Cycling is one of the most effective exercises that you can indulge yourself in. Whether the goal is to have fun, build those thighs or burn some calories, all you ever need is a bike and a determined mindset. Cycling is a cardio-intensive exercise and comes with numerous fitness benefits for the body and mind. As a beginner in the sport, there are a number of things you should know to ensure you stay safe and get the most out of your cycling experience. Ready to start riding? We have picked out 10 tips every cycling beginner should know.
1. Wear a Helmet
When starting any exercise, knowing the safety tips is arguably one of the most important things to invest time in. In cycling, the most basic safety precaution is to always wear a helmet. It’s a no-brainer. A helmet is very important to protect your head and brain should any eventuality happen, especially if you are going to be riding in the city or in an area that is fairly busy.
2. Get the right gear
Even as a beginner, you’ll soon learn the importance of having the right gear while cycling. The ideal clothing for a cyclist is tight and sweat-wicking (moving sweat away from your body). This will help your body find a balanced temperature, keeping you cool on the inside and leaving the heat outside. Also, cycling can be uncomfortable without the right shorts. Trust me, you’ll appreciate the extra padding on those long rides. Having the right cycling kit will help you stay snug and comfortable on your ride.
3. Resist the temptation to splash
As a beginner, getting the right bike is very important. However, unless you can truly afford it, there’s no point in getting a bike that may be as expensive as £3k upwards (and you’d be surprised that there are bikes that cost upwards of £15k). Go to a local bike shop, speak with an expert and get a decent bike in the £350 – £1,000 range. Cycling doesn’t have to be overly expensive.
4. Get the right bike
Height, weight, balance and stature all matters when picking the right bike. Before you spend any amount of money, be sure to have an expert pick out something for you to ensure that your experience is stress-free. Cycling on the wrong bike is usually accompanied by back pains and overstretching your legs. Be sure to take saddle height, heel position and other factors into consideration.
5. Always ride with a repair kit
Once you’ve got your bike, you should get a repair kit too. This is because emergencies can happen at any time and anywhere. Once you’ve got one, you’ll do well to know how to use it. Being able to fix common issues, such as a flat tire, will be a lifesaver. This will ensure you are never stranded in the middle of nowhere on your cycling adventure.
6. Plan your routes
There are areas that are more suitable and easier for beginners to cycle. Find these areas and be sure to start in a safe zone that is not traffic-congested. This will reduce the risk of an accident and help you get used to longer routes before tackling harder terrains. Knowing your route also stops you getting lost, which is extremely frustrating!
7. Find some friends
One of the best ways to get confidence and motivation up is to find some cycling friends. If these people are regular cyclists, you’ll be lucky to learn one or two tricks from them and always have company when going to hit your fitness goals. Remember, there’s nothing like learning from experienced cyclists. It also makes it more fun! Cycling is a sociable sport, after all.
8. Carry some ID
Emergencies happen. And just in case you’re on the receiving end, it would definitely help if you carried some ID. Also, a contact name and address is handy.
9. Get comfortable with other riders and drivers
The road was not made for a single person. Don’t expect you to be on your own. Cyclists have to share the space with cars and other riders. It goes without saying you should always be friendly and respect the cars on the road. Always pay attention to people and traffic lights and try to ride safely.
10. Don’t overdo it
It is always good to set high standards. You might even find you can quickly increase your mileage within a few rides. However, don’t overdo it. The last thing you want is to go too hard and then suffer from a muscle strain, fatigue or soreness. Set yourself goals and gradually build the distance you cycle.
Thanks for reading our blog. As a ‘thank you’, here’s a 50% discount on your first nutrition subscription box. Choose either the cycling or running fuel box, or our quarterly fitness box, and simply enter the code vivisubbox50 at checkout to apply the discount.