Cycling is an excellent form of low-impact exercise that is also very exhilarating. However, it is important that you adhere by these eight following tips to ensure you are able to enjoy a safe and comfortable ride.
Get a proper bike fit
Age, height, weight and flexibility are all factors that can influence which bike fits you best. What fits you perfectly now may not years from now. Having your bike set up to fit your body will make riding more efficient, easy and lessen any discomfort or soreness you may feel. Having a professional help fit you for a bike is a worthwhile investment of your time. If that is not an option for you however, there are many articles and videos available to help you such as this article by Bicycling.
Get the right saddle
A proper saddle makes a huge difference when riding. The thickest pad isn’t necessarily the most comfortable either. Generally, a longer seat with a cut-out is the best type of saddle. Check out online reviews to find out what is popular and then test ride a few.
Wear a helmet
More than half of cycling deaths in the U. S. every year are the result of head injury. You should always wear a helmet when riding and make sure your kids do too. Besides choosing a helmet that fits well, also consider features such as ease of use and ventilation. Checking out articles such as this buying guide from Consumer Reports is a good idea before investing in the most important piece of cycling equipment next to the bike itself.
Make use of your gears
Gears are a must for going up hills. When climbing, shift into a gear that will keep your cadence in the right range of rpm’s which allows you to go uphill without putting undue stress on your knees. Pedaling in high gear for extended periods of time puts strain on your knees. Your cadence should remain between 70 and 90 rpm’s.
Keep your head up
Keeping your vision fixed in the distance allows you proper time to react to any obstacles that may arise. Storm drains, for example, are very bad for thin road bike tires.
Change position while riding
Frequently moving your hands around on the bars, and moving your rear end around on the saddle will help keep you from getting numb due to prolonged time in any position.
Don’t ride with headphones on
Music can be a great motivator during any type of exercise. However, it can be very dangerous while cycling due to unexpected problems with motorists and emergency vehicles. If you want to listen to music, consider a Bluetooth-enabled, clip-on speaker you can attach to your clothing.
Know the rules
Ride with traffic. Obey all road signs. Closely watch all the vehicles in front of you so you can attempt to anticipate what they are going to do.
If you have other cycling questions not covered here, reach out to our SOS Facebook group!
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