Cycling is one of the most fun and relaxing sports in the world. You can cycle with friends and make memories on amazing trails or take your entire family for a bike ride. If you’re looking to get healthier, then you can also challenge yourself to regular bike rides on your own.
Whatever your plan might be as a budding cyclists, it’s important to make sure that you know how to protect yourself, and the people around you when you’re on the road. Here are some top tips for cyclists who want to spend more time on their bikes.
1. Don’t Underestimate the Right Equipment
Obviously, the most important piece of equipment that you’ll need as a cyclist is your bike. Buying a new bike is a complicated process, which requires you to explore your options carefully. For instance, you’ll need to decide what kind of bike you need. A road bike might be excellent for someone who just wants to tackle their daily commute. However, if you’re looking for something that you can ride on a range of terrains, then you may need a mountain bike.
Aside from choosing the correct style of bike, you’ll also need to ensure that the sizing is right. There are plenty of charts that can help you online. However, few things are more beneficial when choosing a bike than trying different options out for yourself.
2. Know Your Accessories
Once you’ve dealt with the process of buying your bike, there are a few other things you’re going to need to feel comfortable on the road. For instance, you might want to switch the standard saddle that comes with your bike to something more comfortable. A longer seat with a cutout can be more comfortable than something with a lot of padding.
Another accessory that you’ll need to think about is your helmet. Head injuries are a major concern for a lot of bikers, and it’s important not to forget that falling off your bike can cause a lot of damage. Make sure that you have a helmet that fits before you go out on the roads.
3. Learn to Use Gears and Positions
As a cyclist, you’ll quickly learn that there’s more to mastering your sport than maintaining a consistent speed for several hours at a time. You also need to learn how to use your gears properly for climbing hills. This will help to reduce the stress on your knees, and your bike.
It’s also useful to know how to change position when you’re riding. Moving your hands around on the bar and lifting and changing the position of your bottom on the saddle will help to keep you properly balanced while you ride. It’s also helpful to schedule plenty of breaks into your biking trips, so you can make sure that your arms, legs, and bottom don’t go numb.
4. Know the Rules (and Unwritten Guidelines)
Make sure that you know the rules of the road wherever you’re going to be riding your bike. This means keeping your head up, so you can focus on what’s going on in front of you. It’s also critical to pay attention to the traffic around you, and make sure that you’re obeying road signs correctly. If you’re riding alongside cars, make sure that you watch them closely and let them know what you’re planning on doing. This includes always indicating before you turn a corner.
Keep unwritten guidelines for safety in mind too. For instance, you should never ride with headphones on. You need all your senses to be fully aware of the traffic and the roads around you. Riding with headphones can make it difficult to know when someone is trying to get your attention from a blind-spot in your vision.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
Finally, when you’re taking your bicycle out for a spin, don’t be surprised if you don’t have the same stamina that you used to have as a child. You might need to commit to some extra workouts to build up your strength, and take regular breaks so that you can avoid wearing yourself out too quickly. The good news is that the more you practice on your bike, the more comfortable and confident you’re going to feel.
Remember to go on your bike rides properly prepared. This means having a bottle of water with you to stay hydrated, and a phone that you can use to call for help if you have any issues.