Even if you haven’t been on a bike since you were a child, or have never learned to cycle, cycling could be the activity for you.
Cycling is a great way to keep fit and healthy, get around and can easily slot into your daily routine. It can also be done at any age, whatever your fitness level.
To get started with cycling, you’ll need to think about a few things.
Investing in the right bike, clothing and equipment is key to reducing injury and enjoying the time you spend on your bike.
There is a huge range of bikes on the market and choosing the right one for you can be a little daunting. But if evaluate the reasons for why you want the bike, and how you’re going to use it, you should be able to make an informed decision.
How much you choose to invest in your bike and equipment also depends on how you’re going to use your bike, and how often you plan to cycle. Make sure that you regularly service your bike, and learn the basics of how to look after it (i.e. how to pump up a tyre and fix a puncture).
Some people cycle to work, others use their bike to carry their shopping and some like to go on bike rides for fun, enjoyment and fresh air. Then of course there are those who cycle competitively and/or cycle to raise money for charity.
If you’re a beginner, or are not a confident cyclist, you may not feel comfortable riding on the roads straight away. It is advisable to start by cycling short distances away from traffic or roads if possible (for example, in a park), and then slowly build up to riding on the roads.
A cycling proficiency course can help you to feel more confident and able to ride on the roads, and you should consult the Highway code to learn more about how cyclists should act on the roads. Training is often provided free of charge by your local council and is a great opportunity to get the training and support you need, especially as a beginner.
The key to cycling regularly is to integrate cycling into your daily routine. This might be commuting to work, school or university every day, or even a couple of times a week, or perhaps going on a longer bike ride at the weekend and enjoying the countryside.
Using cycling to socialise is another fantastic way to get you cycling regularly. You could organise a bike ride with a friend, find out about organised local bike rides or join a cycling group.