Cycling is fun, ecology-friendly, cost-effective, and it makes you fit and healthy. If you like doing sports in nature, riding a bike is one of your best bets. If you’d rather bet on cycling instead, we warmly recommend this Stan James review. In this article, we give essential tips on how to properly ride a bike, for all of you who are just starting out. Stick to these useful pieces of advice on nutrition, technique, maintenance and more to get the best of your cycling training.
We will assume that you already know how to ride a bike. In case you don’t, there are a lot of cheap courses to help you get going.
In case you don’t have a bike, you can either rent one or buy one. Check out our article on types of bikes to choose the best one for you. Also, when picking a bike, pay attention to its size to avoid discomfort during your ride. Most manufacturers and shops will offer helpful guidance with respect to this. If you work, consider Cycle to Work scheme, it will save you a lot of money. UK Government offers tax exemptions for you to by a new bike via your employer and save up to 42 percent off the cost!
If it’s been a long time since your last bike ride, choose a nice, peaceful park or cycling track to get familiar with riding a bike again. Before you start riding, adjust the handlebar and saddle height. Experiment until you’ve achieved optimal comfort.
What you wear is also important: you will need some comfortable padded shorts, a cotton T-shirt, a helmet, sports eyewear, a backpack where you can put water, snacks, keys, wallet, etc, and you are good to go!
Keeping your bike in good condition is very important, and you should regularly clean and oil your chains. It is also a good idea to buy a floor pump, in case the pressure in your tires is too low. Always check your tire pressure before the ride. When cleaning your bike, you don’t need fancy specialized products: hot soapy water and a sponge will suffice.
When it comes to nutrition, it is crucial to stay hydrated, so make sure to always bring a water bottle with you. Keep in mind that your body needs fuel to keep going. Try to consume around 150-200 calories every 30mins. Dried fruits and nuts, a cereal bar or a banana will do the job.
In addition, it is important to replenish electrolytes by drinking sports drinks to avoid cramps. You can also make your own sports drink by mixing fruit juice, water and a pinch of salt. After the ride, whiz milk and banana in a blender for a perfect recovery drink. Also, the mid-ride coffee stop will significantly improve your performance.
Find some riding buddies: some people like to ride bike alone, but everyone should once in a while try riding with a friend or a biking group. It is a great way to stay motivated and if you join a club you will get plenty of useful advice on how to improve your training from other bikers.
Most importantly, have a great time!