Congratulations on deciding to start cycling! Soon you’ll be racing down the boardwalk or hitting the trails. The first step is to get out there and start pedaling. Beginning cycling can seem a bit overwhelming at first. Not only do you have to learn to follow the rules of the road, but new cyclists also need to remember a whole set of other guidelines for bike sizing, gear, maintenance and riding smart. Going in unprepared can be dangerous and make the experience unenjoyable.
Avoid common cycling mistakes by keeping these nine mistakes in mind:
- Setting the seat at the wrong height: Does riding cause knee pain? This might be because the seat is too low. A too-low seat causes the rider to underextend the leg while pedaling. It’s important to bump up the saddle seat to the appropriate height to stay comfortable.
- Splurging on gear: A new biker doesn’t need fancy shoes or clothes to get started. All that expensive equipment won’t make you a great cyclist. Skip splurging initially.
- Avoiding maintenance: Routine maintenance will both save money at the shop and help you get years of use out of your bike. Pay special attention to the brakes, gears and handlebars, in addition to regularly lubricating and cleaning the chain. Take it in to a bike shop in Naples, FL for repairs about once a year.
- Failing to prepare for emergency repairs: An unexpected flat shouldn’t ruin a ride. Always pack a spare inner tube, patches, a mini inflator and a multi-tool in case you need to patch a flat when you’re miles away from home.
- Forgetting to fuel up: Hard rides require the right nutrition. Always fuel up before a ride without enough water and food. Plan to eat and drink during longer rides to avoid fatigue.
- Braking during a corner: The quickest way to get thrown off a bike is to brake while coasting a corner. Instead, brake before the corner. Brake gently, but enough to slow the bike enough to easily negotiate the turn.
- Riding too hard too soon: Don’t overextend yourself during those first few rides. Doing too much too soon can leave you feeling sore and discouraged. Instead, gradually work yourself up to the long, hard rides with consistent training.
- Wearing the wrong clothing: A ride can quickly turn miserable with the wrong clothing. Always check the weather beforehand so you can dress appropriately for the conditions. Wear layers to more easily adapt to quickly changing weather.
- Not using gears efficiently: Gears help improve your efficiency as you negotiate different terrains. Down gears are perfect for climbing up steep hills, while harder gears should be reserved for downhill. Familiarize yourself with each of the different gears and their purposes. Otherwise, you could end up working harder than you need to.
Need the right safety gear or a few more tips? Then stop by Big Momma’s Bicycles today! We carry a top selection of bikes and gear, and even offer bicycle rentals in Naples, FL. We look forward to assisting you soon!