If you are new to cycling or wish to take up the sport in 2020, you have already won half the battle. While cycling can get a little overwhelming after years, but the trick is to keep it simple and have lots of fun! Don’t worry about the gears or matching your helmet to your bicycle or cycling kit. For now, let’s forget the rules and have more fun!
Below we have listed 8 cycling tips for beginners that will ensure you start on the right foot and have fun. All you need is a bike and a helmet. Don’t even think of spending money on fancy new gear or carbon fibre. Right now the idea os to fall deeply in love with cycling.
#1. Get the saddle height right:
Most of us feel comfortable and far more confident with the saddle height at the lowest as your feet can easily touch the ground. However, this could lead to knee pain and put you at risk for injury.
#2. Don’t stress about the gears:
If you have a single-speed bike, no worries. However, if you do have a geared bike, nothing like it. For starters, using it might be complicated, but don’t let that distract you from your goal.
Just ensure to keep the chain on the front derailed in the centre. This way, you can use the complete set of gears on the rear. Using the lowest or the highest can sometimes lead to cross chaining. This needs to be avoided at all times.
#3. Change gears while pedalling:
Often, most of you change bicycle gears when not pedalling. Also, some newbies change the gears when they stop. Doing so will loosen the tuning of the cable and won’t give perfect shifts in the long run. The best way to go about is to change gears while you are pedalling non stop. This way the chain easily moves from one cog to another. Keep in mind not to put too much pressure on the pedal while changing the gear (especially on a climb) as this could lead to the change going through too much tension and could even snap.
#4. Always have these essential bike tools:
#5. Maintain your own bike:
Keeping your bicycle in good shape is an important aspect of cycling. Basics such as cleaning and relaxing your chain, checking air pressure are things that can be done by yourself. This not only helps to keep the bicycle in good shape but also increase the life span of the components and other parts.
#6. Avoid doing too much too soon:
Never be in a hurry to clock more distance. Always build up gradually. Your body needs the time to adjust to new distances. Remember to start with a warm-up and then settle into a rhythm and enjoy the ride.
#7. Join a local cycling group:
One of the best ways to have more fun is by riding with like-minded people. Make it a point to join WhatsApp groups and join in the weekly rides. This way you also get to learn about bikes, nutrition, routes, and more.
#8. Learn the art of riding in a group:
If you find yourself riding in a group for the first time, start by handing t the back of the pack. Observe and learn. You don’t want to be the reason for a crash. Don’t hesitate to ask and clear your doubts if any. Remember, a crash will be more embarrassing than asking a dumb question.
#9. Remember to refuel:
Long hours on the bike always need some refueling. If you find yourself cycling for over an hour, water won’t be enough. A bottle of electron and a snack will make a huge difference. Forgetting to eat can put your body into a deficit and cause you to bonk. You will finish the ride feeling tired, dizzy and nauseated.
#10. Don’t forget to eat and hydrate:
Once you are back home, don’t forget to eat and hydrate. A good portion of breakfast is what you need to consume to restore the lost electrolyte and energy. Also, this will keep you active throughout the day.