In a recent article on Active.com they went over “9 Tips for Beginner Cyclists.” In this run of getting back to the basics of bicycling articles we have been on recently it is important even for people who have been out there for years to get a recap. Before I post the tips and blatantly steal content from another website I would like to add a few myself.
10. Keep hydrated: This is going to become more important as the weather gets warmer, but always carry a bottle of water with you because passing out from heat stroke is going to make whatever fun ride you planed turn into a ride to the hospital.
11. Wear layered clothing: Especially in this time of the year where the temperature will go up and down by 30 degrees every day it is important to wear clothing that you can take off if you need to and store in a backpack or something. Myself, I carry two pairs of gloves every day. One for the morning when the temperature is below freezing and another for the afternoon when it is up to 60 degrees. Thank you temperate climate.
12. Carry around a flat tire repair kit: Trust me. I know the pain of being [explicative deleted] out of luck on the road when you have a flat. That is why I always carry around tools, a patch kit, and a pump for just such an occasion. It hasn’t happened since thank God, but if it does I will be prepared next time.
Now that I am done with my 2 cents here is the list from Active.com:
“1. Protect your head. Head injuries are the cause of 60 percent of all cycling deaths in the U. S. every year. Many of these deaths could be avoided if everyone wore a helmet while cycling. Always wear a helmet when riding and make sure your kids do as well. Many states have bike helmet laws, but you should always wear one even if you don’t have too.
2. Don’t pedal in high gear for extended periods of time. You want to try and keep your cadence between 70 and 90 rpm’s. When you pedal in a high gear it puts added strain on you knees.
3. Use your gears. When climbing hills shift into a gear that will keep your cadence in the right range of rpm’s so you can make it up the hill without putting undue stress on your knees.
4. Get a proper bike fit. Having your bike set up to fit your body will make riding much easier, more efficient and cause you much less pain and soreness during and after the ride.
5. Get the right saddle. Getting the right saddle will make a huge difference when riding. Don’t think the thickest padding will give you the most comfortable ride. A longer seat with a cutout will generally be the best type of saddle. Read reviews online and find out what others like, then test ride a few.
6. Change position while riding. Move your hands around on the bars, and move your rear end around on the saddle. This will keep your hands, arms and rear from getting numb due to prolonged time in a given position.
7. Don’t ride with headphones on. It can be extremely dangerous if you don’t hear an emergency vehicle or other commotions behind you or off to the side. If you have to have music, get a small clip-on radio with a speaker that you can attach to your jersey.
8. Know the rules. Ride with traffic and obey all road signs. Closely watch all cars in front of you so you can try to anticipate what they are going to do.
9. Keep your head up. Look out in front far enough ahead so you can react to any obstacles in the road or on the shoulder in front of you. Things like storm drain grates are very bad for skinny road bike tires.”