Are you interested in cycling but aren’t sure where to begin? If you’re thinking about taking up cycling but you’re just a beginner with no experience, it can seem intimidating at first. When you first look at it – cycling seems so easy, especially since nearly everyone knows how to ride a bike. However, there’s much more to it than simply being able to ride a bike – you have to take a different approach and be thorough in your preparations. If you’re not sure where and how to begin training as a complete beginner, we’re here to help you with this simple guide:
While it might seem like a given, finding motivation is actually very difficult to do. While your initial enthusiasm might seem like a powerful force pushing you forward, you will very quickly see that it’s far from enough. Cycling training is not for the faint of heart and you should know that it’s far from easy and definitely not as simple as it might seem from the outside. That being said, if you’ve set your mind to it, you will likely only need a gentle push here and there to stay on track. Great ways to stay motivated is to monitor your progress closely, write a journal with your goals, and have a vision board you can look at while you’re working or doing something else.
Look into different bikes
Of course, it’s virtually impossible to start cycling without an actual bike, so one of your first steps should be a thorough research on different kinds of bikes so that you know what will be best for you. You might think that all bikes are created equal, but it’s not the case. You are going to need something that can take you from one place to another, but we’re not talking about your neighborhood – we’re talking real distances here. Bikes suitable for the road are the best choice for beginners because they are lightweight and have narrow tires. These things are perfect for paved bike roads as well as busy city streets.
Similarly to picking a pair of running shoes, you’ll have to size your future bike, and there are many to choose from. Just remember that when you’re standing over the top tube, you’re going to need at least an inch of space between your body and the bike frame.
Know your budget and riding style
When picking the right bike for you, you need to be aware of your riding style as well as your budget. You don’t want to spend a fortune on a bike that’s suited for outdoor rides only to ride it in the city, and vice versa. If you’re planning on riding your bike casually on the weekends, you don’t need anything too expensive that’s made for mountain paths. On the other hand, if you’re planning on going on some long-distance rides in the future, it might be a good idea to get a quality bike right at the start. If, however, you are not exactly sure where to get one, remember that you can always find quality online bikes for sale so that you don’t have to spend a fortune on it.
It’s important to be honest with yourself and understand how you are going to use the bike not just right now, but in the future too.
Get the accessories
After you’ve found and acquired your perfect bike, it’s time to think about getting some accessories. The first thing you have to think about is whether you’ll need protection while cycling. It doesn’t matter where you’re planning to go cycling, you should consider getting a helmet. Even though it’s not exactly a legal requirement like it is for kids, having one and wearing it can make a difference between a nasty fall and a fatal one, and you don’t want to take those chances. Also, having some tools and basic repair equipment in your backpack will help you tremendously. When you have a minor break and you realize that you can easily fix it on your own, it’s a huge relief. A portable pump is always a great idea since you never know when you’re going to get a flat.
Work on your routine
Realistically speaking, your first rides are probably going to be tough because it will take your body some time to adjust. A totally new activity is incredibly draining and sometimes difficult to get used to. Still, if you decide to stick to it even though it’s hard, you will quickly see some real progress happening. You have to be realistic and build your routine up very slowly. You don’t want to start off too ambitious and with grand plans only to give up after a couple of weeks because it’s too much for you. Work on your routine slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. It is the only way to achieve progress and get good results.
Change your habits
Start eating a healthier diet because you’re going to need more energy. No matter what kind of workout you’re thinking about, training for a marathon or working on some shorter distances, proper hydration and good nutrition are essential. Your high intensity training is going to require you to eat extra carbs, so don’t be afraid to get some pasta and pizza every now and then, but try not to make these your regular meals, plenty of lean meats and loads of water are also a necessity for workouts. When you’re riding your bike outdoors, you should also carry protein bars and other healthy snacks with you. Also, drinking coffee in the morning will give you an additional boost so that you can feel energized and power through your workouts with ease.
Stay safe out there
While we’ve already discussed the importance of wearing a helmet, we also have to point out other safety measures you should have in place. High-visibility clothes are a must, especially if you’re cycling after dark. Wearing layers is also a great idea because you don’t want to dress too warmly only to sweat a lot, but you also don’t want to freeze after your workouts either. Don’t forget that we’re in the middle of a global pandemic too, so a mask over your mouth and nose will protect your throat from cold air, but it will also protect you from the virus. Make sure that your bike lights are fully functional and always have enough battery power to work properly.
Every beginning is difficult, and cycling is no exception. Still, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be too much for you, especially if you take things slow and prepare a good training schedule. While it might take some time to get in shape and feel confident in your abilities, once you start pedaling, it’s going to be hard not to like it. You will probably look into different cycling routes and likely meet loads of new people who share this passion. After all, a shared interest is something that easily and quickly brings people together.