Cycling for Beginners
For the newbies out there looking to get into cycling, congratulations! You are in the right place and about to venture into an incredibly fun sport.
When you're starting out, it is important to consider a few things before clipping in.
First of all, you will be needing a bike. If you don't own a bike, don't worry! There are lots of places where you can rent a bike for the day. Decathlon, the popular sport and outdoors UK retailer, are renting out bikes for as little as £10 from lots of their store across the country. Find out more here.
Once you have acquired a bike, it’s time to stock up on the essentials. A tyre pump will be needed for when you inevitably have a flat tire and can be bought for less than £10 online. It’s a good idea to keep the pump with you on long rides in case of emergencies.
A bike lock with a combination code is the way to go when you want to stop off for that mid-ride cuppa and cake.
Aside from bike accessories, it’s important to prepare yourself. Make sure to take some emergency fuel, you never know when you will need it and it might just give you that extra push when you need it the most. To stay well-fuelled throughout your ride, have a small snack every 30-40 minutes.
Stay hydrated by carrying a water bottle on your bike (and making use of it!) It’s also a good idea to top up on electrolytes after your ride to avoid camping muscles. If you have sweated a lot then you will need to replenish your salts but don't worry, getting essential salts doesn't mean an extra helping on the fish and chips! Sports drinks and dissolvable tablets can be purchased from most supermarkets and drugstores.
Wear comfortable clothing that you feel good in; something that will keep you warm and dry (and not too sweaty!) We recommend layering up clothing so you can control your temperature more easily in our wonderfully unpredictable British weather. In Spring and summer, wear a short-sleeve jersey and layer up with a jacket when the headwind picks up.
Shop cycling jerseys here
You will want to invest in some padded cycling shorts that will give you the support you need on your backside.. Without one, you will quickly find that the numb bum sneaks up on you. A padded bike saddle won’t help in the long run!
Shop padded cycling shorts here
Go at your own pace. There’s no rush. It is more important to enjoy your ride than to achieve time and distance goals. Take a route with nice views, cafes and nice terrain (avoiding the big hills). There is plenty of time to build up to them!