So you want to start cycling? Great! Be warned though; it’s an addictive sport and you might find yourself getting super fit, super healthy, and super competitive!
The best thing about cycling is that anyone can give it a go, whether you want to ride the Argus or just be able to keep up with the kids on a Sunday morning cycle before brunch. It’s a wonderful way to stay in shape, see the great outdoors and spend some quality time with your friends and family.
Here are some tips for the newbies who are just starting out on the bike.
As you’ll be going at speed and run the risk of falling off or being knocked off your bike, it’s important to take the necessary safety precautions. Always wear a correctly fitted helmet, know the rules of the road and obey them strictly, and don’t cycle with earphones in – it can make it very hard to hear traffic or other commotions.
Ease into it
Don’t go from zero to hero overnight. You wouldn’t start running and enter a half marathon in the first week, would you? Just like any other form of exercise, it’s important to ease into your routine and build your fitness slowly. Remember to take rest days as well to give your body time to recover and recuperate, which will help you to avoid injury.
Stay calm on the descents
When you’re inexperienced, hurtling downhill on a bike can be nothing short of terrifying! Until you’re comfortable on the bike and have found your balance, maintain a safe and slow speed going downhill. Remember that your front brake has more power than the back brake, so whatever you do, don’t slam down on the front brake – you WILL lose control of the bike. Instead, brake gently and smoothly on both the front and back to help you maintain control.
Get your bike and saddle fitted
Making sure that your bike and saddle are customised to fit you can make all the difference to your ride. When you’re a beginner, it’s really tempting to skip this step. You can, but only for a few weeks until you know that you enjoy cycling. After that, you’ll want to invest in a saddle that fits you and makes long rides more comfortable. Having your saddle, bars, and cleats adjusted to the right settings will help you ride better and for longer without injuring or tiring yourself unnecessarily. Most bike shops will be able to help you out with this.