All you need to know about the basic cycling tips for beginners
Whether you are pedaling hard through a race or whistling through the woods on your cycle, you can be sure of being fit and healthy. But many of us are still looking to start and hence the need of cycling tips for beginners. It is no secret that cycling improves your muscle strength and joint mobility and strengthens the bones. It also decreases the body fat and stress in addition to improving body posture and coordination. But enough said about the benefits of cycling. The way I see it, there are a lot of us who wanted to take up cycling but never did so because of xyz reasons – the most common one being “I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START”.
So here’s what we put together- A basic guide on cycling tips for beginners so that all our awesome readers can get started right away!
Get your cycle first!
You don’t have to burn a hole in your pocket and get a top end bicycle. A simple one would do. But make sure that you are very comfortable on your bicycle. Prefer the ones with a gear system because it helps you navigate ups and downs easily. You can also first rent a bike for trial (Delhi folks can check place to rent a bike here). Visit a bicycle store near your place and try out the complete beginner’s guide for cycle purchase
Ask for the details, the pros and cons of each bicycle. Get the height and the braking adjusted properly. The store guys will also be happy to rent you one, so take your time if needed. Make sure they service your bicycle too.
Accessories complement your biking experience and make it smooth. Helmet, knee caps, gloves and seat covers are essential. Find the full list here: 15 must have cycle accessories for riders.
Cycling is a great activity and a greater calorie burner, especially if you are overweight and find it difficult to run. But it is equally important to exercise and improve your core strength. When you cycle, though you exert a lot of force through your legs, it is your abs and lower back that provide the foundation for all the movements! So, practice light abdominal exercises that strengthen your torso.
A mistake beginners frequently do, is to overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can achieve over a couple months. Start slow and slowly ramp it up instead of going straight to the hard-core challenges. Learn how to ride against the wind.
Safety should be your first priority
Stay relaxed while cycling and practice on low traffic areas if you are a complete beginner. Make sure you wear a helmet at all times. Having a light and reflectors is important at night. Don’t forget lubricating the chain and the gears, because failed equipment is the perfect recipe for an accident. We know you already know this but still this is the foremost of the cycling tips for beginners
Practice riding with a single hand. That leaves you with a free hand to signal on the road. Also, try looking over your shoulder on both the sides and increase your traffic visibility. Lastly, always maintain a minimum of 1.5 m distance from the vehicles ahead of you on the roads. Leave an open-door distance when you pass a parked car.
Again, something that most beginners ignore. Do you drink enough water? Does your diet complement your daily calorie expenditure?
Apart from thousand other benefits, water also cools the body’s temperature, supports muscle function and helps transport all the nutrients. When you cycle, there is a lot of perspiration and sufficient water intake is necessary to flush out the toxins. Take electrolytes if you wish to journey for longer durations. Balanced diet with enough carbs and minerals will help you stay energised. Have a banana before riding and maybe also an energy bar. These requirements change if you are cycling for long distances though. This is not just a cycling tips for beginners but for any fitness activity you are doing.
Don’t jump the gun! It’s okay to be excited but take it slow! Too many beginners start by riding 10 km or more but slowly get vexed and stop it altogether. Talk about being disappointed for not reducing weight!
Cycle to college or work if it is not very far off. Make it a habit. Find a cycling group and organise your local meets regularly. You could even take up the challenges on your Fitso App. Later, you can set up a short country side tour if possible! You’ll get to learn a lot and also stay inspired. Here are some stories that we want you to check out: Best day in the saddle- Desert 500 and My Journey: From Amateur Street Biking to Super Randonneur!
Other Health Issues:
Cycling is beneficial to everyone across all age groups. Regular moderate intensity workouts reduce the risk of chronic disease, heart attack and type 2 Diabetes. Even people with joint pains can go ahead and cycle at low intensities. But having said that, it is better if you consult your physician and get your queries addressed on any existing medical problems.
Finally, this was a difficult blog to write because surely a lot could have been covered in detail. But it should really help all those enthusiasts out there who are looking to cover the ground between being a beginner and an intermediate cyclist. A lot more interesting articles coming up and till then make some noise in the comment box below!
Stay happy, stay Fitso!