check the brakes, the saddle, check the tyres for air and squirt a bit of oil on the chain. Don some padded shorts (you can put them under a pair of your favourite joggers if you’d prefer to keep them hidden) and you’re good to go. Here’s my top seven healthy reasons to get on your bike and pedal this year! Wait until you check out reason number seven… (more…)

Best cycling blog: Trespass Blog Awards 2015! Vote now!

best cycling blog: Trespass Blog Awards 2015, Ordinary Cycling GirlGood morning all! Well, I’ve had some lovely news this morning and what a really great way to start 2016. I’ve learned that Ordinary Cycling Girl, my little space on the internet, has been short listed as the best cycling blog in the Trespass Blog Awards 2015. How exciting! Thank you if you kindly nominated Ordinary Cycling Girl.

When you first start writing a blog, you obviously have no idea if anyone anywhere will ever cast their eyes over your words and if they do, whether they will be remotely interested in anything you should have to say. So to be nominated and short listed is wonderful recognition of the time and work that goes into this blog. And a good boost to know that you enjoy at least some of what is written here! Plus, Ordinary Cycling Girl is very nearly two years old, so winning would be a really lovely way to mark that occasion!

Best cycling blog: Trespass Blog Awards 2015! Vote now!

I started Ordinary Cycling Girl as I found it difficult to find any women’s cycling blogs that I could relate to as a woman returning to her bike after a lonnnng time away from it. I hope along the way, you’ve found posts inspiring and motivating, as well as entertaining and informative. Cycling is a male dominated world! And I’ve just realised that Ordinary Cycling Girl is the only blog shortlisted that’s founded and written by a woman, with a focus on encouraging women into cycling! Now, that in itself is an achievement I’m proud of!

If you like Ordinary Cycling Girl, please do vote for me as the best cycling blog in the Trespass Blog Awards 2015! I’m up against some far more established blogs, all of whom I hold in high esteem, so I know I have some tough competition. If you like this blog and can spare a few seconds, your vote would be hugely appreciated! 😀

You can vote for Ordinary Cycling Girl as the best cycling blog: Trespass Blog Awards 2015 here until 22 January 2016.

Top 5 Destinations for Unforgettable Mountain Biking Holidays

mountain biking holidaysIn 2016 I am hoping to do more mountain biking, and also lots more travel!! We’ve been thinking for a while now, how cool it would be to combine the two; so I’ve been doing a fair bit of reading into cycling holidays, particularly mountain biking holidays and looking at the various destinations available. There are some amazing places out there, waiting for you to adventure to, to conquer their slopes and take in their views!

If you follow me on facebook, you’ll have seen that we’ve just got ourselves sorted for our summer holiday and yes, this year we are heading on our first mountain biking holiday!  I cannot wait to try some downhill mountain biking!

So, why, as road cyclists, have mountain biking holidays tempted us?

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Reflections on my cycling progress

Reflections on my cycling progressIt’s the new year and it’s kind of inevitable to find a whole host of new year’s resolutions posts scattered across blogs in January.  I’m not really a fan of setting resolutions, I mean, why should we only commit to making changes in January? Life’s for living and our mindset changes throughout the year. If we choose to set ourselves goals, I see no reason to wait until January to do so. Any time of the year works for me, but I guess it’s the start of the year, and it’s always a good time to sit and reflect on what you’ve achieved and what you’re still hoping to complete.  I for one am definitely feeling all ‘festived-out’ in terms of alcohol and food consumption, so, OK, yes, it’s as good a time as any to reflect and perhaps reassess what my cycling and fitness hopes are for the next twelve months.

Back in February 2014, when I first started this blog (my goodness I can’t believe Ordinary Cycling Girl has had its own little space on the internet for nearly two years now), I wrote this post about my cycling hopes and aims for 2014. I’d kind of forgotten about it until someone asked me how I’d got on with them, so I thought a good place to start would be to take a look and see just how I did get on with my last list of hopes, aims and personal cycling challenges. (more…)

Essential Cycling Kit for Year Round Cycling

black and white bikeFirst things first! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that Santa was kind to you! Hopefully he brought you some great additions to your cycling wardrobe and kit bag. The festive period at OCG HQ has been a really relaxing one with some much needed family time and lots and lots of laughs. *cue happy face*. Needless to say, I’ve consumed my body weight in good food and all things chocolatey and I’m feeling the need to get back to some regular exercise!

I can hardly believe it’s about to happen, but as 2015 draws to a close (was this the quickest twelve months ever for you too!?), I’m thinking about what kind of cycling challenges I’d like to undertake during 2016. Traditionally I’m a roadie. I love cycling on the open road, but my head is being turned by off-road cycling and getting closer to nature. Getting to grips with a different kind of cycling and the challenge of learning a whole new set of skills is really appealing. And of course the big pulling factor, is that we have our summer holiday booked! We are planning a couple of weeks in the French Alps with some down hill mountain biking! *cue very excited face!*

Ordinary Cycling Guy (Mr OCG) participated in the Pass’Portes du Soleil this last summer so he has some first hand experience, but me? Nope, Nada! Not a bit of proper mountain biking experience! *cue research* (more…)