So you want to get into cycling? You found the itch and maybe have an idea of the benefits riding can bring. Starting out and having a good time from the get go without a lot of trial, fails, and errors will help to ensure that you have a pleasant entry into riding whatever style that constitutes: road, trails, city-paths, around-town, whatever your desires. We want you to try and stick with the sport and experience all its benefits. Ask other riders around and you’ll find that they have been riding for sometime and wish they had found the sport earlier. So don’t wait, get into cycling now. You’re future self will thank you.
First Up – Do You Have a Bike Yet?
To get into cycling you first need a bike. What you don’t need however is a high-end, expensive bike which can be a large barrier to entry. Any bike at the start will do just fine. A few things you want to make sure of though is that it is functional and safe to ride. This means that everything works on it; ie. the wheels turn and are true, the gears work, the brakes work, and it’s something that fits you well and is not a struggle to ride. It can be a hybrid bike, mountain bike, or road bike. After starting out and getting a few rides in, you’ll find what you like and don’t like and can begin the process of choosing a more appropriate bike for you.
Do You Have Any Cycling Clothes?
When you first get into cycling, wear what you have. A t-shirt and gym shorts work just fine but as your rides begin to increase in length and frequency you’ll want to upgrade your shorts first to skin tight, padded shorts specific to cycling and then to a cycling jersey. Prior to this, men should try and wear tighter and more supportive athletic underwear to keep things in place. Women will want to wear an athletic type of underwear. For socks you will also want to wear something more athletic and not made of cotton.
How About Cycling Shoes?
Starting out, you can wear sneakers when you ride with platform pedals or pedals with straps to hold your feet in place. This will allow you to be able to focus on the riding and not have to worry about clipping in and out…yet at least.
Starting On Your Own
Depending on how much experience you have on a bike, you will want to start out getting the basics down. Turning, braking effectively, and then shifting. Then graduate to going up and down hills and through corners. Getting the feel for the bike and being able to ride on your own will then allow you to ride safely around other people and in the road and traffic where your attention needs to be on the cars around you and not just riding the bike. Safety is number one.
Finding Someone To Teach You A Thing Or Two
After you can safely and effectively ride, finding someone to ride with who is an experienced rider will help you improve tremendously in all things cycling not to mention give you company to ride with. Maybe someone you already know rides and you can ask them if they can take you on a ride or two. If you don’t know anyone who rides, ask around at your local bike shop or put an email out to your local cycling club, if you have one in your area. If you still can’t find someone, keep improving your riding on your own and with cycling “how-to’s” such as this and then see if you can find a local group ride.
Finding A Local Group To Ride With
With riding in a group you will want to be extremely comfortable on the bike and not have any issues cornering, riding a straight line, shifting, braking, et cetera. Searching online for local rides is a good first option and then hitting up your local bike shop can give you the inside scoop on local rides. Here you will be able to learn a lot from other riders just by watching and doing what they do along with them being able to give you advice on your riding.
How To Improve Your Riding
One thing with getting into riding is that whether you are just starting out or have been riding for decades, there is always something to improve upon. It’s a sport that’s never “learned” and done. Keep riding more and more and you will not only get better physically but in all things cycling related. You will have blunders as you go but you will learn from them and correct them. Reading up on all things cycling will continue to develop your knowledge base. (It’s been said that ILoveBicycling.com has nearly everything you need to know to be a better rider.)
The Most Important Part When You Get Into Cycling?
And of course the most important part when you get into cycling is to have fun. Cycling is going to give you an endless amount of new experiences, new friends, a great body, and a fantastic time all in all for the rest of your life. Embrace it, share it, and enjoy it.