As fuel prices continue to rise following a series of global economic events, there really is no better time to take up cycling than now. Not only is it eco-friendly in a way, it is also a surefire method to keeping fit for less.
After all, riding a bike provides a whole slew of health benefits. The United Kingdom’s National Health Service, for one, recommends the activity as a less costly way to stay in shape. It also points out that cycling for at least 150 minutes a week can prevent cardiovascular diseases and other such conditions.
Indeed, cycling can become a part of your routine the moment you decide on giving it a go. If it’s your first time to include cycling in your fitness regimen, here are just some of the best tips you can apply as a newbie.
Choose the Right Bike
If you want to be a serious rider, then you will have to make the right decisions when it comes right down to choosing a bike. This starts with getting know the type of rider you want to be. Will you ride on off-road courses or urban freeways? Extreme riders will specifically choose a mountain bike that lets them cruise through dense forests seamlessly. If you are more comfortable riding around the city, then a touring bike will be appropriate. Still unsure? You can always get a hybrid bike to achieve utmost comfort and efficiency across the board.
Have the Right Cycling Gear
To be a serious rider, you don’t have to invest a great deal on helmets, kneepads and other safety equipment and accessories. However, quality is still important as it ensures that you get the most out of your cycling experience. For helmets, choose one that offers a good balance between comfort and protection. A helmet should be the right fit for you and should be made from robust materials such as Koroyd. Ultimately you want to protect your head as much as possible, but an uncomfortable helmet can be distracting so balance is key here.
Once safety is taken care of, clothing and proper footwear is key. As much as you want to reach point B, you will have to get there without the slightest bit of discomfort. With that being said, getting dressed up in comfortable gear should be a priority. Choose breathable fabrics that you can wear in any condition. For more information on the best cycling apparel for your money, you can visit Danny Shane so you can make the right choices.
Start With Small Rides and Work Your Way Up
Once you have set yourself up for your “new life” as a cyclist, you will be very eager to try your skills on freshly paved roads.
But don’t go there just yet. Being new to the activity, you will have to be familiar with your city’s biking culture. This would mean knowing which streets have bicycle lanes and pinpointing bicycle facilities such as racks and special infrastructure. Also, learn ordinances and rules governing cyclists. Responsible biking is best biking!
Once you get more comfortable with short trips, work your way up to day-long cycling tours, and eventually long distance bike trips. If you try to do too much too quickly then that's just a recipe for pain, frustration, and disappointment.
Connect with the Cycling Community
The most important part of being a cyclist is not so much the activity itself. The opportunity to make friends is also an experience you can cherish as a biker. With that being said, try to connect with your community by participating in regular events, conferences, conventions, or meetups at your favorite cafes. Some of our favorite online communities include CyclingForum and Cycling Touring Community. Both sites provide great resources for cyclists of all abilities as well as listing bike tours and local events where you can connect with others that enjoy the hobby too.