A great way to exercise if you’re looking to get fit or tone up, cycling can be a fantastic introductory sport, just as much as it is a competitive one.

We want you to embrace cycling, but equally, do so in a way that is safe and enjoyable for yourself and those around you, which is why we’ve created this blog specifically for cycling beginners.

Before you start any new form of exercise you should always get checked over by a GP, regarding existing medical conditions or current concerns regarding fitness / health.

If you’re only looking to do short bike rides, any kind of bike will do as long as it’s safe and efficient to use. Never use an old bike if it’s unsafe in any way.

Looking to purchase a more “advanced” ride? Speak with a bike specialist who will ensure any new purchases are suitable for upcoming trips or advise you on the ideal bicycle for you.

In the beginning

Train, wear the right equipment (below), be alert, know your route and always follow the Highway Code.

Start off your rides in the local park or a similar traffic-free area. Reassure yourself of being confident riding one hand (while doing hand signals) and looking over with shoulder to increase visual awareness.

Equipment

With this category there is the vital and not-so-vital! Remember to always put your safety first – this means having the correct essentials for every journey:

  • Helmet
  • Pump
  • Repair kit
  • Water bottle

The not-so-vital includes gloves, speedometer and clothing layers.

Another blog we did in relation to long distance cycling provides great examples of other equipment that predominately falls into the not-so-vital categories for beginners.

Safety

When using the road there are many dangers and hazards that you will eventually become experienced in handling. For now, be very aware of building your anticipation of hazards, visual awareness and reaction times to such dangers.

  • Junctions
  • Car doors opening

We have some excellent blogs on cycling safety, so try them for more information.

Protection

Remember that, sadly, bike thefts are very real, particularly if you’ve parked up while at work or haven’t secured your ride.

Cheap bike locks are just that, cheap. Ensure you speak to a bike specialist about best protecting your bicycle when it is stored and / or parked up.

Check household insurance policies to see whether or not your bike is covered by such, there may be certain restrictions and conditions on your cover, if you’re lucky enough to have it. As with everything in life, check the small print!

If you’re in an accident while riding, you should be covered by cycling public liability insurance. If you become a member of British Cycling, you get entitlement to liability insurance and a free legal advice service, covering you in the unfortunate event of an accident.

Remember

Cycling skills and abilities only improve with practice. Keep at it and developing your skills – now is a great time to start looking at local cycle clubs and groups, if you haven’t already. Read our earlier blog on how to join such groups now.

Whether it’s tips for beginners or something altogether different (but cycling-related) please get in touch with us over at @UKBikeBus!

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