Best Cycling Tips for Beginners
Retirement is great for finding time to do what you never could while working or raising a family. This part of life also allows you time for hobbies and exercise. Whereas some retirees turn to golf to ease their boredom, others may opt for other conventional physical exercises, like cycling. In fact, cycling is a great low-impact outdoor activity nearly anyone in good health can do. Check out some of these best cycling tips for beginners to help you get started.
Stretch and Warm Up
Stretching is essential. As with any type of physical activity, jumping into it without a proper warmup is not safe. Just like how a weightlifter would not bench press 315 pounds without warming up, you should never jump on a bike seat without stretching your muscles first. Afterward, you might want to ride your bike around the neighborhood before engaging in a long-distance bike ride. This way, your muscles are pumped full of blood and you’re ready to go. This also gives you time to set your saddle and gears before riding out.
Ease Into It
For anyone cycling for the first time, ease into it. You don’t need to ride a hundred miles as your first trip. In fact, you don’t need to ride past five or ten miles if you’re uncomfortable with that. Depending on your skill level, engage in a ride you’re comfortable with. Whether you’re riding around the neighborhood or down a busy road, be sure you have the skill and experience to do so. Amateurs and beginners should practice on easier tracks but still test their abilities with progressively harder courses or distances. Soon, you’ll see your body can handle five and ten miles like they’re nothing.
Stay Fueled and Hydrated
One essential cycling tip for beginners is staying fueled and hydrated. As with a proper warmup, your body craves energy for this type of long-distance activity. To battle endurance tests like cycling, eat the right foods and drink plenty of water. Stick to lean proteins, like eggs, chicken, or fish, to fuel your muscles. Complex carbohydrates, like whole-wheat pasta or brown rice, are great for long-distance energy. Lastly, don’t forget healthy fats, like nut butter or avocado, for long-lasting energy after your ride.
Prepare for Every Scenario
One of the worst possible situations is getting stuck while cycling on the road. That’s why you must prepare for the unexpected. The most common problems cyclists face on the road are punctures, slipped chains, loose bolts and seats, and misaligned handlebars. Bring a wrench and spare chain in a bike storage bag just in case. Not to mention, know what to do about flat tires while on the road. You might have to take off the wheel, patch it, and inflate the tire back to normalcy.