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Top Tips For Beginner Cyclists

Cycling Blog

Top Tips For Beginner Cyclists

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Top Tips For Beginner Cyclists - Cycling Blog - Ride 25

March 7th, 2014

The world of cycling can be a bit of a minefield for beginners and it’s easy to make mistakes. Here are my top tips to help you avoid falling into common pitfalls (some of which I’ve learnt the hard way!) and make the most out of your bike, not to mention the beautiful landscapes and countryside that is on our doorstep.

Cycle with friends: Cycling is always more fun if you do it in a group, especially if you’re all beginners and have a similar level of fitness. In my opinion, there is no better way to enjoy the ride than chatting with your friends whilst coursing through stunning countryside and enjoying the ever-changing scenery together, not to mention the ‘compulsory’ pit-stops for coffee and cake!

Learn basic bike maintenance skills in your own time: Learning how to mend a puncture for the first time in the driving rain in the middle of nowhere is no fun at all. Before you set out on your first long ride, practise changing an inner tube and using a puncture repair kit in the comfort of your own home so that you are familiar with everything before you set off.

Get your bike set up correctly: As a ‘rookie’ cyclist, I made the fatal error of trying to set up my bike myself, and paid for it when I couldn’t walk for two weeks after a long ride! Everyone’s body is different and so it is really important to get your saddle height and handlebars adjusted so that they are tailored to you. Rather than doing it yourself, I suggest going to your local specialist bike shop who will do it for you for a small fee. Trust me, it will be money well spent!

All the gear: No idea? When it comes to cycling there is a lot of gear on sale, some of which is really quite unnecessary, especially for beginner cyclists. However, the basic items that I would recommend any beginner should invest in are:

  • A pair of padded cycling shorts – never underestimate the value of protecting your tender parts!  Go for breathable, seam-free fabric that soaks up sweat quickly
  • A good cycling helmet
  • A set of bike tools – including a set of Allen keys, a puncture repair kit, a spare inner tube and a bike pump
  • A pair of cycling sunglasses – I realise we don’t get that much sun in ‘Old Blighty’ but cycling sunglasses are really useful for protecting your eyes from dirt, dust and flying insects
  • A water bottle that clips onto your bike – taking in lots of water during bike rides is really important to keep your body working properly

Start slowly: If you’re a little bit unfit I’d recommend taking it slowly and steadily to start with. Perhaps start with short 30minute rides on fairly flat and relatively traffic-free paths for the first few weeks. You will find that your endurance and fitness improves quite quickly and you will soon be able to take on much longer and more challenging rides. Before you know it you’ll have the cycling bug!  

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