10 cycling tips to make sure your first ride is a success

10 cycling tips to make sure your first ride is a success

You’ve got all the cycling gear, and you have some idea of what to do next – but you have no idea how it’s going to go because you’ve never really done it before.

If your first ride’s a disaster you’re unlikely to jump back on your bike in a hurry - it should be fun.

Follow The Cycling Bug’s 10 tips on how to make your first ride a success and you’ll come back smiling and desperate to get back on the saddle.

Share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter and let’s encourage as many people to start cycling as possible.

Was your first bike ride a dream or a disaster? 

1. Fuel up

You wouldn’t put fuel in the car after a long journey, and when you are starting out you should treat your body the same way. Make sure you have something to eat before you ride. A light meal 2-3 hours (mostly carbohydrate with a little protein) or a small carbohydrate based snack up to half an hour before you ride will help to keep your energy levels high.

2. Warm up

This doesn’t have to be before you get on the bike. You can warm up by starting your ride at an easy pace in a low gear and gradually increasing the intensity over 10-15 minutes. This will help to prevent injury and ensure your muscles are ready to ride when you start to up the pace. It’ll also help you feel more mentally prepared.

3. Plan your route

Make sure you have a good idea of where you are going. You don’t want to have to cut your ride short because you don’t know the way. By knowing the route you’ll also avoid the unexpected and can control the level of difficulty. If it’s a road route you can always drive it in the car beforehand or ask a more experienced cycling friend to accompany you. Plotting the route on google maps can give you an idea of how far the route is.

4. Pack a puncture repair kit

There are some things cyclists should never leave home without. You don’t want to be stuck miles from home with a flat tyre. Ensure you bring along a spare inner tube, a pump and tyre levers, all the basics to get you going again after a puncture. Your local cycle shop can help you out with these essentials. A word of warning…you should probably have some idea of how to use these! Here’s how to fix a puncture if you don’t know how 

5. Set a goal

Setting a goal before you head out can help to keep you focused whilst riding and ensure you get what you want from your ride. Whether it’s to go around the block once or to complete a certain distance, jot it down and get ready to tick it off when you return. Don’t forget to log all your bugmiles to keep track of your progress.

6. Ride with a friend

Cycling with a more experienced friend can give you the confidence you need on your first ride. Just make sure it’s someone you trust so they don’t go too fast and leave you behind. Cycling with a buddy can be a great motivator and you can sneakily coast along in their slipstream if you get tired.

7. M check

If you’re dragging your bike out of the shed after a few years or even if you’re riding a brand new model you should perform a basic M check to make sure it’s fit to ride.

8. Make yourself visible

Don’t add unnecessary risk to your first ride. Make yourself seen by other road users and wear high visibility clothing. Make sure you have something reflective on your arms and legs as moving parts are easier to see. The last thing you need is an altercation with another road user. Smile, be polite, and enjoy the ride.

9. Get proper gear

You don’t need to spend a fortune on clothing but buying a good pair of cycling shorts is definitely a worthwhile investment. Comfort = more fun. Similarly dressing right for the weather is a must to ensure your first ride is a good experience. Make sure you’ve got the right kit for the season with our reviews hub

10. Take it easy

A ride can be as easy and relaxed as you want it to be. Take your first ride steady to ensure you enjoy the experience and want to get back on the bike. You have lots of time to build up the speed and miles!

Share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter and let’s encourage as many people to start cycling as possible!

Was your first bike ride a dream or a disaster? 

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I've made the mistake of forgetting a puncture kit. Epic fail.


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