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Give yourself a boost with a spring cycle ride

Warmer days, spring flowers and more daylight hours to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Who doesn’t feel their spirits lift when spring arrives?

Being outside in the sunshine has a huge number of benefits for our physical and mental well-being.

One of the best-known benefits of sunlight is its ability to boost the body’s vitamin D supply; most cases of vitamin D deficiency are due to lack of outdoor sun exposure. Vitamin D is made by our bodies by natural sunlight falling on our skin, while you can take Vitamin D as a supplement, the type we make ourselves is more effective. Vitamin D plays many roles in the body, it keeps your bones, teeth and muscles healthy, it supports your brain and immune system and can help regulate how your body uses glucose.

Another benefit of getting out cycling in bright natural light in the morning is that it helps to regulate your sleep patterns. When you are exposed to sunlight in the morning, your production of melatonin, the hormone that helps to promote sleep, occurs sooner, so you can fall asleep more easily at night.

Cycling in the sunshine makes us feel happier and one of the reasons is that when sunlight enters your eyes, it triggers your brain to produce more of the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin. Moderately high serotonin levels result in more positive moods and a calm yet focused mental outlook.

Time to grab your bike and make the most of the benefits of the sun!

Three things to make your spring cycling more enjoyable

Prepping your bike for spring cycling

Just as spring sunshine shows up the cobwebs at home, warm weather prompts giving your bike a good clean and service to get it ready for longer rides.

Washing your bike is about more than aesthetics, it gives you a chance to check it is in good working order so it is safe and enjoyable to ride.

Gritty, wet winter roads can cause wear to components, particularly your chain and brake pads, if you aren’t confident checking your bike yourself, book it in to your nearest Shimano Service Center

What to wear in spring

Dressing for spring can be tricky; cool mornings lead to hot days and sunny afternoons fade into chilly evenings. Whatever you choose to ride in, you need clothes that are versatile and allow you to add or remove layers as the temperature fluctuates.

A favourite for spring cycling is a gilet, a sleeveless outer jacket, that keeps your core warm whilst allowing you to feel the warm breeze on your arms. Another useful bit of kit is arm and knee warmers. These are easy to pull on Lycra tubes that can extend your shorts or short-sleeve tops to cover your knees and arms when you start to feel cold.

Too much, too soon

When the sun is out and the weather is beautiful all we want to do is ride, ride, ride. But if you haven’t been doing much cycling through the winter months you might find the sudden increase gives you a few aches or some soreness. 

If this happens to you dial back your cycling time and build up a little more gradually. Cycling should never hurt so if you have persistent pain that doesn’t go away with rest check your bike is set-up to be comfortable

Celebrate spring with a cycle ride! For more inspiration and advice visit our news pages

Want to read more about how sunshine can help you feel better and be healthier? Discover more about the benefits of sunlight, why we need Vitamin D and how sunshine can help with depression.