This article has something for people getting onto a bicycle after the cycle you rode when you were a kid, as well as for those of you getting back to cycling after a while, a long break.
YOUR FIRST RIDE AFTER THE FIRST CYCLE YOU EVER RODE
If you are getting back into cycling after a break, the last time you rode being when you were a kid, you may have all kinds of questions when it comes to doÛªs and donÛªts of getting back to cycling. Here, we will give you a few tips that address the doubts that may be lingering in your mind.
Today, the market for bicycles is huge with many brands and many options.You have geared cycles in addition to all the pre-existing non-geared bicycles. The market has drastically changed over the past years. Choosing a bicycle can be confusing.
First and foremost,you have to choose a bicycle that you are comfortable riding. If you are apprehensive about gears, donÛªt worry, every first timer on a geared bike is. You get used to the shifting over time with continuous riding.
Once you choose and buy a bicycle that you are comfortable on, take it on a small ride in your neighborhood just to get a feel of the bike and your balance on it. It is true, once you know how to ride a bicycle you never forget. You may just need to refresh your memory. Do this in an area which is spacious and has little or no traffic. Once you build the confidence to ride in and around the neighborhood, you may take on busier roads with more people and traffic.
As the time you spend on the saddle increases, your challenges too can increase. Your first century, your first hill climb and so onÛ_ Remember, start out slow and steady and gradually pick up the pace.
YOUR FIRST RIDE AFTER A LONG BREAK
Getting back on your bicycle, if you have been out of touch with exercise can take some effort. Your muscles would have lost the feel of hours on the saddle and may take a while to get used to it again. If you are getting back on the saddle after a long break, here are a few ideas and tips to help make this transition better.
- If your cycle hasnÛªt been used at all for a while, make sure you check the cables, the brakes, the tyres, the chain and the gears for any damage and repair anything that may need it.
- Do not readjust the saddle height or any other positioning, if you are the last one to have ridden the cycle.
- Brush up your bike maintenance - fixing a flat, fixing the brake cables etc - before you take your cycle out on a long ride.
- Since it has probably been a while, start your training with a small, slow paced ride. Your muscles havenÛªt been used to cycling for a while, so training hard and fast immediately will cause them to go into shock and will be painful. Starting slow and small will help ease your muscles back into the movements.
- Start with small distances and flat lands, too much too fast will only tire you and your muscles.
- Never compare the statistics of your average ride before you took a break from cycling to the statistics of your first few rides after the break. You need time to get back your form.
- Avoid comparing yourself with other cyclists, be it people who you ride with on a regular basis or other cyclists who train with you/ around you. Everyone takes their own time to get back into training and form.
- Only once you are comfortable being back on the saddle, aim to train stronger and faster.
- Slowly add intensity to your training.
- Start off by adding a few rounds of high intensity intervals to your regular ride.
- Aim at gradually increasing the distance you cover in a particular time frame.
- Once you are feeling stronger on the saddle aim to do a 100km ride within a specific time limit.
- Add in hill training/ climbs gradually, too.
Whether you are fresh on the saddle or back on the saddle after a long break, remember that slow and steady is the best way to want to remain on the saddle for a longer period. However, in all cases, do note that waiting too long to add intensity to your training routine can do more harm than good. This is because your muscles get used to the routine you stick to and changing it to something more intense can be hard, both physically and mentally. So, listen to your body and once you feel slightly stronger, up the intensity.åÊ