Cycling is easy right? Anyone can do it? Well, yes, that’s part of the beauty of it. People of all ages and abilities can ride a bike. For people intending to ride for only short journeys, the type of bike is less important, as is proficiency and route planning. But for people who intend to ride more frequently or for longer periods of time and distances, jumping straight on to the bike is not the best way to start.
At Carry on Cycling we are all too familiar with the mistakes made by beginners when they start riding. We have put together a guide to the most frequently made mistakes with tips on how you can avoid making them.
It can be tempting to get on your bike and just ride, pushing yourself and riding the same today as you did yesterday. Your body will tire of this quickly. The best way to build up to a good standard is to mix up your training. Push yourself a couple of times a week and take it easier the rest of the week. This work/rest relationship is key in maintaining balance.
It is important to listen to your body. If you feel like you can’t ride one day it is probably best not to. You can push yourself harder the next time you ride. Cycling is often perceived as a low impact activity. If your body is not ready for the challenges, you could end up causing damage.
Signing up for a big ride
While it can be a motivation, signing up for a big ride before you are ready can be a huge amount of pressure. Physically as well as mentally. Plunging straight into a commitment to physical exertion, without preparing adequately, would be to underestimate the pressure on your body. It’s just not that easy.
Keeping pace with other riders will prove difficult. Interval training is a good way to build up to this, and a healthier way to train your body. New cyclists are intimidated by cycling so close to other riders. This can be a tiring mentality, certainly not conducive to riding well.
It is also important to make sure you allow your body time to recover between rides. If you are signed up to a number of group rides, this is not necessarily at the right pace of interval for you as a new rider. Rest is an important part of training.
Breaking on descent
Many new riders will not be able to resist the temptation to brake when going downhill. This will force pressure in to your hands and wrists. This can cause injury and can also cause you to come off your bike when you lose your balance. Beginners will struggle with this and often sit up straight, which will make for an unstable descent. Instead, riders should shift their weight back and lean into the descent to keep the back wheel on the ground and prevent loss of bike control.
Here is more tips on learning to cycle for beginners.
*This is brought to you by featured writer: Sarah Mcarthy. She is a writer for Carry on Cycling. You can find her on Google Plus here.