Getting started with cycling
Cycling is a brilliant way to keep active. Whether you want to enjoy peaceful rides locally or you want to aim to take part in a a cycling event, there is a way for everyone to enjoy it.
Regular cycling is great for keeping healthy physically as well as mentally; it is an easy way to ‘clear your head’ and explore locally scenery.
Check out below our tips for getting started with cycling. Remember, there is no ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ way – it is just about finding what works for you!
Before you start
Before you get out and about cycling, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need. If you don’t already have a bicycle, try going instore if you are unsure about which type you would like. The store assistants will be able to help you find what works well for you, and you can test out the seat in person.
Your cycling accessories are just as essential as the bike itself with the top two items being a helmet and bike lights. A water bottle is also an important item, and you may also like to use gloves, a fitness tracker and so on.
It’s important to make sure that you are being safe for yourself and others whilst out cycling. THINK have collated useful safety advice for cyclists.
You may find a cycling app can help you get motivated, so why not give one a try to help get you started. Strava is a brilliant app that lets you track your riding, join challenges, share photos, and follow others.
Cycling by yourself is a great way to have some time to yourself, so it is always worth giving that a good try first. However, if you have tried it and have struggled to cycle out by yourself, Cycling UK have put together some tips for encouraging your family and friends to start cycling. This can also be a useful way to get yourself out and used to cycling, and then you can gradually start going out by yourself.
You can also check out Cycling UK’s group finder to find your local groups.
Your first few rides might be tough as your body is adjusting to the new activity. It’s important to make sure your body has time to recover between rides and you aren’t pushing yourself too hard. But don’t be put off by this; take it gradually and you will be able to safely get more and more used to it.
Pedal at a steady rhythm so you don’t strain or injure yourself. This is the most efficient way to cycle as it will help to improve your endurance and all-round health; it’s usually the most enjoyable way too as it is consistent.
Try making cycling a habit; you can do this by putting reminders in your phone calendar. You could try starting a few times a month and then gradually increasing that to once a week, and so on. Remember to go at the pace which suits you.
Check out these useful guides by Cycling UK for further advice on getting into cycling.
Explore new places to keep it interesting
Cycling is a great way to explore new places locally, perhaps taking routes you wouldn’t usually take. To keep yourself from losing interest in cycling, why not try planning a route in a new area.
Whilst exploring new places, it’s important to make sure that you are being cautious and have a route planned in order to make sure you do not come into any danger.
Staffordshire County Council have put together a selection of cycling maps by district which you can download.
They have also created a useful cycling journey planner.