In our Cycling Basics series we're having a look at the first steps you need to take to get a bike, start pedaling, and stay safe.
Riding a bike is....well, like riding a bike. It's one of those things that we're somehow just expected to know how to do.
But, it's not that easy, is it?
If you're a newcomer to cycling, or haven't been on a bike in a long time, then you'll quickly realize how complicated it can be:
A ton of different options for cycling apparel and gear (and it's not all tight spandex).
And a list of bike jargon that takes us from all the way from Aero to Zwift.
So, we'll be getting you ready for your first cycling adventures with easy-to-wrap-your-head-around guides on a wide variety of topics, including:
Bike Types Explained: A handy reference guide which gives a quick rundown of the most popular bike types and what sets them apart from each other.
Proper Saddle Adjustment: Steps on how to properly adjust your bike's saddle for optimal comfort and efficiency. Don't skip this one - the wrong saddle, or one that's set up incorrectly, can lead to a miserable bike ride and, even, long-term health issues.
Basic Cycling Gear: An overview of essential cycling gear for beginners, such as cycling shorts, gloves, and budget bike glasses. To get started you don't need much, but a few basics (such as padded shorts) can make a big difference to your enjoyment.
Starting and Stopping: Techniques for safely starting and stopping your bike, including tips for navigating traffic. Handy especially if you're considering commuting by bike.
Balance and Control: Tips on how to improve balance and control while riding, which are fundamental to safe cycling. Particularly if you want to experience the adrenaline rush of trail riding.
Pedaling Basics: A breakdown of the correct pedaling technique, focusing on efficiency and energy conservation.
Braking Techniques: An explanation of how to use front and rear brakes effectively and safely. We'll also take an initial look at the different types of brakes and the pros and cons of each.
Turning and Steering: Instructions on how to execute turns and navigate curves properly and safely. Important when you're going fast, but also when you're going very slowly (through city traffic, for example).
Shifting Gears: A guide to understanding when and how to shift gears for smooth and efficient riding. Plus, how do gears on a bike actually work? We'll dive in for a look at everything from 1st gear to 24-speed bikes.
Bike Handling in Different Conditions: Tips on how to handle your bike in various weather and road conditions, including rain, wind, and gravel.
Basic Troubleshooting: A list of common bike problems, such as flat tires, and the solutions to help keep you on the road.
Bike Cleaning Basics: Step-by-step instructions on how to clean a bike to maintain its longevity.
Road vs. Trail Riding: A comparison of the different techniques and preparation needed for road and trail riding.
Cycling with Kids: Tips for teaching children how to cycle and ensuring their safety while riding. Plus advice on how to encourage kids to get cycling (without having to bribe them with candy!)
Cycling in Traffic: Advice on how to safely navigate and cycle in areas with heavy traffic.
Basic Bike Customization: Suggestions for simple customizations to make your bike more comfortable or efficient.
Introduction to Cycling Terminology: A glossary of common cycling terms and phrases that new cyclists should know.
Night Riding Basics: Safety tips and gear recommendations for riding your bike at night. Fearless night riding for urban cyclists. A set of powerful bike lights whether you're cycling in the mean city streets or out on the trails.
Cycling in Groups: Basic tips and techniques for group rides, including communication and drafting.
First Aid for Cyclists: A list of basic first aid knowledge that all cyclists should have, including handling common injuries. (Tip: start with a simple, but comprehensive bike first aid kit).
Cycling and the Environment: Information on how cycling can contribute to environmental sustainability and tips for eco-friendly cycling.