We all loved cycling as a child but as we grew up, we completely forgot about our childhood playmate, the bicycle. Life got to us and health became an issue, until we realized that cycling can save us all. It can make us healthy, it can burn down the stress and it also help us enjoy childhood again.
So what do we do?
We buy a bicycle or repair the old one and start cycling again. With limited knowledge, you hit the open boulevards, just to realize that cycling was a trap. And before you start falling in love with cycling, you probably have made abundant mistakes that make you dislike the sport.
Here are a few quick fixes to these cycling mistakes; they guarantee to make your ride more enjoyable and safe.
Seat too low:
With the excitement of the new bike, newbie cyclists often fail to adjust their seat. This causes a cyclist to under-extend the pedal arm causing knee pain. Hence, it is important to set the right seat height, this will ensure that your knee bends slightly at the bottom of your pedal stroke while the crank arm is parallel to the seat tube.
Wearing your helmet the wrong way:
Cycle Helmets in India are not given much importance, especially when it comes to newbie cyclist. They simply buy a new bike or rent one from the local store and hit the road. While they enjoy the cool breeze hitting their face, speeding cars, opening doors and potholes might take you by surprise.
Buy a helmet that fits you right, don’t forget to adjust the settings and buckle it before you go for a ride again.
Bad bike fit:
An important aspect of cycling is the getting the bike fit right. If your bike fit is wrong, it is certainly going to hurt you. This will leave you with less time on the saddle, no matter how excited you are to ride your new bike. Here’s an article that will help you with the right bike fit.
When it comes to ensuring the right bike fit, get these two elements right-
- Seat height
The seat height should be high enough to give your knees a slight bend when your foot is at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Proper reach means, your arms and torso make a 45 degree angle over the bike. If your reach to the handlebar is too long, you will be left with a sore back, and your knees will be too close to your arms.
If you are shopping for a new bike, do take it for a test ride to see that the size is ideal for you.
Need the right cycling equipment:
You don’t need to have the best bicycle, the most expensive cycling gear and clipped in shoes. A bicycle in good condition, a helmet and a water bottle is all you need to fall in love with cycling.
Good cycling equipment can certainly take cycling to a whole new level of fun. For now, the most important thing for newbie cyclists is to just ride and enjoy the view. Bike upgrades can be done as and when you grow.
Ride more too soon:
One of the biggest cycling mistakes cyclists make is that they ride too much before they are even ready. Give it time. Your body will adjust and over a period of time, it builds slowly.
Not using the gears:
Despite having a geared bicycle, many newbie cyclists fail to use the gears correctly. Whether on climbs or on flat roads, the right gears can help you go fast and save energy as well. Ensure to invest a little time practising and getting the right combo, it will help you prevent injuries.
Don’t maintain your bike:
You don’t need to be a pro at cleaning your bike. Routine maintenance can go a long way and save a few bucks at the bike store. Not only that, it will also enhance the life of your bike.
Not carrying a spare kit:
At one moment you are cruising down the road and the next you are sidelined by a puncture. Carrying a bike repair kit and knowing how to use it can help you continue with your peaceful ride. The next time you decide to hit the road, carry a spare kit and avoid this cycling mistake. Don’t forget to invest some time and learn the art of changing a tube or just patching one.
Not respecting the pack:
Group rides can be a great motivation when you have to have fun and push harder. But before you start riding in a group, follow their protocol and etiquette to avoid this cycling mistake. If you are still low on confidence, hang on at the back. Observe and learn, this will help you avoid unwanted crashes.
Not refuelling enough:
We are often excited and just want to go out and ride. This is completely fine if you are planning a short bike ride which only requires hydration (not more than an hour). However, a long ride will need you to eat at least 45 minutes prior. Don’t forget to carry a snack and munch on your long ride. Failing to refuel can put your body into a deficit and cause you to bonk.
So if you are newbie cyclists or know someone who is getting back to this healthy lifestyle, guide them to this article to avoid cycling mistakes.
Edited by: Nigel Buthello