Cycling has become an increasingly popular sport and has become a way of living a much healthier life. This is, of course, because cycling is wonderful and is an exercise that is good for our whole body, especially since it moves several parts of the body at the same time. Besides, it’s wonderful to be able to get on a bike, discover amazing places, and also feel that wind on your face.
If you’ve ever felt the urge to take your bike out of the garage and start riding around, wait just a little longer. To start pedaling correctly (especially if you intend to make it a habit), or even pedaling better, it is necessary to follow some tips and care, which we will present below!
1. Choose the Ideal Model Analyzing Price and Quality
The variety of bikes on the market today is a fantastic thing and the best thing is that there are bikes for all types of cycling, from trail bikes to electric bikes.
When a person wants to enter this cycling universe and start to see it as a sport or a habit to take for a lifetime, it is common for them to want to invest right away in a superbike.
However, if you’re just starting, it’s important to understand what your goals are with the bike and what your level of experience using one is, so you can make the best purchase possible.
For example, if you want a bike to ride every day from home to work and from work to home, a simpler and cheaper bike, common for urban routine, is enough. If you already have some experience riding a bike, but you are a beginner in the sport itself, it may be interesting to invest in a slightly more equipped 29er bike, but still for those who are starting.
In addition, it is necessary to keep in mind the places where you are going to travel, whether they will be paved streets, such as bike paths, or trails, for example. With all this, always choose a bike for those who are still beginners, as it will be much easier and more comfortable to ride it in the beginning. After a while, you can change it to better and more equipped ones.
Also, be careful to choose a bike that is ideal for your stature, as this will avoid future pain and tingling in the body.
2. Invest in Security
Cycling can be a little dangerous at times, especially if you don’t prepare yourself beforehand and intend to do your rides on the street. To start pedaling it is very important to invest in some safety accessories, which help to avoid several accidents with cyclists.
For example, a headlight that is in the front and a beacon that is behind your bike is very important so that drivers and pedestrians can see you from a certain distance.
Several reflective stickers can be placed on the sides of the bike so that people can see you from afar.
In addition, it is important to invest in your safety equipment, such as a helmet (essential!) as well as gloves, goggles, and cycling shoes, which not only help to increase your protection in the event of a fall but also help to avoid injuries while you are on your bike, pedaling.
Another type of safety that you should be aware of is the places where you ride. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of people who got so excited on a bike that they ended up cycling to places they didn’t even know, suffering a perrengue to return home later.
So, be aware of the route, and always ride with a computer system and GPS, a good option is the Strava application that you can install on your smartphone and follow routes, or, to know more places safely, go with a group of pedal that knows the route. And always, always wear a helmet!
3. Dress Properly
Many people think that investing in cycling clothing is futile and of no less importance. But we bet that these people have never tried training with the right clothing, as it makes all the difference to have more comfort while pedaling and, of course, increase your performance on the bike.
If you don’t have the clothes on yet that doesn’t mean you can’t start pedaling. It’s not essential to have cycling clothes, but they make all the difference for sure.
Starting with t-shirts, which have a special fabric that helps your skin breathe, sweat less, and keep your clothes dry. After all, cycling is something that makes anyone sweat a lot and after a few minutes, it can be very uncomfortable to continue cycling with a shirt soaked with your sweat.
In addition, it is common to find t-shirts that have pockets, which are very useful for you to keep your cell phone, key, wallet, and documents, for example, and this guarantees extra comfort without the need to use a backpack.
Cycling shorts, on the other hand, have a lining that helps increase comfort in areas that have greater friction during the entire time you will be sitting in the saddle of your bike.mAfter cycling a few times in ordinary clothes or even shorts that we normally wear at the gym, for example, it is common to feel great discomfort and discomfort. By wearing cycling shorts, this can easily be avoided
The tighter the clothes, the better it will be for you to increase your pedaling speed. That’s because, when pedaling at high speed, the wind hits your body directly. When your clothes are wider, this generates greater air resistance in your body, reducing your speed, not to mention the much higher friction.
In addition, tighter clothes help you have more freedom of movement, generating more comfort while you pedal. When using cycling clothes, remember to avoid underwear underneath, as they cause a lot of friction, in addition to leaving this region wet for a long period, due to sweat and later having serious problems.
4. Prepare Well
As we have already said, cycling is a physical activity that demands a lot from our body and physical conditioning.
Therefore, preparation needs to start with our own body, especially with good nutrition and hydration (yes, drinking enough water a few hours beforehand is essential!).
When cycling, you burn a lot of calories (about 700 calories in an hour of cycling at medium speed) and you sweat a lot! That is, you need to be well prepared and hydrated before getting on a bike and riding around.
In addition, it is essential to carry a bottle of water with you to hydrate yourself during your journey as well. As for food, it is important to bet on foods rich in good carbohydrates, which increase energy and help you perform better in your activity, but also have easy digestion.
It is essential that you avoid eating very fatty foods, with a lot of fiber, as they make the digestive process take longer and slower, which will make your income drop a lot. And in cases of pedaling that exceed 1 hour, take something to eat during the pedal and stay well-nourished, avoiding discomfort.
In addition, it is advisable that you eat food between an hour and half an hour before exercise, giving this break of at least 30 minutes before getting on the bike. Following these tips, your body will be very well prepared for you to face this super physical activity that will mess with it completely!
Stretching works to prepare your body for physical activity, warming up your muscles and preparing them for the strength that will be required of them.
In addition, a good stretch brings several other benefits, such as relieving muscle tensions throughout the body (which helps you feel lighter and in a better mood), as well as relieving various muscle pain, which can decrease your performance. in any physical activity and make it quite uncomfortable.
We need to remember that, as we said before, cycling is something that practically affects your entire body, from your legs, abdomen, back, arms, and even your neck.
So if any of these areas have some kind of muscle tension or soreness, it can be much more felt while you ride or shortly afterward.
That way, when you stretch you will be preparing your body to feel much less pain and discomfort, which is not only bad but can also distract you while you practice the exercise. And our mind is a very important part of the practice of physical exercises, right?
Stretching helps with this too, as it calms and relaxes us, even helping to increase our concentration on the task we are going to perform. So stretch well for a good few minutes before you start pedaling (and do that later, too!).
6. Join Cycling Groups
Many people have a hard time doing physical exercises especially because they feel very lonely and don’t like it. And actually, cycling can be a bit of a lonely activity, but it doesn’t have to be!
Several cities have groups of cyclists that hold events, tournaments, competitions, and even practice together daily, making cycling an increasingly less solitary sport. You can find some groups here.
Participating in these groups (which you can often find on social media) can be very good so you don’t feel so alone.
Plus, groups help motivate each other, which makes it harder for you to give up this new habit after a few days or the first few weeks.
Another important tip regarding groups is to participate in communities (like Facebook, Telegram, or even WhatsApp) of people who are passionate about cycling.
This can be very helpful for those who are just starting because usually in these groups many valuable tips are shared by those who already have more experience. In addition, you can clear up many of your doubts by asking for advice and tips from those who have more experience than you.
Starting a new activity, especially a sport, is very difficult at times because it seems that there is a “parallel universe” full of information and knowledge that people who have never been interested in that subject until that moment have no idea.
Therefore, being in these groups can help you to familiarize yourself more quickly with all the technical terms, tips, and knowledge that are already common to those who have been cycling for a long time.
7. Cycle Along Bike Paths
Cycling is also an activity that requires a lot of attention and concentration, especially because of the whole safety issue. As it is necessary to have a lot of space for you to be able to cycle a lot and do good training, many people end up cycling on the streets close to their homes, but they end up taking some risks.
For those who are just starting, we recommend that you especially choose to cycle on bike paths, which are spaces intended for bicycles, without vehicles, or pedestrians either.
That is, there is much less risk of you ending up in an accident or causing an accident. Also, you won’t have to be too worried about having to dodge people passing by or be on the lookout for a car that ends up passing very close to you.
This will ensure extra peace of mind so that you can focus your mind on that activity, without worrying so much about safety issues.
However, we know that it is not always possible to cycle through bike paths, especially if your city doesn’t have one or if you live very far from a place that has a bike path.
In these cases, always opt for very quiet streets and keep in mind that you should be at a distance of about five feet from the curb (for your safety), at the same time, vehicles also need to keep to a distance of one and a half meters from you.
In other words, it needs to be a quieter, well-paved street that is also wide so that both you and the drivers are safe, running less risk of accidents.
8. Monitor Your Workouts
For those who want to cycle as a way to practice sports, improve physical conditioning and evolve, it is important to always monitor their training – and face these moments pedaling really as sports training.
In the beginning, it’s normal to be slower, especially since you still don’t have practice or stamina and you’re also getting used to a new activity.
So you don’t have to ask too much of yourself. Over time, you will improve a lot, increasing your performance, and being able to ride longer distances in shorter intervals of time.
Doing this monitoring (seeing how long it took you to cycle so many kilometers) will help you to realize week after week how much you evolve, each time you dedicate yourself to pedaling.
And, in the end, this ends up being quite a motivation for you to persist with this activity until it becomes a habit you can’t live without!
9. Adjust the Saddle
Just as you need to prepare your body by eating well, hydrating yourself, and also doing stretching, it is important to leave your bike ready to receive you, especially its seat, the Saddle.
Seat positioning is a very important factor on a bicycle. A mountain biking bike usually comes with a quality factory one. That’s because if they are not well-positioned, they can end up causing you various injuries, pain, tension, and, in the long term, irreversible damage to your health.
After all, cycling is an activity that demands a lot from your body, from a good posture and also from the muscles. So pay attention to at least two things: the height and direction of the saddle.
- First, the saddle must be at a height aligned with the greater trochanter of the femur, that is, the bony prominence that we have on the side of the thigh, at the height of the hip. Many people prefer to leave the saddle much lower, as they are afraid of not being able to easily touch the ground with their feet when stopping the bike, but with this positioning, you will be at risk of several injuries.
- Second, it is essential that your saddle is in a straight direction, completely horizontal, and never tilted forward or backward. Think that the saddle is exactly where your entire torso will be supported and that, when using it bent, either forwards or backward, this can cause several damages to your entire spine, generating pain not only in your back but also in your neck, in the shoulders and arms.
Being mindful of your body position is essential when you’re starting to pedal. Well, the way you pedal at the beginning is how you will get used to pedaling all the time! And, over time, bad posture when pedaling can end up causing damage to your health. That’s why we’ve separated several simple tips for you to be aware of these first times pedaling until you get into the habit of positioning yourself properly on the bike without having to remember all these details.
10. Body Position
As we explained, the way your body is positioned on top of the bike makes a lot of difference, both for your comfort and your health. In addition to adjusting the bench, you also need to pay attention to the positioning of your spine, keeping it as straight as possible, without letting your chest be further forward than the rest of your body.
In the same way, avoid that your torso is backward, with the shoulders thrown forward too much. Your knees also need to be well-positioned, always in line with your hips and semi-flexed while you’re pedaling.
And your arms also need to be semi-flexed, never completely straight, so that when you’re pedaling, you’re not pushing them too hard, which can later lead to tendonitis. A very important, but sometimes overlooked, detail about body positioning is pedaling the bike. Yes, even the way you place your foot on the pedal is important!
To pedal, you must give the pedaling impulse using the region below the big toe, that is, at the tip of the metatarsal, never using the heel, the middle of the foot, or the region of the toes.
This will help you get more balance on the bike and can also help a lot to avoid the pain that starts in the feet, and heels and goes to the whole leg, and can even cause injuries.
Finally, the last very important thing you have to be aware of when riding is the positioning of your head. Especially when we’re learning to ride a bike, it’s common to keep looking down or even looking back all the time. But this is a mistake!
It’s important to keep your head forward at a right angle so that you don’t put too much strain on your neck as you pedal.
Not to mention, of course, that this is much safer for you to avoid losing your concentration and not having accidents because you are looking elsewhere than what is in front of you.
11. Train Your Mind
As important as preparing our body is also preparing our mind, especially when you are starting a new physical activity. And believe me: feeling good, having a mood, and being focused is very important for you to be able to ride better and better.
Therefore, when getting on your bike it is good to train your mind to think about the benefits that pedaling generates for your body, your physical health, and also your mental and emotional health. Plus, the more confident you feel, the better you’ll be at pedaling.
In the beginning, it can be difficult to achieve goals you’ve set for yourself, especially if you’ve set very high expectations. Be patient with yourself. After all, we all face great difficulties and moments of discouragement with our performance when we are starting a new activity.
But remember the more you train, the better your performance will be and this is something you can see improving week after week, month after month. Pedaling better and better and faster and faster. The secret to the success of any habit is to be as persistent as you can be.
Applying these tips in practice, we do not doubt that you will ride better and better. And don’t be afraid! With all this, you will be able to ride more safely and improve every day.