Cycling has become a new normal for people around the world. Whether due to a fitness-related resolution made at the start of the year or to kill boredom, the trend is peaking these days. Learning cycling brings countless adventures, but it is also true that it can be very overwhelming in the beginning. It comes with the requirement of learning so many road rules. However, as if these rules are not enough, there are a lot of unwritten rules too.
But if you expect us to say that you overlook the rules, forget it. Instead, we intend to make this process easier, helping you stay safe and comfortable and enjoy cycling even if you are a beginner.
Here are some tips for making riding less stressful and overwhelming and more fun-filled activity.
Table of Contents
1. Arrange proper headgear
Injuries are common when learning cycling. Often head injuries due to cycling are so severe that they can cause death. Therefore, it is essential that you properly arrange headgear. Wearing a helmet during cycling can provide the required safety and prevent fatal head injuries. Initially, the helmet might seem to impede your head’s free movement, but as you continue to use the helmet, you will get used to it.
Many states have bike helmet laws, but even if your state does not, you should wear a helmet for your own safety.
2. Choose the right type of bike
Choosing the right bike is also very important to enhance the fun element of this activity. If you like biking in the mountains or going off-road, you should buy a mountain bike. Read through this guide on the different types of mountain bikes to select the most appropriate type of bike.
Choosing the wrong bike not only makes you uncomfortable and decreases fun but also increases the chances of accidents. For instance, not every bike can pass through the troughs and crusts of a mountainous trail. Similarly, there might not be any need to invest in a mountain bike if you only intend to use it on plain roads.
3. Adjust the seat height level
Adjusting the right height of your seat is essential. Keeping your seat at a lower height is a common mistake that most beginner cyclists make. It is because they feel that a lower movement will make them more comfortable and in control by allowing them to touch their feet to the ground. But a lower height can increase pain in the knee. It also makes your pedaling movement underpowered.
The right height is when your knee is slightly bent and not too bent at your pedal stroke’s bottom. If you are training with a professional trainer, ask them to help set your height at the right level.
4. Get your reach right
The other factor that enhances your comfort when riding a bicycle is your reach. It is the angle between your hand and the torso over the bicycle. You have the right reach when the angle between your arm and torso is 45 degrees.
If the bike frame is too long, you will stretch your body more to reach the handlebar, making your back sore. If the frame is too short, your knees will get closer to your arms. Your knees and arms will constantly brush each other, impeding the rhythmic movements during cycling.
Therefore, when buying a bike, have a few tests rides on it to check how you feel while riding on it. Check the frame size and see if it suits your height and build.
5. Don’t overthink the cycling gear
Some people invest much energy into thinking about less important stuff when they start riding a bike. One of those concerns is the right cycling gear.
Undoubtedly, wearing the right gear for cycling is important, but more important is to get out there, face your hesitations and fear and take the first step. Worrying about perfecting your gear should come at a later stage when you have already had some practice on the bike. Apart from the essential stuff such as a helmet and a bike, other stuff can take a backseat at the beginning of your bike learning journey.
6. Don’t forget about your bike’s maintenance
You don’t need to be proficient in cycling to know that maintaining your bike is essential. Service the bike regularly and oil the chain to keep it working smoothly. Servicing your bike regularly will save you a lot of money at the bike repair shop.
Also, ensure there is enough air in the bike’s tires because it makes your ride smoother and prevents accidents and injuries. You should also be familiar with easy bike repairs that you can do at home or when the bike breaks down in the middle of the road.
7. Don’t try to overdo too soon
One of the causes of injuries in beginner cyclists is trying to do too much too soon. It is important to watch your pace when you begin to learn to cycle.
You have to go slow, build up your stamina, and have control over the bike before trying to travel long distances.
8. Learn the braking basics
You can easily gain speed if you know how to control your bike and keep it balanced. If you can keep it steady at a minimal speed, riding it at a higher pace becomes easy.
Learning about brakes plays an important role in helping you in balancing the bike. You have to have a firm grip on the brakes, and remember that the front brakes are more powerful when it comes to stopping the bike than the rear brakes. So, using front brakes with force can stop you with so much force that you risk going over the handlebars.
Learning to ride is one of the most exciting experiences. But if you are not familiar with basic safety and riding tips, you often risk getting injured or ruining your bike. The tips mentioned above can help keep you and your bike safe and increase the fun part of the whole bike riding exercise.