Whether it is for leisure, competition, or some blend of the two, cycling is a fun and healthy activity that can help keep you grounded in an active lifestyle. However, while the physical act of cycling may seem simple (and even a little repetitive, depending on how you look at it), the reality is that proper cycling is the product of appropriate preparations and practices, many of which you will want to adopt before setting out for your first official ride.
Here are a few helpful tips for new cyclists.
Protect your head
It may seem obvious to seasoned cyclists, but head protection should stand as major initial focal point for the uninitiated. Invest in a strong helmet before even thinking about getting on your bike for the first time; this is especially important for those who are learning to ride a bike for the first time.
Purchase appropriate clothing
Most cyclists follow a certain set of apparel rules to ensure a safe and comfortable ride. For starters, find a nice pair of padded shorts to avoid unwanted irritation to your tailbone area. Additionally, buy clothing that is bright and easy to spot, as this will keep you safely in drivers’ line of vision.
Use your gears
Your gear shifter is there for a reason: to eliminate unnecessary stress on your thighs and kneecaps when going up and down hills. Be sure to set your gears to a comfortable setting and adapt as needed. Your legs will thank you later.
Do not overlook maintenance
Regular bike maintenance will ensure you are riding on a stable and efficient set of wheels. Clean and oil your bike chain on a regular basis and adapt your maintenance to match impending environmental conditions. Otherwise, your chainrings may quickly wear out.
Ride within your comfort zone
Comfort while riding transcends that associated with your apparel and seat level. Be sure to avoid the tempting trap of jumping into a riding environment that is beyond your ability. For example, if you are just getting a feel for riding on open roads, do not follow your experienced cycling friends onto an uneven forest trail. Hone your abilities and constantly keep your comfort zone at the heart of your riding adventures — you will get there eventually.