After the pandemic struck the world, a lot of people have taken up cycling as their hobby or as a means to stay fit. Almost everyone’s house has at least one cycle since it’s one of the easiest ways to travel and has a very low maintenance cost.
Did you know that 42% of families own at least one bicycle, making it one of the most popular forms of travelling and exercising? If you’re a beginner and wish to know some tips on how to ride properly, we have seven tips for you!
1. Pump the tires
One of the most basic things you’ll have to know is how to pump the tires and maintain proper air pressure. But how will you know the right pressure? Easy, just look at the sidewall of your tires!
In most cases, the manufacturing companies put down a range of air pressure instead of one absolute number. This means you should be able to adjust the pressure according to the weather conditions.
For example, if you plan to ride on a slippery road, don’t keep the pressure too high. But if it’s hot and dry outside, it’s best to pump it up as much as possible.
2. Adjust the saddle height and position
Next comes your comfort. If the saddle is too low, you won’t be able to pedal properly. On the other hand, saddles that are placed too high can make you strain your legs to reach the pedals and you might end up injuring yourself.
This is why it’s necessary to adjust the height and position. Ideally, the saddle height should be such that there’s a tiny kink at the knee when you place your foot at the pedal stroke’s bottom.
3. Dress properly
Since you can’t control the weather outside, you might as well wear proper clothes when you go for a ride. Wearing proper cycling apparel is crucial, especially if you have a sports bicycle and you wish to ride it on rocky terrain.
Even if you ride it on the road, remember to layer your clothes in case the weather changes suddenly. This will help you to either cool down during the summers or warm up when it’s cold outside.
4. Take a saddle pack with you
Mid-ride problems are very unpredictable, so it’s always best to be prepared beforehand. Carry a saddle ride with you and put necessary items like cash, small tools, and any other thing that may come in handy.
A multi-tool having a range of bits can let you adjust a lot of mechanical components. A chain tool will let you fix a broken chain and a puncture repair kit can dave your tire if it suddenly becomes flat during the ride. For emergency situations, carry some money and a pouch of water too.
5. Start with small distances
For the first few weeks of cycle riding, you should ride on a traffic-free and plain road. If your backyard is large enough, you may even try practising there. As you gradually get a better grip on the pedals and handles, try to cover bigger distances.
Don’t rush too much as it can make you lose your balance. Start with small distances and then gradually ride for longer durations. For example, if you haven’t cycled in a long time, your aim should be to cover around 5 miles or so.
6. Pedal steadily
A very important thing to remember while riding your bike is to keep a steady pace. You don’t want to keep rushing your legs like crazy, nor do you want to keep straining.
The ideal speed or cadence here is 70-90 revolutions per minute. This speed will not only help you cover the distance steadily but also give a good workout to your muscles and joints.
7. Be confident
Many learners make the mistake of hiding to the far side of the road while riding. But this will only increase your chances of being squeezed in heavy traffic. Instead, be confident and ride a good 1 km from the roadside curb.
Over to you…
Whether you’re riding to go to the office every day or just to have a quick workout session, cycling has many benefits. Not only is it affordable but is also eco-friendly. But remember to maintain it well. Go to the repair shop if you see any kind of malfunction and make sure the parts are working properly before taking it out for a ride.