The Upstate: A Cycling & Fitness Hub
With fall finally here, it’s the perfect time to grab your bike and hit the road. Both Spartanburg SC and Greenville SC are nationally recognized for cycling and are home to many cycling organizations, professional races and challenging biking adventures — both on the road and in the woods.
Orthopaedic Fitness Through Cycling
Cycling is a great low-impact way to improve cardiovascular fitness but injuries can occur. Lower back pain is one of the most common and according to Better Health, you should get into the practice of keeping your back straight while riding. Knee injuries are also extremely common and can be prevented by a few different actions. Better Health suggests you should avoid pedaling in high gear for long periods of time, build your strength to minimize strain and set the correct height for your saddle. Overall, cycling can improve your mental and physical health.
Trails & Cycling Amenities
Along with organizations and events, both cities are dedicated to providing fun places to ride. The Hub City Trail System at Duncan Park in Spartanburg offers many trails for all ages and riding levels. The trails were designed with a ski slope in mind as gravity helps you make your way down. All of the trails are named after train branches, since Spartanburg is known as the hub city. The Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville County helped to put the upstate on the map for cyclists. The trail extends from Greenville to Traveler’s Rest and has tremendously impacted the County’s tourism revenue. In 2014, the Blue Ridge Mountains, specifically the part that cuts across the Upstate, were named runner-up for Best Bike Destination in Outside Magazine’s Travel Awards. In addition, both Greenville and Spartanburg have recently been named bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Communities by the League of American Bicyclists. An Upstate-wide effort to expand trails, bike lanes and partnerships with pro-cycling groups has been in full effect for years now.
There are some training fundamentals for those looking to improve their cycling routine. In a recent article posted by Active, the author suggests that you do more than just log miles. You should incorporate a mix of climbs and slow rides into your training regimen. This mix will progressively challenge your body every week, making you stronger. The article also suggests strengthening other large muscle groups such as your core to help stabilize you on the bike. Always remember to stretch because flexibility can help prevent overuse of muscles and tight hip flexors. If you can get into a healthy routine, cycling is something you can do day after day for the rest of your life!