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.
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.