Can't wait to start cycling? Whether it's to shape up, save gas, ride competitively, or simply to keep up with the kids, cycling is a sport accessible to almost anybody, almost anywhere. Follow a few simple guidelines on how to get started cycling safely and easily.
- Get your equipment together: To start cycling, you'll obviously need a bicycle. You can spend any amount of money on a bike, but a good entry-level bike can be found for less than $300.00. You may want to start cycling on a used or borrowed bicycle before making the investment, but make sure it's the right size for you. Advice from a local bike shop can be invaluable to the beginner. Before you start cycling, make sure you have a properly fitting helmet as well. Don't go out without it! A lock, a patch kit, and a small first aid kit are basic items to carry along as you start cycling.
- Brush up on road rules: As you start cycling, remember that a bicycle is subject to the same rules as a car. Ride with traffic, and observe the signs and signals as an automobile would.
- Take it easy: Don't start cycling at a triathlete's level! Build up your distance and speed gradually. When you're just starting out at cycling, you'll quickly build endurance, but give yourself time and don't risk injury.
- Find some friends: A local bike club can be extremely helpful as you start cycling. A biking organization can give you information about safe and interesting local routes, dangers, events, equipment, or just provide the motivation you need to keep cycling once you start.
- Keep a log: Another motivation as you begin cycling is a log of your rides. As you start cycling, keep a record of your route, your distance and time, and some indication of how you felt. You may want to invest in a heart monitor if you start cycling for fitness reasons, to provide a simple statistic to help you track your progress. You'll look back in a month or two and won't be able to believe how far you've come since you started cycling.
- Upgrade: Once you start cycling, you'll soon have a good idea of what kind of improvements or gear will be worthwhile. Now that you've started cycling and decided it's for you, it's the perfect time to indulge in those gadgets or specialized workout clothing that will make your ride more comfortable and fun.