A guest post by Angelina Foster at Cycle Stuff Direct.
CYCLING IS LOVED BY MANY PEOPLE AROUND THE GLOBE and it’s not just for young people. Some of the most passionate cyclists are middle aged, so if you’ve been thinking about it, it’s not too late to start! It can be daunting knowing where to begin, so we have provided a rough guide for all who are about to explore this wonderful sport.
If you’re starting out in cycling, buying a bicycle can definitely be confusing as there are different types of bikes and many manufacturers to choose from. Road bikes, hybrids and mountain bikes are the most popular. Visit a specialist bike shop that can advise you on the correct frame size and help you pick the best bike to suit the kind of riding you will be doing.
For short journeys any working bike will be fine, but if you’re picking up a second-hand bike, it’s advisable to get it serviced at a bike shop to make sure that it’s safe and in good working order. If you’ve already got a bike, congratulations – you’re already half way there!
It may be tempting to buy all the latest bike accessories and clothing gear when taking up your new hobby, but here are the things you’ll really need:
Helmet – Helmet shapes and styles vary from manufacturer to manufacturer so try on a range of helmets until you find one that feels comfortable. We would advise buying a good quality one, because even though it’s not a legal requirement, a good helmet can protect you from serious head injury.
Clothing – You can wear almost anything you like when cycling (we recommend fabrics that dry quickly), but bright, reflective clothing is always a good choice. If you had to pick one item of clothing may we suggest a decent waterproof, breathable jacket.
Other helpful things to add to the list are lights, a quality lock, a patch kit and a pump!
Start in a traffic-free area like a park to get comfortable with your new bike. Practice looking over your shoulders to improve your visual awareness; and riding single-handed while you make hand signals. Next try cycling around your local area where the roads are quiet. You should be feeling more confident now! Take it slowly and increase your rides gradually.
Make cycling a habit by getting on your bike regularly, whether it’s commuting, shopping or dropping your kids off to school. You could even join a like-minded cycling group to help you stay motivated. Bike rides can boost your mood and keep your weight under control. Above all, have fun!