New to cycling? It’s daunting, eh? The clipless pedals, the speed, the traffic, trying to drink while cycling, flat tyres. Don’t worry, with time comes a greater level of comfort and soon it will be second nature to you. You can be as good at these elements as the pros on the Tour de France!
Here are seven tips and skills to kickstart your new cycling career:
1) Two bottle cages for longer rides: Keep hydrated or you may “bonk” and there’s nothing worse than bonking when you’re 50 miles from home!
2) Eating: can be tough as you grapple with wrappers. Prep in advance and pre-open your snacks so you can keep one hand on the handlebars at all times and avoid any jittery, wobbly handle bars!
3) Practice repairing a flat and carry a repair kit. You don’t want to suffer a flat tire in the middle of nowhere and have no idea how to fix it. Practice it before you encounter it! Remember the 7 P’s of Planning?
4) Pump your tires: don’t over-inflate or they might burst. Don’t forget to pump them so you are not cycling on flat tires and working harder than you need to. Pump them in the morning as you head out, as air escapes overnight.
5) Descending at speed: look ahead and anticipate obstacles and turns. Tap the brakes continuously rather than holding them down. When turning put plenty of weight on your outside pedal (if turning left, weight goes on right foot).
6) Helmet: make sure it fits and get a model you like and can trust. This will give you confidence. Check it regularly as they degrade over time.
7) Get a bike fit: you will be more comfortable physically on the bike and be able to ride longer as well as reach the brakes easier.