The definitive guide for the beginner cyclist. Guidelines and advice.
If a sport has succeeded in the “post-confinement” stage, this is undoubtedly the cycling. Bicycle sales have grown to unsuspected levels and the sector has had to face one of the most surprising sports booms in history. First it was running, then paddle tennis and now cycling.
The madness of bikes it has been unleashed and with it the number of new cyclists who week after week start stepping on the asphalt. He road cycling It takes the lead and although all of us who have loved this sport for years are in luck, we began to detect dangerous behaviors and behaviors by these beginners.
Faced with this situation, which in passing was somewhat predictable, I had no choice but to make a guide for beginner cyclists. Something basic, direct and that more than one will dare to describe as trivial. It is true that some of the advice that I list below eludes more common sense than an extensive experience in cycling, but after more than half a life on top of “the skinny one”, a server can assure you that what is missing is more than one is precisely this. Common sense.
We are going with a series of practical tips so that the newcomers begin to respect what it has taken us so many years to build and transmit. Education, respect, sacrifice and humility.
And if you are one of those who have been giving the pedals time, I am convinced that a review of the ethical and moral code of cycling will not hurt you either. The cycling card is not earned on Strava or with a Top 50 in a cycling tour. Let's leave the values of this sport where they deserve
Paper and pencil, we ripped!
Hear and learn from veterans
They say that experience is a grade and cycling is no exception. My recommendation is that you let yourself be advised by those cyclists who have been practicing this sport longer than you.
Regardless of their physical condition, they will have spent more hours on the saddle and this you think that in principle should not make a difference.
The first days you must be all ears. Soak up knowledge and absorb all the indications they are giving you.
You're new to all of this so show respect to the group's veterans. It is likely that they walk more than you and also make an extra effort to go out with you.
Forget about coming and kissing the saint. Cycling on television is very nice but everyday on the road is another. Reach out to people who have competed or who have extensive experience whenever you can. They are the best option to learn to ride in a group, relay or improve the track on the descents. You will also learn the unwritten code of cycling that includes, for example, generosity with colleagues who are damaged in the gutter.
“Reach out to people who have competed or have extensive experience. They are the best option to learn to ride in a group, relay or improve the line. ”
Some cyclists avoid this situation completely and with 4 starts and a good physical progression they think they are ready to play the Tour de France. This profile is the real problem. Overconfidence can cause distractions and we already know that a distraction at certain times can lead to a real mess.
Get a basic understanding of mechanics
By having a basic understanding of mechanics I mean the ability any rider should have to be self-sufficient. This implies being able to fix a puncture or the obligation to know in some depth the parts of a bicycle.
Many are those who go out to roll without any knowledge in this matter. Believe me that you stay stranded in the middle of a summer storm you will remember this point.
Changing a puncture is not complicated at all, but if you still can't solve it, at least go out to train with a basic bicycle tool kit.
Looking for proper development
You are not the first who, after buying a second-hand bicycle, realizes that the developing it carries is not suitable. You must choose one combination of speeds that adapts as much as possible to your physical condition. If you are new and you have not practiced cycling before, opt for a development wide enough to climb any slope. One of the big mistakes when buying a bicycle lies in the wrong choice of development.
It has nothing to do with the plate that an amateur uses to compete with the one that a cyclist may need in his first sporting event. If you want to know more, do not hesitate to consult our publication “development for a bicycle”. An extensive guide for both road and MTB.
keep it real
Heroics are fine, but sports exploits are not available to everyone. Consider a few firsts realistic goals. Otherwise, it is likely that you end up hating the bicycle and that you will start to get lazy going out on certain routes. Enjoy the moment and each pedaling.
Not long ago I already left here some practical tips to face with guarantees your first 100 kilometers by bicycle. Growth must be progressive and there is little point in taking a start of a hundred kilometers if you have never reached 50 days.
Forget about average speed
I still don't quite understand why some amateur cyclists they become obsessed with average speed. This value should simply be one more piece of information that we will take into account when finishing the training.
Average speed means absolutely nothing and no trained coach will force you to train with your eyes on this indicator. If you live in Andorra, believe me that no matter how hard you try you will not get an average of 30 kilometers per hour. Forget about comparing inconsistent data with other riders.
Comparing the average speed only makes sense when you are on the same route and in similar weather conditions. The average and normalized power, the unevenness or the pulsations are much more relevant data when looking for an improvement in physical condition. Training faster does not mean training better.
Another big mistake some fans make is that of not resting. Rest is part of training and without rest there is no progress. It is likely that you have already heard of it, but if it is not, I recommend that you read “Cycling supercompensation: the secret to improve your performance”
Learn to listen to your body and don't forget that a good rest can be the best workout. A bad night, heaviness in the legs or muscle discomfort can be obvious indicators that your body needs a rest.
Take care of food
I'm not talking about eating steamed broccoli and cauliflower. I mean rather to follow some logical guidelines for hydration and food.
The rider's breakfast is an indispensable part of the training. Eat plenty of breakfast if you plan to take a long route. Food is our fuel and without fuel the bird is guaranteed. If you are lost I recommend that you visit the publication “What to eat before, during and after riding a bicycle” calmly.
Respect the traffic regulations
This point should practically be ignored, but unfortunately I cannot do it. Many are cyclists who do not respect the highway code. This poses a danger to them, but also to the physical integrity of other people.
Respect traffic lights, preference at roundabouts and focus on rolling to the right. More and more groups of recently started cyclists who roll down the road occupying practically the entire road. Learn to roll in a group and don't forget about the danger that a fall can have at these speeds.