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Top 10 Tips To Getting Started On Your Bike

Top 10 tips to getting started on your bike

  1. Bike check – is your bike safe and running smooth?  After dusting the cobwebs of your bike it is really important to make sure that it is safe to ride – brakes are working well, tyres are pumped up etc.  It is a really good idea to get your bike serviced by your local bike shop so your bike is both safe but also running smooth and the effort that you put in is going to help you to move forward.
  2. Bike set up – firstly this is about comfort.  If you are comfortable on your bike you are going to be able to focus on putting your energy into pedalling rather than the soreness caused by your seat.  There is both a science and an art to a good bike fit. An experienced bike fitter will be able to match your bike to your height and limb length but will also be able to adjust your set up to the type of riding you will be doing and any historical injuries.
  3. Pedal technique – this is about engaging the correct muscles and being as efficient as you can.  We learnt to ride a bike when we were young by just pushing down on the pedals but now we have shoes that attach our feet to the pedals we need to learn how to engage our hamstrings and butt muscles.  By calling on other muscles to do some of the work we will be able to take the load of our thighs. Hopefully as a result of this you will be still smiling at the top of the hill.
  4. Skills – cornering, baking, uphill, downhill…  The more confident you are about riding your bike the more fun it is going to be.  You don’t want to be the first to the top of the hill and then get passed by everyone on the downhill.  Taking some time to develop your skills early on will make a big difference as you start to do more.
  5. Stay safe – Wear bright coloured clothing, lights are a good idea too and be safe and predictable when riding around town so there is a greater chance that drivers will see you.  Being predictable is also really important when riding with other cyclists so you can all enjoy your ride and get home safely
  6. Hydration – becoming dehydrated is the first reason why you will start to slow down.  Making sure that you replace the fluid lost as sweet while you are riding is going to mean that you can perform to your potential.  The hotter it is the more that you need to replace. Use water first and then as your rides get longer consider an electrolyte replacement and/or a sports drink.
  7. Fuel – nutrition (coffee helps 🙂  Caffeine will help to give you a pick me up especially later in your ride.  But before you get to that point the longer that you ride you should consider taking on a mid ride snack.  This will help fuel your muscles so you can keep enjoying your riding.
  8. Make it an adventure – One of the best things about riding your bike is you get to explore new places and have a variety of different experiences – from that sunrise, the awesome view or the cow that just escaped down the road…
  9. Do it with friends – Riding your bike is much better as a shared experience of a fun downhill or the banter as you get to the top of a tough climb.  
  10. Enjoy the recovery – you have worked hard so enjoy that satisfaction of completing an awesome ride.  Put your feet up and relax – a good coffee also helps here too…