Top 10 Tips For Beginner Bicyclists
Collaboration post with our partner, Richard Greer of Team CP
Richard Greer is the managing director of Team CP, a company designed to work with those looking to improve their endurance performance. Starting in 2007, Greer has focused on helping cyclists, runners, kayakers, triathletes, and multi-sporters tackle the technical, tactical, physical, nutritional, and psychological aspects of training and racing. Greer has partnered with Miles Continental ŠKODA to help promote Miles Continental Le Race and help train our sponsored rider, Lana Searle. No stranger to a bike, here are his top 10 tip for beginner bicyclists.
- Bike check – is your bike safe and running smooth? After dusting the cobwebs off your bike it is important to make sure that it is safe to ride – brakes are working well, tyres are pumped up, etc. It is a good idea to get your bike serviced by your local bike shop so your bike is both safe and also running smooth and the effort that you put in is going to help you to move forward.
2. Bike set up – firstly this is about comfort. If you are comfortable on your bike you will be able to focus your energy on pedaling rather than the soreness caused by your seat. There is both a science and an art to a good bike fit. An experienced bike fitter will be able to match your bike to your height and limb length but will also be able to adjust your set up to the type of riding you will be doing and compensate for any historical injuries.
3. Pedal technique – this is about engaging the correct muscles and being as efficient as possible. When we’re young, we learn to ride a bike by simply pushing down on the pedals. Now we have shoes that attach our feet to the pedals and we need to learn how to engage our hamstrings and butt muscles. By using other muscles to do some of the work we are able to take the load of our thighs. Hopefully as a result you will be smiling at the top of the hill.
4. Skills – cornering, baking, uphill, downhill…the more confident you are about riding your bike the more fun it will be. You don’t want to be the first to the top of the hill and then get passed by everyone on the downhill. Taking some time to develop your skills early on will make a big difference as you start to do more.
5. Stay safe – Wear bright coloured clothing and lights and be safe and predictable when riding around town so there is a greater chance that drivers will see you. Being predictable is also really important when riding with other cyclists so you can all enjoy your ride and get home safely.
6. Hydration – becoming dehydrated will slow you down faster than anything else. Make sure you replace the fluid lost as sweat while you are riding. This will help you perform to your potential. The hotter the temperatures, the more that you need to replace. Drink water first and then consider an electrolyte replacement or sports drink as your rides get longer.
7. Fuel – nutrition (coffee helps 🙂 Caffeine will help to give you a pick me up especially later in your ride. On your longer rides, consider taking a mid-ride snack. This will help fuel your muscles so you can keep enjoying your riding.
8. Make it an adventure – One of the best things about riding your bike is you get to explore new places and have a variety of different experiences – from sunrise, the awesome view, or the cow that just escaped down the road…
9. Do it with friends – Riding your bike is much better as a shared experience. Think of how fun the downhill will be or the banter as you get to the top of a tough climb.
10. Enjoy the recovery – you worked hard so enjoy the satisfaction of completing an awesome ride. Put your feet up and relax – a good coffee also helps here, too!
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