Here's how cycling boosts your love hormones - The GCN Show

Dan and Si are in the studio to discuss the revelation that male pro cyclists get worse after their first child, but cycling actually boosts our so-called 'cuddle chemicals'

Clock19:04, Tuesday 26th March 2024

Believe it or not, this week's GCN Show is centred on love hormones, otherwise known as our 'cuddle chemicals' or by their medical term, Oxytocin. It turns out that Oxytocin is released during cycling and can be incredibly beneficial for us all, well, to a point.

Love hormones can raise our general mood and make us happier, just as do endorphins released during exercise, but the men's peloton might have to think twice, as new research conducted by Belgian scientists has concluded that male professional cyclists get worse after their first child is born.

It's no wonder that Dan Lloyd lasted little over six months in the WorldTour after the birth of his son, Jude! Anyway... scientists have also discovered that love hormones are more closely related to cycling than previously thought, and for the majority of us, that's a good thing!

Joining Dan in the studio this week is Si Richardson, and he is on hand to detail the effects of Oxycotin, which include the triggering of contractions before childbirth, lactation after sexual pleasure and - stick with us - general happiness in everyday life.

Its effect, therefore, is similar to the release of endorphins, which has long been linked to exercise and the 'post-ride buzz.' Similarly, it has long been known that Oxytocin is released from aerobic exercises, such as long bike rides, but it turns out that anaerobic exercise and high-intensity efforts can boost our love hormones as well.

This discovery is thanks in part to a group of swimming mice - yes, really - and in this week's GCN Show, Dan and Si break down the science, look into the effects and reveal why cycling makes us all more sociable.

Elsewhere, in this week's Cycling Shorts, we have news of a new bike path in Scotland, a fresh pair of tyres from Vittoria and Dan and Si send a big congratulations to Andrew Mortensen, who has become the first openly gay man to cycle around the world.

Read more: Vittoria’s Terreno Pro T60 gravel tyre proves that sustainability doesn’t mean sacrificing performance

Hacks and Bodges

In this week's Hacks and Bodges section, Dan and Si run their fingers over Bluetooth keyboards, recycled bits of packaging and even an entry from Si! Without further ado, give us your thoughts on the following entries in the comments below - are they Hacks or Bodges?

Garmin-mounted Bluetooth keyboard from Marcus

Our first entry this week comes from on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, Australia. Marcus got in touch with a handy device he has attached to the front of his "really old Trek." Marcus has bought a Bluetooth keyboard and attached a Garmin mount, which has allowed him to fit the device to his indoor training setup. However, is it all it's cracked up to be?

As Marcus writes, he doesn't seem to have much use for it as of yet!

"Now I just need Rouvy to add a chat function so I can use the keyboard," he wrote.

Robert makes sure to recycle!

Writing to us from his basement, Robert has sent us a picture of his own indoor training setup, which includes a nifty bit of recycling that he self-describes as very much a Hack. We'll let him explain.

"Squishy foam supports under my KICKR bike...bodge.

"Squishy foam supports cut from by KICKR bike's packing materials...HACK!!!"

What do you think?

Si submits his own entry: a knotted inner tube

Si made a beginner's mistake on a ride recently. He punctured and soon discovered that the valve on his spare inner tube was not long enough to be fitted to his (ridiculously) deep rims. 'What can I do?' he pondered at the side of the road.

Well sometimes, old-school is the best school and Si decided to tie a knot in his punctured inner tube, before refitting it under his tyre and cycling home. It might not be pretty, but he reports that it was certainly effective!

Coming up on the channel this week*

Wednesday 27 March: What gear do you need to start cycling?

Thursday 28 March: Here's how to fuel up at a gas/petrol station

Friday 29 March: Our average Joe vs the Tour of Flanders part II

Saturday 30 March: The hot tech from the Tour of Flanders

Sunday 31 March: Paris-Roubaix: An epic ride

*Video schedules are subject to change

If you like the look of Dan and Si's t-shirts on this week's show, the good news is they're available now to buy over on the GCN Shop. There are loads of designs and styles to help get you fully ready for the spring racing season. Head over there or click on the rail below for more info.

Did you know? You can now listen to The GCN Show as a podcast. That means you can still get all the insight from the latest episode of the show without actually having to look at Dan and Si at all, if that's ever been an issue for you. Search for 'Global Cycling Network' on your chosen podcast provider.

For all things general news, check out this tab on the GCN website.

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