Helloooooo everyone! Wednesday woooo! Today I’m going to enlighten you.. get ready 🙂
For you today I have a semi-recycled post on tips for Starting to bike! I wrote this as a guest post for someone, but really wanted to share it with all of you too! As you know I am an avid biker and I wanted to share with you some tips and pointers for anyone thinking about getting into the sport. I’ve done 3 duathlons (run, bike, run) starting last fall and have been recently upping my bike mileage this summer. I have really fallen in love with the feeling on the bike. You can read more about my love for biking here. Without further ado- here are my tips on getting on the bike!
Tip 1: Get/Use a bike that fits you. A bike too big or too small is going to feel terrible! Getting one that fits is going to benefit you so much. There are many options: hybrid bikes, fitness bike, or a road bike. Go with what feels comfortable. A local bike shop should be able to assist you with what type of style biking you are looking to do. More recreational biking I would say go with a hybrid which is a normal style bike you typically see or fitness bikes which are similar to road bikes but have flat handlebars. They are also a good option if you want to be a bit speedier because they’re lighter than a hybrid. Road bikes are what you will see during road races and have the curving handlebars allowing you to use the “drops” to be more aerodynamic. Great for triathlons and duathlons because they are speedy! Craig’s List is also a great place to find a used bike that may be a great started bike for you. (You might want to take along someone who knows stuff about bikes..just so they can tell you if it’s worth it!)
My road bike
Tip 2: Safety First
Helmets are a MUST! Make sure you get one that’s up-to-date and that it fits properly. Gloves can also come in handy and you should also check out a light that may help to make you more visible on the road. I purchased a Nathan brand light that I’ve clipped to my seat pack, but can also work on the back of your shirt. $8 to keep me safe? Worth it!
Anything that makes your more visible will help to make you safer on the road. Also, look up your state laws on biking for reference. Technically bikes are required to follow the same traffic rules as a car so that means stopping at stop signs, red lights…etc. Don’t assume that cars see you, and be hyper-aware of your surroundings. Hand signals are also useful to communicate with cars. A RoadID is a great thing to have on you, or some other form of identification/emergency numbers and you might also want to carry your cellphone in a plastic baggy in case of emergencies out on the road! (They HAPPEN. and usually at your furthest point out!) That also being said..flat tires happen. Local bike shops usually have clinics on bike maintenance or if you stop by most are very willing to help and show you.
Cute & Functional RoadID! (purple of course)
Tip 3: Look the part
Like I mentioned before, helmets are a must. Also, bike shorts, bike shorts, bike shorts. They are going to help your comfort level so much while getting used to your saddle. You may think you don’t need them, but trust me you don’t want to feel the soreness after a long ride the next day. Gloves can help reduce the pressure of your handlebars on your hands. Long rides tend to put pressure on your nerves and then you have numb hands..in turn making it hard to move or brake for that matter. Bike jerseys are a great option to wear while riding because they have pockets in the back to hold any nutrition you may want to bring, cell phone, or ID/Wallet. Look for great bike products at Nashbar.
Tip 4: Build your endurance
If you haven’t been biking in years…start out slow, you’ll remember how hard it is on your legs! Start out doing 20-30 minute rides 3-4 times a week. After this is comfortable for you start going out for longer periods of time. If you have a smart phone you can download apps like Map My Ride or Strava that can help you find bike routes around your home! These will also keep track of mileage and speed. It’s also great to look for groups through a local bike shop that may go out together a couple times a week.
Tip 5: Biking is a gateway sport
Buying a bike can lead you into so many different hobbies and races. Not to mention it’s a great way to get to work (if you can do it safely!). There are many charity/century ride events around the country that you can do with a group or even family. Not to mention all the road races and duathlons/triathlons you can find. If interested check out Tri Find. It’s such a fun time to participate in any of these races. I was blown away by the camaraderie after the events and it keeps me coming back to them!
Me in my first du! Can’t believe it’s almost been a year!
This all being said- get out there on those wheels!!!!
- Did you learn anything new from this post about biking? Hope I could shed some light on the sport for you!
- Would you ever do a duathlon/triathlon?
- Bikers- any tips I missed??