These cycling tips are perfect for beginners who are considering taking up cycling for the the first time, or perhaps you’re returning to the cycling world and your skills are a little rusty. From what to wear when you’re out on the roads to bike maintenance advice, here are our top tips for beginner cyclists in the new year…
1. Join a cycling club
The best way to get your skills up to scratch, and have fun at the same time, is to join a cycling club. Make sure you find one that’s set up to welcome beginners so you have someone to help you out with any technical questions, mechanical difficulties or routing conundrums. This will also help you learn how to ride, and stay safe, in a group.
2. Be confident on the road
The more you’re out on the road, the more confident you become. But remember to stick to the highway code and follow the guidelines – be sure to take the centre of the lane at junctions, roundabouts and other areas where it’s not safe for other road users to pass.
3. Eat and drink as you ride
If you’re planning on heading out for multiple hour rides, take a snack and aim to eat something every hour. You should also take a water bottle and mount it to your bike so you can take regular sips as you pedal. Take a recovery drink for after long cycles, this will help the body repair itself.
4. Don’t too much too soon
Cycling is a great sport if you want to get fit, or even lose weight. But be careful you don’t overdo it as you might end up feeling fatigued or injured. Build up your cycling gradually and consider setting up a training plan if you have any goals you want to achieve.
5. Learn how to fix a puncture
Learning how to fix a puncture is an essential skill if you’re a newbie to the sport. You should always carry a repair kit too, including tyre levers, patches or new inner tube, and pump.
6. Get your riding position sorted
You’ll be much more comfortable and more powerful if your bike is the right size and your saddle is at the right height. You can get your bike adjusted at any bike shop.
7. Fit mudguards for wet weather rides
Protect your clothes and your back from mud splashes with mudguards. As well as improving your comfort, mudguards will also prolong the life of your bike, components and in particular, your chain.
8. Clean your bike regularly
Hot soapy water and a sponge will do just fine for cleaning your bike after every ride. If there’s tough grime, you can use a specialist degreaser. After you’ve cleaned thoroughly, spray your bike all over with a silicone aerosol which will help stop mud sticking on your next ride.
9. Don’t ride with headphones on
It can be extremely dangerous if you don’t hear an emergency vehicle or other noise behind you or to the side of you whilst cycling on the road. If you must have music, there are clip-on radios with a speaker that you can attach to your jacket.
10. Invest in some good cycling clothing
Good cycling clothing is the best investment you can make. Make sure you have decent cycling shorts, a waterproof jacket, gloves, and thermal layers for the winter. Don’t waste all of your money on an expensive helmet, as they all meet the same safety standard.