If you want to cycle around and have fun, you should know some things before you buy a bicycle and take off. There are more things you need than just a bicycle if you want to get out in traffic, especially. Cycling is a great sport and will help you develop both muscles and endurance, while at the same time enabling you to move around pretty quickly.
Here are some things to have in mind before you take up cycling.
Type of Bicycle – Do not get the Wrong One
Cycling has many subtypes like mountain biking, road bikes, commuter bikes, BMX/Urban bikes. Getting the wrong one could be a costly mistake, both financially and health-wise. You should know where you plan on cycling before you buy your machine of choice.
If you’re mainly planning on going through a city, then a commuter or a city bike is the best choice. If you plan on doing longer routes and going fast, a road bike is a good choice. A mountain bike is essential if you plan on heading off road. Getting an electric bike to help you with steep climbs is a great idea if you’re up in a hilly area.
The Necessary Accessories
If you want to cycle around town or in traffic, or even off road, you should know that without some accessories, you are not really safe. You should have a helmet, most countries have a law requiring you to have one. It is recommended, even if not required by law, as falling off a bicycle is very easy, believe it or not.
Getting proper lights and reflective surfaces is required, mostly because you need to signal the other drivers, rather than to use it as a lamp. Riding at night and off road is a different beast which requires serious weapons, in other terms, a very, very bright flashlight.
A detachable bike pump is necessary as you can blow an inner tube as quickly as you can say, pavement. Likewise, you should have a spare strapped to your bike, or even two. A pump is useless without a spare unless you lose some pressure over time and have forgotten to pump your tires before heading out.
Cycling Tips – General Tips
Know the road signs and traffic rules. If you ride in traffic, you are subject to all or bicycle-specific traffic laws. Obeying them means you stay safe and your wallet fuller.
Keep your eyes on the road. Do not look down when cycling, look ahead. You might miss a storm drain which might catch your entire wheel if you’re on a road bike. You might even ride over a pothole and get a flat tire. Always look ahead and be attentive.
Music is great but not your friend while you’re cycling. Nowadays it is easy to have music on with Bluetooth headphones but when on a bicycle, you should have your eyes and ears on the road. You might hear something faster than you would see it, thus have the time to react.
Getting the right saddle for your body and type of riding is essential and is up at the top with your bicycle choice. Furthermore, you should never ride in the same position for a longer period of time. Standing up every kilometer or so is recommended.
Use your gears often, very often, they are there for a reason. A higher cadence, around 70 to 90 is better than a lower one in a very high and taxing gear. Find your sweet spot.
Follow these cycling tips and you will be good to go!