Cycling Tips: Advice for Beginner Riders
Updated: May 18
If you are new to the world of biking, then you’ll find the following cycling tips to be helpful as you get started.
Over the last two years, cycling has had a major comeback. It is reported that between 15 and 20 million bikes are sold every year in the United States. This means there are probably a lot of novice riders needing some advice from more advanced cyclists.
If you are just getting started and aren’t terribly familiar with the sport, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed, but don’t worry! We’re here to help you out. Regardless of the hobby or sport, most beginners could use some insider tips and tricks.
Continue reading to learn more so you can get comfortable in the saddle.
7 Cycling Tips for Beginners
If you want to level up your sport, here are some tips that will help:
Make Necessary Adjustments Before Your Ride — To make your bike ride as smooth as possible, be sure to make all adjustments before hitting the road. One of the first things to do is ensure your tires have the correct amount of pressure. If you have questions about the “right” pressure, you should be able to find that information on the sidewall of your tires. Making necessary adjustments before your ride also includes getting your saddle and handlebars adjusted and in the correct positions. Remember, cycling shouldn’t be chronically painful. So, if you find yourself with a continuing backache or are experiencing any other type of pain, pop into your local bike shop for help adjusting your position.
Dress for the Weather — Since you’re new to cycling, you may have never heard the old cycling adage that goes something like, “There’s so such thing as the wrong weather, only wrong clothes.” And, for the most part, it’s true! It doesn’t matter what the weather is; if you’re dedicated, you can cycle! Just remember that weather can change quickly, so the sooner you can master the art of layering, the better! Allow yourself to adjust as the elements change to stay as comfortable as possible. By the same token, you’ll want to wear a good pair of padded gloves or mitts since your hands can take a beating on your rides.
Always Bring Sustenance — Don’t let dehydration or a complete energy depletion slow you down on your ride. Always bring along fluids, like water or electrolyte drinks, and some snacks, such as a banana or protein bars, for the road. Refueling your body as necessary can help you avoid cramps and other mid-ride issues while maximizing the benefits of your workout. Remember that you, the cyclist, are the thing that keeps the bike moving, and you don’t want to find yourself out of fuel!
Wear the Padded Shorts — We know— padded shorts are a look, to say the least. But a good pair can really make a difference in terms of comfort for your posterior for your first few (or more) rides. You’ll be able to build up your tolerance as time and distance pass. Don’t worry about finding an overly padded saddle since the shorts will do the trick. Plus, they’re a lot easier to wash than a bike seat. Moreover, you may want to skip on wearing underwear underneath your padded shorts since they could rub and cause saddle sores.
Take Lights and a Lock — Even your plan is only to be gone for an hour or two in the early afternoon, you should always bring your lights and a lock. Stranger things have happened, and delays for one reason or another are not uncommon. You don’t want to find yourself riding after dusk without a set of lights for your bike. Similarly, carrying a lock can come in handy for those unplanned cafe visits or corner shop stops. Remember that your bike is not safe if it is not locked, even if it is unattended for just a minute.
Pack Spares, Tools and Cash — Packing a spare inner tube and several choice tools in a saddlebag or saddle several choice tools will allow you to handle common mid-ride issues easily. A multi-tool featuring a variety of bits will typically be enough to address most mechanical components. A chain tool will allow you to put a broken chain back together. And, of course, you’ll need a puncture repair kit, some tire levers, a spare inner tube, and a mini-pump. It could be a good use of your time to practice fixing a puncture or flat; you’ll be glad you did! You may also find it wise to keep some emergency cash or a card on hand.
Work Your Way Up — Confidence on your bike does not come after your first ride. To be honest, it’ll probably take several rides to start feeling confident. A great, low-profile place to start building your confidence on your bike is not on the road but at a park or a traffic-free trail. Moreover, as you start, you probably won’t be ready to cover a lot of ground, so aim for three to five miles and build up your distance so that you don’t overexert yourself. Starting small and slow is the best and most effective way to increase your strength and confidence.
Sign Up for the Saints to Sinners Relay Race Today!
By implementing these cycling tips, you can get ready for the Saints to Sinners Bike Relay this summer. Like you, we are dedicated to improving our skills and health while helping out a good cause. All proceeds go to fight against ALS, and we’re showing ALS that it cannot win and are fighting back!
This race starts in the magnificent mountains of Salt Lake City and ends in the dry desert heat of Las Vegas. Registration is now open! Enter the code ‘Early_10’ to receive 10% off your team registration if you sign up before April 30th. Grab your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to support a good cause and join the fun! Contact us today to learn more.