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16 Cycling Tips for Beginners

16 Cycling Tips for Beginners

Cycling is a great hobby, and it’s also one of the best ways to get in shape. There are many benefits to cycling, including improved cardiovascular health, decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes, weight loss potential from increased calorie burn during exercise, and more! It can be an intimidating sport for beginners – but we’re here with some beginner’s cycling tips that will help you make your first bike ride easy.

Purchase a bike that fits your body

You need to purchase a bicycle before you can start learning how to ride it, right?  It can be a daunting task for first-time buyers, but it doesn’t have to be. The best way to find the right bike is by visiting your local bike shop and getting help from an expert there.

The size of the frame will determine how easily you’ll be able to controls the handlebars without difficulty. When looking at frames, think about where they are made (China usually means lower quality). Ask questions like

  • “What kind of gears does this bicycle have?”
  • “How long this bike is going to last?”

It doesn’t matter how amazing a bicycle looks if it isn’t stable and sturdy.  Always check the frame for cracks and that it’s not bent when you test ride the bike. The handlebars should be in a comfortable position, as well.

Ride on the right side of the road

Ride on the right side of the road or on the left side depending on the traffic law of your country. As a cyclist you should ride on the right side of the road if you are living in the United States. This is because when cars are coming towards you from behind and trying to turn left they will need enough room for both themselves and their vehicle. If you’re riding in front of them than that’s less space available for whoever is turning left so it can be unsafe as well as difficult for drivers to squeeze by without knocking into your bike or putting someone at risk.

Be aware of cars when riding your bike near them 

Be aware of cars when riding your bike near them. Cars are larger and often move faster than bikes. When riding near cars make sure that your bike is positioned to the right side of a lane or road so they have enough space to pass by without risking colliding into you. This also helps them avoid blocking traffic coming from behind as well.

When cycling in congested areas like city centers it becomes even more important for cyclists to be aware of cars around them because there will be much less room available. This means that when approaching intersections with lots of stop signs, lights and lanes, cyclists should always wait until drivers have come to a complete halt.

Follow all traffic signs and signals

Follow all traffic signs because this is a common sense right?  Yes, but many people may forget this when they are cycling. For instance, if you’re approaching a stop sign and there’s no cars coming from the other direction (you can’t see any) then it is safe to move forward without stopping in order to keep up momentum for continuing on your way. However, if there are vehicles at the intersection waiting, then you must stop behind them before crossing over.

Ride during daylight hours

Always try to ride during daylight hours if possible. This is because it’s safer to ride in the light, and also there will be less cyclists on the road during this time so you’ll have more space to bike safely without any conflicts with other bikers or vehicles.

 Take special care when crossing railroad tracks

Be careful while crossing the railroad tracks. You have to be extra careful because it is not always clear where the tracks are. Follow these steps:

  • Scan ahead of you or look both ways before crossing the railroad track
  • Cross one at a time, never cross with two people (this increases your risk)
  • Even if there are no trains coming, still wait until they’ve passed

Use hand signals

Always use hand signals while riding a bicycle because that is the law. You need to use hand signals to make people aware of the turns that you are about to take.

  • Left turn: Extend left arm straight out from body
  • Right Turn: Extend right arm straight out from body
  • Stop/Slow Down: Extend your arms in a cross (x) shape at about shoulder height and move them back and forth in an alternating motion (usually done by extending each arm outward first then crossing it across the other)

 Keep both hands on handlebars

Always keep both hands on handlebars when riding. You will be in control over your bicycle with both hands on the handlebars, so you should never let go to eat a snack or take pictures with your other hand.

 Stay alert

Stay alert while riding a bicycle. You are most vulnerable to car when you are going straight as cars can come from either direction.

  • Stay on the right side of the road as much as possible so that drivers see you more easily but also keep in mind cyclists may be coming at you from other directions.
  • Stay alert by watching for pedestrians, blind spots (such as near bus stops), and hazards such as puddles or rocks. Make sure people have seen your signal if you plan to turn out into a crosswalk or intersection where vehicles might not expect it.

 Avoid distractions

Don’t be distracted while riding a bicycle. Don’t text or use mobile while cycling.  You should be aware of your surroundings at all times to avoid hazards.

It’s also important not to talk on the phone while cycling because it can distract you from other possible dangers in the road.

You may want to look into getting a wireless headset or Bluetooth earpiece that is safe for use when riding bicycles if this is an issue for you.

 Always wear a bicycle helmet

Never ride a bicycle without wearing a helmet at the first place. It’s important to get in the habit of wearing your bike helmet before every ride! It can save your life someday.

The helmet should be the right size and not too tight. You don’t want to get a headache after wearing it for a while! The helmet should be made from hard plastic or foam. If you’re looking for a helmet that will be really strong and last a long time, then choose one made from carbon fiber.

 Know how to change a flat tire

Every cyclist should know how to change a flat tire.  You never know when you’ll need to do it. There are many ways that you can change a flat tire, but here is the simplest way:

  • Remove your bicycle’s front wheel
  • Pop off the inner tube
  • Put on a new one and add air as needed.
  • Put back in its former position and you are done

 Understand how brakes work

A basic understanding of the brake system on your bike will come in handy when you need to stop quickly. There are two main types of brakes: rim brakes and disc brakes. Rim brake systems use friction pads that rub against the wheel’s rims, which slows or stops the bicycle. Disc brake systems press a metal pad onto a rotating disc; this slows down or completely halts the rotation of the disc with great force.

When it comes to braking power, there is no clear winner between these two methods because both have their pros and cons (e.g., rim brakes wear out more quickly).

Rim Brakes:

When using them correctly, rim brakes can provide high-speed stopping power but they require knowledge otherwise, it might lead to accident.

Rim brakes work best on dry and clean rims, which can reduce stopping power.

Disc Brakes:

With disc brake systems the pads don’t have to touch the rim for them to stop rotation; they do not wear out as quickly but are more difficult to service.

The disadvantages of Disc Brake Systems are that air in tires may cause loss of braking ability and when applied incorrectly it may lead to accidents or injury.

 Learn about cycling laws in your area

Cycling laws are different in each country and sometimes even within a particular state or province, so make sure to find out what the legal rules are before you get started with cycling. You can easily look up your local law on the internet by searching for “cycling law.”

 Learn basic first aid for injuries

Every cyclist needs to have a basic understanding of first aid. Accidents happen and it’s always good to be prepared for the unexpected or the worse.

In addition, if you are someone who needs regular medical attention (e.g., diabetes), make sure that your family members or biking buddies are aware of this so they can provide your medication should anything happen while cycling.

Lastly, cyclists need to have a basic understanding of their body like – what symptoms may indicate an emergency situation such as heart attack or stroke – which both require immediate treatment by medical professionals

It will take some time but eventually most beginners get the hang of things and start feeling comfortable on a bike! Be patient with yourself and don’t give up too soon.

Consider Using Lights and Reflectors

Don’t forget to use reflector lights on your cycle otherwise it will be hard for motorists to see you at night. If it’s too cold for lights, then just make sure your are wearing a vest or jacket with reflectors attached on the back so that cars can see you from behind.

 Join Local Clubs

Find a local cycling club and take a membership.  Not only will you have a place to train with other cyclists, but you’ll also gain access to bike techs who can help answer your questions and make sure that your equipment is functioning properly.

 Attend Group Rides

Tired of riding solo.  Find a group of cyclists who go on similar routes as you and join them. Not only will it be fun to ride with other people, but they’ll also give you pointers about the best cycling routes in your area or maybe even teach you some new tricks that can make riding more enjoyable!

Last modified: May 21, 2021
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