10 Tips for Beginner Cyclists

by Bobbi from nhershoes on August 21, 2013 · 11 comments

in Cycling,Top 10

Good Morning Friends! This post is by readers’ request!

I love riding my bike, even if I only get out a couple of days a week. It’s always a lot more freeing and makes me feel like a kid again! I encourage you all to look into cycling. It may be technical, but don’t be intimidated! Anyone can do it and you will LOVE it!

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1. Safety: Honestly, I cannot stress this enough! Always wear a helmet. I know you may just be riding around the corner and don’t think you need a helmet, but YOU NEVER KNOW!

Always be super aware of your surroundings especially if you are on a busy road. Ride as far to the right on the road as possible. Do not ride on the sidewalks and use your hand turn signals. If you are riding in a line and you are in the front, make sure you point down at objects that are in the road so that those following you can do the same for people behind them.

I personally do not ride alone because I never know what might happen, but if I do I make sure to always ride with my phone just in case.

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2. Hydration: Proper hydration is critical for your safety and success. Poor hydration will cause you to cramp up and lessen your performance. I always carry two water bottles on my bike (One filled with Fitmixer electrolytes and the other with water). The last thing you want to do is run out of water!

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3. Go Clipless:  I know wearing clips are SCARY! Clipless pedals (also known as Clip-In or Step-In) are a two-part system for your bike. Part one is a small pedal with a locking mechanism and part two is a cleat that attaches to your bike shoe. The shoes clip into the pedals, giving you a very solid connection to your bike. Yes, clip in. So, why are they called clipless? Well, because before these existed, there were pedals with toe clips. Toe clips are the cages that go on a regular platform pedal that help keep your foot in place. They don’t clip onto your pedals and they don’t clip onto your foot, so it’s really a dumb name for them, but because they already existed, these newer pedals which actually do clip in had to pick another name. For some reason, they chose ‘clipless’. Either way, they will help you ride more efficiently! You will use a more full range of motion by pushing and pulling with your hamstrings and quads! Believe me, once you do it, you will wonder why you waited so LONG!

4. Changing a Tire: If you haven’t learned then you need to! Practice at home. A lot of local bike shops hold workshops that help you change tires and show you how to care for your bike.

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5. Find a group: It is so much fun to ride with others! Plus, in case something happens or you get lost, you are in it together. Ask your local bike stores about riding groups and you can also check out MEET UP. It helps connect you with locals that ride.

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6. Use Your Core – Not Your Arms: One of the best pieces of advice I ever got from someone. You should not put all your weight on your handle bars and on to your shoulders. Use your core to hold yourself up. It will make a world of a difference and help from having your hands go numb!

7. Get Fitted: It is very important that you get your bike fitted for your height. You don’t want to hurt your back or legs because it’s too high or too low. Once your bike is fitted to you, you will ride more easily and efficiently.

8. Sign Up for a Race: Get motivated! Having a goal in mind will help keep you on that bike more days than not. It’s fun to train for something and then finish feeling accomplished!

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9. Take Fuel: For some reason I am always hungrier on the bike than I am running. Probably because I am usually on my bike a lot longer than I when I run. I like to carry Shot Blocks, Vega bars, homemade bars and Zingers. There are so many choices out there, you may have to test out a few (or make your own) before you know what gives you sustained energy and what doesn’t upset your stomach.

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10. Gear: You will want to wear a jersey that has pockets in the back for easy access to fuel or carry other needed items. I also highly recommend bike shorts! The padding will help your saddle soreness… promise it get’s better! Cycling gloves are essential as well as they will help keep your palms cushioned through your ride as well as protect your hands in case you fall. Lastly, I really suggest wearing proper sunglasses for protection from the sun as well as BUGS. You would be surprised how many times my glasses have saved me from getting a bug in my eye.

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More tips to come… and maybe even a fun video Winking smile

Questions:
Do you own a bike?
Would you like to own a bike?

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{ 11 comments }

Sonia the Mexigarian August 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm

thanks for the tips. i really want to take my bike out on the road but am afraid to go by myself (if not on a trail). I’ll have to look into the meet up 🙂 now, if i can only figure out how to inflate my tires…..

Jillienne @ ChasingRaspberries August 23, 2013 at 9:59 pm

I love all these tips! I just bought my first road bike and have my first duathlon this weekend! Eeee! Super excited!

Happier Heather August 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm

I just bought a hybrid bike last year and will start training for my first duathlon this week. I’m scare of clipless stuff because I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to get off of my bike quickly enough…but I might have to check it out anyway and work through that fear!

Thanks for the tips!

Ethos Adventures August 23, 2013 at 8:21 am

Great tips! In addition to knowing HOW to change a tire…it’s important to remember to bring an extra tube or patch kit and pump! It doesn’t matter how quickly you can fix a flat if you don’t have what you need to do it. 😉

Bobbi from nhershoes August 23, 2013 at 12:01 pm

so true!!!

Coco August 22, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Great tips! I need to work on the core vs. arms thing.

Lindsay @ Lindsay Weighs In August 22, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Thank you so much for posting this! Such great information 🙂 I’d like to start biking, and I’m definitely going to use these tips!

Sara @ LovingOnTheRun August 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Would love to get into biking one day! I have a bike that I sometimes use to pace my husband when he is running, but nothing serious yet!

Rachel C. August 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Perfect timing for this post – I just got a bike. Thanks for the tips!

Kimbre August 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm

My hubby and I became really good at changing flat tires during training for our century ride. Make sure your tires are at the right PSI before every ride. Keep up the good work!

Tiffany August 22, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Thank you for the reminders. I’ve always been super afraid of the clip/clipless but I might have to look into these a bit more.

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