Did you know 5.3 million people in the UK cycle at least once a week?
From increased muscle strength to fat-burning benefits, there are many advantages to cycling. On top of the health aspect, you also get the chance to enjoy the great outdoors and explore new places.
So are you ready to hop onto the trend?
If you are, you’ll need some cycling tips to get you started. We’ve got all you need to know right here. So let’s ride on through!
Cycling Tips 101
Whether you’re a newbie or a well-seasoned cyclist. You may come across various stumbling blocks or have questions about how to improve your ride. Read these 8 tips below to start your cycling career off with a bang.
1. Getting the Gear
Biking for beginners begins with a new bicycle of course. But where should you buy from?
Start off at a local bike shop if possible. While buying a bicycle online might be a cheaper option, there are benefits to buying locally. For example, you can figure out which style of bike suits your needs and you can give it a test ride.
On top of buying the actual bike, you also need to have the right gear. Start with a cycle helmet to protect your noggin. And don’t forget to find a comfy saddle, bike lock, and lights.
2. Look the Part
Bike tip number 2 is all about the right cycling attire. Because having the right clothing can make all the difference to your ride.
Even if you’ve found the comfiest saddle ever, you’ll still need padded cycling shorts. This will stop your backside from being a literal pain in the backside!
Other essentials include gloves for winter rides, a waterproof jacket for rainy days, and some sunglasses. Not just so you look the part, but to protect your eyes from bugs, sun and stones.
If you’re a roadie, get yourself some clipless pedals. And if you’re a mountain biker, get some protective equipment to save you from getting injured. For example, elbow and knee pads, back protectors, and gloves.
3. Perfect Your Ride
Now that you’ve got the gear, it’s time to start practising. While there are debates about which cycling technique is best, there are some basics you should adhere to:
- Get your riding position sorted by making sure your saddle and handlebars are set up to the right height
- Use your gears to prevent undue stress on your knees
- Make sure not to pedal in high gears for lengthy periods of time. Keep your cadence between 70 and 90 RPMs
But while you could read all the biking advice you could ever want online, remember that practice makes perfect.
4. The Power to Pedal
If you want the power to pedal, it all starts with your diet. Just as a car needs fuel, you need fuel to keep you going. And a cyclists diet is pretty simple.
Start with hydration. Make sure to have enough fluids when you hit the road. Hydration packs are jam-packed with electrolytes which can reduce cramping. A good old bottle of water is essential, too.
Research suggests that even a traditional cup of coffee may improve your endurance!
Try to consume around 100-250 calories every 30 minutes when riding. For example, a banana, granola bar, or a squashed peanut butter sandwich. Eating snacks like these every 30 minutes will stop you from burning out.
5. Find Some Riding Buddies
One of the best road bikes tips is to find friends to ride with. Whether you join a cycling club or persuade your friends to drag their bike out the garage, you’ll feel motivated to keep up your new hobby. Hanging out with like-minded cyclists will help you to improve too, especially if they have years of cycling experience to share with you.
If you do decide to join a friendly pack of riders, remember that riding in a group is totally different from riding solo. Riding in a group usually means you’re all at close quarters. This means you have to be careful not to brake unexpectedly or making sudden movements—or you might cause an accident!
If you’re not feeling overly confident, stick to the outside of the group instead.
6. Fix-It Up
One of the best pieces of biking advice you should take to heart is to keep your bicycle happy. You don’t need to carry an entire toolbox around with you, but you do need to know the basics.
For instance, you must know:
- How to clean and oil your chain
- How to fix a puncture
- How to fit mudguards when it’s wet and muddy
If anything else goes wrong, you can always head down to your local cycle shop for some repairs. But the more you know, the more you can rely on yourself and not others when things go wrong.
7. The Rules of the Road
Just as when driving a car, cyclists need to know and obey the rules of the road. If you didn’t do your cycling proficiency test at primary school, don’t worry. Find out all you need to know on Google and you’ll be ready for every route—whether it be busy city streets or rural lanes.
When cycling the roads, as well as abiding by the rules, it’s important to be extra safety-conscious. For instance, closely watch cars and other vehicles to anticipate what they’re going to do. And make sure to use the correct road positioning when riding on busy roads.
8. Cycle the World Over
Cycling for beginners usually begins with bike rides in the local area. But when you start to feel more confident, you may want to explore new routes.
From cycling smooth hills in the Peak District to bumping over rugged clifftops in Cornwall. There are some amazing cycling spots to visit in the UK.
But you’re not limited to England. There are thousands of bike trails to explore all over the world. If you want to travel further afield and explore some scenic bike trails in the US, see here.
It’s a Good Day to Ride!
After these top 8 cycling tips, you’ll have all the know-how when it comes to your next bike ride. So what are you waiting for? Keep calm and pedal on!
For more sports tips and fitness hacks, check out the “Sports” section.