What You Need to Know Before You Start Cycling

What You Need to Know Before You Start Cycling

Now that the warmer weather is here and you’re looking for a way to get in shape.  Cycling happens to be a great way to take off the winter pounds and improve your endurance.  It’s a fairly inexpensive hobby to get started and you can do it almost anywhere.  But, before you head to the local cycle shop to grab a brand new bike there are some things to consider.  Let’s have a look at what you need to know before you start cycling.

Hobby or Weight Loss

Cycling can be a hobby where you grab your bike and hit the trail on the weekends.  You get outside, get some fresh air and tour the trails around your town.  You can head out with a friend or on your own and just enjoy the day.  On the other hand cycling is a great method for weight loss and improving your health, but if that is the case then you need to make it a part of your fitness routine.  That means cycling regularly for at least 30 minutes, 3 or 4 times per week. You may also need to invest in a better bike and equipment, one that will last through regular wear and tear.

The Equipment

The bare necessities for cycling only need include a bike and a helmet to get you started but it is slightly more complicated than that.  When choosing a bike, especially if you haven’t been cycling since you were a kid look for safety and comfort.  That means knowing first where you are going to ride, will it be on paved city trails or are you going to head out into the country and use more rugged trails.  If you are staying local then you can go with a hybrid or road bike but the country will require a mountain bike with a more durable frame.  You may also want to invest in a water bottle and some reflectors in case you are out at night.  Here is a look at basic bike equipment.

Getting Started

Initially you might want to try out or join a cycling group, they range from beginner to advanced and it will help develop a routine if you go with other people.  It also gives you the chance to meet new people.  You can track your progress and get advice from more experienced riders.  If you haven’t been on a bike in years be prepared to be sore.  Bicycle seats are not always comfortable and you will use muscles differently than you are used to.  Don’t worry it won’t last long and you can manage the pain easily with some over the counter pain relief.  The important thing is to get right back on.  Enjoy yourself, cycling is a great hobby and if you stick with it you just may find yourself in the best shape of your life.

Must Have Cycling Gear and Accessories

Must Have Cycling Gear and Accessories

Cycling on a regular basis is great for your health and you can stop driving your car as much as an added bonus.  You can improve not only your cardiovascular health but boost your immune system, reduce the chances of heart disease and lower your blood pressure.  Anyone at any age can cycle and it is a relatively inexpensive hobby.  But, if you want to cycle comfortably then there are some must have cycling gear and accessories that you should consider.

Clothing

If you are cycling to work and you have less than a mile to go then you can probably get away with street clothes, but any longer and you will probably get uncomfortable.  You also face the danger of getting your work clothing caught in the chain, gears or spokes of your bike.  Wearing the right clothes is far more comfortable and it will keep you from becoming a bucket of sweat.

A good cycling jersey can make you more comfortable along with some lycra shorts.  The shorts will keep you from chafing and both should be made of breathable material will help with managing the heat.  You may not think of it but some good socks are your friend too, it will keep your feet from getting too sweaty inside your shoes.  If you don’t intend to become a competitive cycler then you can use a regular pair of sneakers instead of spending money on cycling shoes.  All you need really are a pair of shoes with some decent grip.

Bike Gear

In addition to having the right clothes there are a couple of things you should have before you hit the road.  The first and most important thing you want to have is a good helmet.  Should something happen and you end up in an accident the helmet will protect the most important part of you.  In many jurisdictions, kids who are on bikes are required by law to have a helmet.  If you plan on riding at night or during spring and fall months when the sun sets early then you should have some front and rear lights or reflectors.  You want to make sure you are seen by cars especially if you bike in a rural area.

Cycling is great fun and it is one of the best exercises that you can do to strengthen your body.  It is also fairly inexpensive to get started.  You don’t need a ton of gear beyond a bike and a good helmet.  Now get out and enjoy the ride.