Cycling is more popular now than ever before, and not just with people who want to become professionals. Every weekend it seems that there are more and more cycling groups on our roads exploring the backways and byways of the nearby countryside. Part of this new popularity may be due to the commensurate popularity of cycling events on TV but it would also seem that many people see it as a great way to keep fit, lose weight, and do something fun on the weekends. Given our preoccupation with personal health and fitness, this is really no surprise.
Breaking Into Cycling as a Beginner
Unlike some activities, the great thing about cycling is that nearly anyone can take it up and get something out of it. In fact, you don’t even need a great level of physical fitness at first to enjoy it because cycling scales for any level of fitness and endurance. The trick is to start small and then build up to long and longer rides.
For anyone who is starting out with very little experience, it is always best to start out modestly. Rather than invest money into the latest and greatest bike, it is wiser to start with something that is more affordable. After all, unless you’re planning on becoming semi-pro or professional, starting out should really be about participation rather than spending a lot of money on the best equipment available. That said, there are some things that every cyclist should have to get the most out of his or her rides, including:
- Clothing: Most of us will have seen cyclists riding around with what look to be expensive cycling jerseys plastered with sponsors’ logos and so on. While there are certainly many cycling jerseys from which to choose, they are not just for show. A proper cycling jersey makes for a much more comfortable ride because it keeps the skin dry by wicking sweat away from the surface to evaporate in the air. Riding can be the cause of a lot of sweat and heat and a good jersey is made of material that will keep the rider more comfortable. This cannot be underestimated for a rider of any level!
- Backpack: If you’re keen to get out and ride through the countryside or elsewhere, one thing that you’ll definitely want is somewhere to store your snacks and other items. Many riders like to wear light backpacks or sling bags that fit neatly over the shoulder and can be tightened to taste. The important thing is that it doesn’t get in the way of the ride.
- Water: When exercising in this way, it is always important to stay hydrated. Water bottles are not just for professionals; they are mandatory for anyone exercising. It doesn’t even have to be an expensive water bottle. Just a nice cheap one that is watertight will do the job.
Staying Safe Out There
Whether it’s your first ride on a new bike or something that you do every weekend, it’s important to stay safe on the roads. Look out for other cyclists and be aware of your surroundings, including obstacles, and other road users.