Cycling is completely beneficial for our health. It is an excellent calorie burner, helps tone up our body, strengthen the legs and much more. You can think of cycling for your health, as an exercise to lose weight effectively, for fun, to learn riding a bike as an adult or event as a sport. Cycling is the best way to get away from your stressed life and have some fun on the way. It is the best exercise to fit in your busiest schedule. Probably you are planning to start cycling, right? Then, here are some cycling tips for beginners.
Choosing the Bike
If you are wondering which is the best bike, then the answer is your old bike. Yes, actually there is no need to invest in a new one. Your regular bike is the best one for exercise purpose. One of the basic tips for beginner cyclists is that you must choose a bike that fits you well in terms of your height (from ground to crotch), and the distance from the seat to the handle. You need to go to the bicycle shop and check out the different types of bicycles such as woman's bikes that are specially designed to suit their body or the trek bicycles if you want to go for mountain biking.
Don't buy a mountain bike unless you are intending to ride off-road. If you will be riding mainly on the road, a hybrid bike with road tires is probably the best. The best road bikes are lighter, have strong frames and thin tires so that there is less friction and are designed to travel on paved roads. They also have many features to make riding fast and easy. Remember, you don't need to use the gears if you are cycling for exercise purpose, gears will make cycling easier and will hardly be of any use to your body.
Choosing the Saddle
You might experience a sore bum/butt due to cycling. Most probably, you will get rid of this problem as skin gets used to cycling. Choosing the right saddle plays an important role in this. Saddles are specially designed for men and women. Women might feel that a wide saddle will be comfortable. But it is best to check it before you choose one. A wide saddle often chafe the inside of the thighs and might also make you move from side to side as you pedal. The gel-padded seat is best for the beginners. Riding on a hard cycling seat can be very uncomfortable. So, if you are a beginner, start with a gel-padded seat.
Setting the Saddle
Many of you would set the saddle too low due to the comfort it gives. Remember, though the low set saddle position feels comfortable and safe, you need to check it again after a few rides. Best way to decide the right position of saddle is when you sit on the bicycle and rest your foot on the pedal, there must be a slight bend at the knees. If it is not this way, understand that the saddle is too high or too low. Also, getting the angle of the saddle right is one of the important tips and tricks.
If you are getting hurt at the front, angle the saddle very slightly in front and if your bones that you sit on hurt then you must angle the saddle the other way. Make adjustments and check them out to know the right angle.
Checking Your Movements
Once you adjust the saddle, it's time to check your movements while you ride the bicycle. You can ask someone to do this by riding behind you. One of the most important tips and techniques is - while you ride on the bicycle, your upper body should not move, only your legs should be moving.
You would have seen cyclists who move from side to side, this is probably because the saddle is too high. Accordingly, take action so that you ride in the right way. Also, right pedaling action is very important. Your knees should move forward and backwards, not out to the sides and your feet should not splay out on the pedals. It is very crucial that you ride in the right action from the beginning so that you develop the same habit and don't injure your body.
Donning the Right Accessories
A water bottle, a portable pump attached to your bike, a repair kit, helmet with reflectors, good quality glasses are a must when you go out cycling. Other essential accessories include cycling gloves to absorb shock from the handles, shoes and cage pedals. Caged pedals help put your shoes in, or lock into your cycling shoes. Wear bright colored cycling outfit. Opt for thin material and flexible material for good comfort and one that absorbs sweat. Your outfit must also be tight so that it doesn't flap due to wind. There are specific cycling shorts for men and women in which padding is cut accordingly and they are so designed that you should not wear knickers/underwear under these.
Checking the Bicycle Gear
You might sometimes experience the problem of sore knees while riding a bike. If you are using a bike with gears, this is probably because you are riding on a higher gear. Move to easier gears and see the difference. Also, wrongly adjusted saddle can be the cause, check it once again. You can shift to lower gears, turn the pedals and experience the comfort.
One of the important tips is that you must be slow when you start. Cycling uses various muscles and your body will need time to get used to the new types of stress, so don't be too fast as to exert your body. Start out with ease and progress gradually. Just ride 2-3 miles in the beginning. Know all the rules of road for your safety and do not assume that cars or pedestrians will see you.
Potholes, gravel, glass, and other debris on road may pose a danger so be cautious and look at least 20 feet ahead while cycling. Stick reflectors on your bicycle for safety. Proper hydration is critical, so keep yourself hydrated. Poor hydration will lead to poor performance, increased body temperature and heart rate. It may also lead to serious heat related injuries such as heat stroke. So, always carry at least one water bottle. Keep your body relaxed while you are cycling.
The aforementioned cycling tips for beginners will help you have best time cycling and get the most benefit out of this activity. You must do bike maintenance regularly. Whatever be the reason you are cycling for, follow the above tips and remember to have fun while riding. Enjoy the ride!