A Beginners Guide To Cycling
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So you want to start cycling?
That's understandable, cycling provides a great way to get around town, the best exercise you can get on two wheels and a chance to look awesome in our cycling pants or bicycle skorts. Looking for more reasons to start? How about these:
- Saving money on gas, parking, auto repair and more.
- Reducing stress and anxiety.
- Taking the time to really see the world around you.
- Doing your part to save the environment.
- Fresh air!
Getting Started — Equipment
You may need to buy some equipment, a bicycle for example, to get started. What should you look for? Let's take a look at the basics.
A bicycle can be a hefty investment, but it doesn't have to be. Bicycles can be purchased from a local specialized bike shop or even a big box retailer like Walmart. Bargain shoppers looking for major savings can choose to visit a local thrift store. Goodwill and other thrift shops often have bicycles starting at prices as low as $15. If you really want to be thrifty ask friends and neighbors if they have an old bike tucked away in a corner of their garage.
As you shop for your bike one thing to keep in mind is your ultimate goal. Do you want to use your bike to get to work daily? Looking at sedate weekend cruises along tree-lined boulevards? Or, are you seeking adventure bombing down steep mountain trails?
One option for those who are curious about biking but not sure they want to buy a bike yet is bike sharing. Many cities offer bicycle sharing. This service allows you to rent a bicycle for short periods of time, usually an hour or a day, at a very low cost. Bicycle sharing provides a great way to see if cycling is for you.
Protecting your head
A helmet is a must-have piece of equipment. For safety's sake no cyclist should be without one. A helmet can literally be the difference between a slight headache and a life-changing injury. Get one and wear it on every ride.
If you ride a bike you will have a flat tire at some point. Every bicycle should have a small gear bag that includes:
- A spare inner tube
- A patch kit
- Tire Pump
- 2 tire levers (or flat head screw drivers)
- A bicyclist's multitool
- A small adjustable wrench
- Other stuff
As you cycle more and more you'll start to want more things to go with your new hobby / lifestyle / addiction. Here are a few things that we like:
- Gel-padded seat
- Shoes and pedals
- Luggage racks
Getting Started — You
Even if you have an active lifestyle, cycling is going to use muscles that you may not have used since cycling during your childhood. It's not unusual to end your first ride with rubber legs that seem ready to give out at any moment — in other words don't start your new cycling journey by planning a hundred-mile tour! Short rides of a mile or less are the best way to start. Build your strength and endurance over time.
Dealing with hills
Hills are a challenge to all cyclists. Learn to use the gears on your bike to make travel over hills easier. Don't be ashamed if you need to walk your bike to the crest of a hill! Just think how much fun you'll have coasting down the other side!
Watch out for cars
Safety in traffic is a huge issue for cyclists. Always watch what is happening around you on the road. Try to be as visible as you can be — neon shirts or safety vests are a great idea. Here are a few common hazards:
- Car doors opening into you
- Cars coding you on narrow roads
For a full guide to bicycle traffic safety take a look at this site.
Cycling is fun. For a guide to the best bike trails in the US look here. Cycling can also be a chance to find friends for sharing experiences and adventures. Take a look at this guide to bicycle clubs to find people near you who love to cycle.
Our world famous clothing enhances the cycling experience — on mountain trails or city streets. Take a look at our men's convertible pants or women's hiking pants. We have recently added a few base layer bottoms made from polyester and merino wool blend: here you can find your pair of wool biking pants.
If you are taking your biking to the next level and require more durability, have a look at our DWR, abrasion-resistant mountain biking pants. On the other hand, our cycling pants for women offer comfort, style, and durability.
If you have any questions about our line or about cycling, hiking and other activities you can reach us here.