Starting out in cycling
Oli Beckingsale welcomes you to the sport and pastime of cycling. But whether you want to ride on the road or off road, for leisure or competition, Oli provides a little advice before you jump on your bike and pedal over the horizon.
Starting out in cycling
Welcome to cycling! It's such a great activity:
You can participate at any level you like
No age limits
Good for your health
Can be sport, pastime, utility - even a career!
Takes you to new places
Allows you to see the countryside at a pace slow enough not to miss anything but quick enough to cover a good quantity of terrain
It's non-polluting and good for the environment
If you've not ridden a bike for some time, then it's worth taking things slowly at first. Don't rush expecting instant results. If you are over 40, or taking up cycling to lose weight or for some other medical reason, do speak to a doctor first of all, and do consider contacting a coach.
Even if you are fit from being active in other sports, cycling does use muscles in a different way from, say, running, so you'll need to allow a bit of time for your body to adjust and get used to the new demands. A good coach will be able to advise you on your position and technique on the bike - and he or she can probably advise you on good choices of equipment and where to buy it.
Do read the other articles in the beginners' section, and elsewhere on the site. They're all written by experts with years of experience to help you avoid any mistakes and maximize the benefits - and hopefully, your enjoyment of cycling too.
Oli is one of the UK’s most experienced professional cyclists. He has represented Great Britain three times at the Olympics and seventeen times at the World Championships. His titles include being crowned National Champion five times and a silver medallist at the Commonwealth Games. Oli retired from professional cycling in 2013 after 16 years and is now focusing on his business
How to cycle as a family
From finding a bike to basic skills
Seven steps to get you and your family riding together confidently, from Girona Cycling's Fiona Smart.
Assess your fitness before starting out in cycling
by Dr Auriel Forrester
You've got the new bike or upgraded your old one and you are ready to start your new cycling regime. Obviously one of your key aims will be to get fitter but how will you gauge your improvements? Assess your own speed, stamina and general physical fitness with these straightforward ideas.
Enjoy the ride!
Map out your timings and what to take
It's a great time to head out for a ride and make the most of the long days - here's how a bit of planning can make it more enjoyable.
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