Is the open road calling your name? Does the thought of taking it all in on two wheels sound like just the ticket? If you’re thinking about taking up cycling, then you will want to check out tips below to help make your rides safe and comfortable.
Purchase the Right Bike
One of the most important things you can do is purchasing the right bike for you. While there are several options and features to consider, one of the most important is to make sure it is properly set for your height. This will make riding much easier and help reduce the amount of stress on your joints. Another item to consider when purchasing a bike is selecting the saddle. A seat with thick padding may not necessarily provide the most comfort. You may want to go with a bike that offers a longer seat that features a cutout. Do your research and test out a few bikes to find the right one for you.
Helmets Are Essential
Head injuries account for approximately 60% of cycling deaths in the country each year, so wearing a helmet could be lifesaving. Your state may even require helmets while cycling. While wearing a helmet is essential in itself, it’s also important that you choose the right helmet. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this article for more information on what to look for including function, fit and style.
Get a Bike Rack
After conquering your favorite cycling trails, meticulously loading your bikes to avoid damage to the bike & the vehicle is the last thing anyone wants to do. The best solution is to get a bike rack that does it all without the hassle. The Advantage SportsRack glideAWAY2 deluxe four bike carrier is your answer. Its design allows for the bikes to remain on the rack while loading and unloading the rear of your vehicle.
Use Those Gears Wisely
As a beginning cyclist, you want to aim for a rhythm of 70-90 RPM’s as continually pedaling at a high gear will put strain on your knees. You also want to put your bike in the appropriate gear when going uphill to avoid additional strain. Take some time to learn the ins and outs of proper gear use and you’ll be on your way.
Avoid Using Headphones
As much as music can be a great motivator for any physical activity, it is not advisable to wear headphones while cycling. It reduces your chances of hearing a horn from other motorists or emergency vehicle sirens. If you really enjoy riding with music, you can purchase a radio that clips onto your shirt. If you’re looking for additional methods of communication while riding, you may want to consider purchasing a hands-free communication system so that you can connect safely with other riders in your group.
Know How to Fix a Tire
No one wants to end up stranded with a flat tire, especially in a remote area. Learn how to fix a puncture in your tire and make sure you have the right tools with you whenever you ride. Some essential items to include in your bike repair kit are a spare tube and patch kit, tire levers, a bike pump and multi-tool.
Learn the Basics of Biking
As a beginner, you may not know some basic cycling techniques. Some helpful tips include the following:
- Front brakes are the most effective at stopping. Apply pressure lightly at the rear of the brake.
- When going uphill, keep up a steady pace of pedaling and stand up as you pedal to increase comfort.
- As you go into a curve, you will want to slow down before you hit the curve, so you will not need to brake in it. Use your inside knee to put pressure on the outside to help maintain your balance through the turn.
Stay Hydrated and Fed
Make sure you bring water along for the ride to stay hydrated. You should also bring snacks if you will be biking for more than 90 minutes. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, some top recommended snacks include bananas, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, trail mix and energy bars.
Be sure to check out our NEW Advantage SportsRack BedRack Elite for all your bike storage needs!