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What Every New Cyclist Needs to Know

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What Every New Cyclist Needs to Know

Whether the cycling bug is biting you in anticipation of July’s Tour de France, or you’re ready to increase the speed on your casual evening ride, we want you to better understand the sport of cycling so you can be prepared to ride well and get the most out of it.

The Right Gear
If you’re a commuter cyclist, a mountain biker, a speed cyclist, or even a stationary spinner, there is a different bike for each use. Be sure to visit a local bike shop, which is best suited to help you find the right bike for your goals. And just like shoes, you’ll want to try a few on for size to ensure the bike is the right fit for your gender, stature, and usage.

You’ll also need to make sure to have a quality helmet to protect your head from any falls that may occur; many cyclists can attest to the life-or-death difference this small wardrobe addition can make.

A water bottle is key to keep you hydrated, especially on longer, more challenging rides. For longer rides, consider a water backpack, which can be used hands-free and hold up to two liters of water. Of course, spending that much time outside you’ll want to use sunblock with a high SPF and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.

Also, if you live in an urban area where a spacious two- or three-car garage isn’t available for parking your two-wheeled ride, learn how to make your home more bicycle friendly.

The Right Start
If you’re new to cycling, ease in to the sport just like you would any other new fitness challenge. Start with short manageable distances and work your way to longer distances as your endurance, strength, and even confidence increases.

Use an app like MapMyRide, which uses your smart phone’s GPS capabilities to track your ride. At the end of each ride, review your distance, time, the map, and make notes about what worked and what didn’t so you can make the next experience a better one.

Join a local cycling club or group no matter how experienced you are. Being a part of a group with a shared interest can make you more accountable, challenge you more, not to mention make the experience more enjoyable. They can also offer tips and guidance to newcomers, and introduce you to trails and events you might not have otherwise known about.

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24 comments

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1:35AM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

Thanks for this article.

9:24PM PDT on Jul 11, 2011

I'd forgotten about mapmyride, but I guess I forgot about it because I mostly bike on trails. It's a great resource anyway.

3:59PM PDT on Jun 28, 2011

Remember to watch out for the cars,

It is amazing how many cyclists are hit every year.

Just be careful.

3:51AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

Noted with thanks.

4:33PM PDT on Jun 21, 2011

Laurie: I helped an older woman with hip trouble get back onto her bike by giving her massage therapy, once a week for 5 weeks. She was in severe pain, but it turned out a lot of it was due to soft tissue injury (as opposed to bone or ligament). Once the muscle fibers and fascia were back in place, inflammation was down and her range of motion increased, she did much better on the bike. BTW hers was due to an old injury. If the injury to your knee is a soft tissue injury, but is due to an acute (recent) injury, you'll want to wait a bit for the kind of work I did for her. You could look for a massage therapist (injury rehabilitation type, not relaxation/spa type) near you. Good luck with your knees.

12:51PM PDT on Jun 20, 2011

@Laurie if it's that troublesome you should definitely speak with your doctor and/or a physical therapist. They'll likely recommend a brace and/or a fitted bike. Good luck!

11:07AM PDT on Jun 20, 2011

thanks

10:18AM PDT on Jun 20, 2011

Sadly walking seems to be all my very old and mangled knees can take. Any suggestions to protect knees and STILL bike without pain?

10:48PM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

Thanks for the bike!

10:48PM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

Thanks for the bike!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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