With lockdown measures easing up and the weather brightening every day as we enter summer, more and more Brits are turning to outdoor activities such as running and cycling. Although running require minimal gear, cycling needs a little more prep when it comes to equipment and technique, so we’ve put together all the information you need to get started on the right foot.
Bike shops are allowed to stay open during the pandemic and your local bike shop may be the perfect place to get started if you want to take up cycling. If you can’t go physically into the shop, they will still be likely to help you over the phone or via email, so it’s well worth getting in touch. Not only will you be supporting a local business, but you will get a more personal experience and they will be able to help kit you out with a bike and all the other necessary equipment to suit you and your needs.
Invest In Basic Equipment
There’s an initial investment when it comes to cycling, but it’s well worth getting hold of all the basic gear in order to get the most out of your new hobby and stay safe on the roads.
Here’s a list of all the things that you shouldn’t skimp and save on:
– Padded shorts, reflective layers on top
– Track pump
In time, you can buy more accessories once you get used to the roads and your needs, but these ae the essentials to get you started.
Comfort Is Key
If you’re comfortable when riding, you’re much more likely to keep it up and less likely to get an injury. No matter how many years you’ve been cycling for, you will always find yourself adjusting your bike to maximise comfort depending on your needs and goals. You should follow basic guidelines when it comes to saddle height – your knees should always be bent, even when your pedals are all the way down. If your leg is straight when your pedal is at the six o’clock position, then your seat is too high.
For any bike journey, you should always be prepared for the unexpected. Carrying a bottle of water with you is important as you will need to stay hydrated as you burn those calories, and bring healthy snacks for longer journeys to keep you fuelled along the way. Being prepared for a puncture is also helpful, so before embarking on longer journeys it’s a good idea to get clued up on what to do or how to repair your tyres if it comes to it. Practise makes perfect with these skills, so try it all out at home before heading out and getting stranded.
Know The Rules
It sounds like common sense, but make sure that you pay attention to the rules of the road and be aware of your surroundings, just like when you’re in a car. Although you may be confident in your own ability, there’s always the danger of other people so stay alert and be reactive when you need to be.
So, now that you know the basics, it’s time to get started. It can be really daunting getting on a bike for the first time, so to calm your nerves, try riding around an area you know well before trying bigger roads. Go on shorter rides and gradually build up your fitness and confidence.
Let us know how you got on in the comments below!