Since taking up cycling in the summer I have learnt what all novices should know…
Here are my 6 top tips for cycling:
- A decent bike makes all the difference.
I am not telling you to go out and buy the best bike because it’ll make you faster than Bradley Wiggins. What I am saying is spend some money on a decent aluminium/carbon framed bike if you want to get serious. I started off with a steel bike that didn’t fit properly, and I hated every minute of it. Now I have a Trek Émonda ALR 5. It rides like a dream. I Highly recommend it.
- Get a bike fit.
If you have spent a small fortune on a bike, then its worth spending a little more to get a bike fit. It will help you ride more efficiently whilst keeping you in a relaxed comfortable position. Plus you won’t look like a wolly to fellow bike goers. Whilst the fit is being done you’ll have no idea what’s going on but it will be worth it, trust me.
- Get pedal cleats and shoes.
This will make a huge difference on the hills. When I first started, I only had normal trainers and pedals. My feet slipped and made cycling ten times harder. NOTE OF WARNING… Please, please practice unclipping and clipping your feet in before you go out on your bike. Just yesterday, I fell for my third time and made a fool of myself in the middle of town. I was at traffic lights and I left it too late to unclip my feet, so I fell flat on the floor in front of a large crowd. Hopefully no one I know saw me, but I’m still waiting for that text… I’ll let you know when I’ve found my dignity.
- The wind is just the worst.
I have been cycling in all types of weather now and wind is by far the worst! I have ended up dropping to a ridiculous gear and still struggling. The wind never seems to be behind you even though you do a loop. I swear once you get half way God thinks ‘arghhh, I will make him suffer now’, and by some freak of nature the wind swaps direction. There I am struggling once again.
- Cycling community.
Every cyclist I have cycled past or crossed paths with, have always been so chatty and smiley. Its great! Everyone is always very friendly. You’ve got to love the classic “cycle nod” to your fellow cyclists when you pass each other!!!
- People who cycle well, tearoom well.
There is nothing better than stopping half way round a cycle route and refuelling with tea and cake. The only problem is that you don’t want to leave once you’re there, especially at the moment because it’s so cold and dark. When it’s a cold windy day it’s the tea and cake that keeps me going! Let me know if you recommend any in the Yorkshire area!