Now that you have memorized all the parts of your bike, it’s time to hop on your bike and start pedaling. Here are a few tips when just starting out:
WEAR A HELMET: Do not hop on your bike without proper protection.
HAVE LIGHTS: Try to ride in the daylight, but if it is necessary for you to ride at night, stay as visible as possible, and do not ride without lights.
CHECK WEATHER CONDITIONS: Do not ride in wet or icy conditions.
FOLLOW TRAFFIC LAWS: Even though you are not in a car, it is important to follow proper traffic laws to keep yourself safe on your bike.
To get better at cycling you must dedicate time in your week to ride. Cycling is a commitment but the benefits you will see are far worth it.
- Do you have a lunch break? Then you have time to ride.
- Do you set your alarm clock only 30 minutes before work? Now set it for and hour, and you have time to ride.
- Do you sit down to watch your favorite TV show? Then you have time to ride.
Give yourself an extra hour or two during the day and see your productivity level shoot up at work, energy level increase while playing with your kids or just feel better about yourself around town as the new toned you.
You can make an excuse, or you can find the time.
When just starting out, don’t overdo it. Start out with 2-3 rides during the week that last about 30-45 minutes. Try to go for a longer ride on the weekend, pushing your endurance. Keep increasing your times and pace, and before you know it, you’ll be keeping up with the pros.
It is very important to stay hydrated before, during, and after a ride, especially for longer rides. Make sure to continually be drinking, even if you do not feel thirsty.
Feeling hungry or low on energy during a ride will slow you down and burn you out? Make sure to eat complex carbs full of protein and fiber about 2.5 hours before a ride.
Going for a ride longer than 2 hours? Make sure to carry gels or energy bars to keep your energy levels up. If you are going on a ride shorter than 2 hours, make sure to keep gels with you just incase, but they are not necessary.
GET THE LINGO:
Cadence? It may be a word that you are familiar with, but it’s meaning is beyond you. Pedal cadence is the revolutions per minute.
An optimal cadence to try to stay between when hoping on your bike is between 88-95+ RPMS. When keeping a higher cadence you will stay light on the pedals, but pedal more. When keeping a lower cadence you will push lighter on the pedals without as much strokes.
Now that you sound like a pro, it’s time to ride like one.
Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better. The only way to improve your climbing shape is to climb. On a shorter climb try to power through it. When doing a longer climb, pace yourself by finding a comfortable gear and rhythm that will help you make it to the top.
It’s time to hop on your bike and join the gear-heads, but remember safety first!