Cycling is a healthy and enjoyable sport that gives you the opportunity to explore your outdoor environment. If you do it vigorously, it gives your heart and circulatory system a great workout, and it can help you burn up to 520 calories per hour. As a beginner, there are several ways to enhance your cycling experience. We got the professional folks at BarangBike.com to share their top cycling tips for beginners:
Wear a Helmet
Each year, more than 6,000 cyclists seek treatment for head injuries in the US, and head trauma accounts for over 75 percent of cycling deaths. If used correctly, helmets can prevent more than 90 percent of the brain injuries. Thus, select a helmet that meets the US Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. Also, you can look for a helmet with a sticker of the Snell Memorial Foundation. When buying a helmet, choose one with a bright color and that fits you well.
Buy a Bike That Fits Your Frame
To find the perfect bike that suits your body size, straddle the bike and stand with your feet on the ground. If it is a road bike, it should have a two-inch clearance between your groin and the top tube. But if it is a mountain bike, the clearance should be at least two inches. The handlebars should be an inch below the top of the seat. Purchase a bike from a respectable dealer that can help you find a suitable bike.
Select the Right Seat
A narrow, hard racing bike seat can be quite uncomfortable, especially for women that tend to have widely spaced “sit bones”. Special wider, more cushioned seats can be easily installed. Also, gel-filled pads or saddles are available, and they can reduce pressure and friction on the seat. Position the seat so that the knees are only slightly bent at the lowest level of the pedal rotation. If they are too bent, the seat is probably too low. And if you have to reach for the pedal at the lowest extension of the lever, the seat is probably too high.
If you are physically unfit, go easy on the exercises. Pedal for 30 minutes per day on a flat terrain for the first month. You can then increase the intensity and choice of terrain gradually adding hilly areas as part of your workout. You should also share the fun with others. Riding in a group makes it easier for you and makes you get more motivation from the team.
If you often cycle, wear a pair of sleek cycling shorts. Bike shorts have less fabric, fewer wrinkles and bunching up, thus producing less irritation on your skin. It is important to choose shorts without seams, and ones with a special lining to absorb perspiration.
Choose Bright Colors in Low Light
Avoid night time rides. Most cycling deaths have been reported to occur from 6pm onward. If you are anticipating riding in low light, wear reflective clothing with bright colors and put reflective tape on your bike and helmet. Also, install bright headlights and blinking tail lights. You may also attach a strobe light to your bike to make it easy to be seen at night or under low lighting conditions.
Cycling is an excellent sport that will make you physically fit. However, you need to select a good bike from a bicycle buy and sell dealer that suits your body size and also wear protective gear to reduce the chances of injury and accidents.