Cycling is an ever-growing hobby and method of transportation for hundreds of Americans, as highlighted by the number of participants in the activity growing from 43-47.5 million in 2017 and continuing to rise in 2022.
Whether you have decided to take up cycling to better your overall health or as alternative work transportation — getting out on the road with your new bike can be a daunting experience. However, new riders will soon feel their confidence increase and much more at ease while on a bike ride with a bit of knowledge and friendly advice.
Here are some of our most valuable pieces of advice for novice cyclists; from practicing on different terrains to crashing your bike safely, we’ve created this article outlining several tips to make new riders more comfortable while out on the road.
Take Out Insurance
No matter how experienced a cyclist you are or however many precautions you put into place, accidentsor theft can strike out of nowhere and take you by surprise. If you are planning to use your new bicycle regularly, we recommend taking out relevant insurance to protect your equipment (and yourself) should an unforeseen event occur.
Depending on which insurance provider you approach, you can find companies that will cover you and your equipment for total loss by theft, medical coverage, any crash, accidental damage, damage, or loss in transit, and many more.
Put yourself at ease and eliminate these risks by contacting national insurance programs such as Velosurance; their expert team should be able to answer any queries you may have and advise on the best policy for your needs. For more insight, consider perusing their website today or following their blog for relevant posts on cycling-related topics such as crashing your bike safely, training tips, and much more.
Brush Up On Your Highway Code
As a cyclist, many of the rules and regulations outlined in the Highway Code apply to bike riders, and some even differ from those for other road users. Before heading out on your first bike cycling ride, we recommend taking some time to refresh your knowledge of the Highway Code and ensure that you understand all rules so that you ride in accordance.
You could reassure yourself that you’ve taught yourself all the necessary knowledge by creating flashcards, taking online quizzes, or asking friends and family members to test you. Ensuring that you recognize all road traffic signs, hand gestures, and watch out for the road users in front of you will give you the best chances possible for minimizing accidents and increasing your confidence while riding.
Protect Your Head
Head injuries are one of the leading causes of cycling-related injuries or worst-case scenario deaths in the United States, causing a shocking 62.6% of bicycle fatalities each year. Therefore, investing in a good-quality helmet should be one of your priorities before even getting on a bicycle with this statistic in mind.
Ensure that you visit several cycling shops and do not settle on the first helmet you see; a well-fitting helmet should feel snug but not constricting and meet the U.S standards for impact protection.
Depending on which state you live in, all have varying rules about helmets and whether you must wear one while riding or not; however, we recommend wearing one regardless of what the legislation of your state enforces.
Invest In A Proper Saddle
As well as investing in a high-quality MIPS Bluetooth bike helmet, it is also beneficial for novice cyclists to purchase a proper saddle to make longer cycling journeys more comfortable. Investing in a good saddle makes all the difference to your riding experience, and do not just assume that because a seat is generously padded, it will elevate your riding experience.
Instead, make sure that you visit various cycling stores both in-person and online. Do not be afraid to ask the salesperson for recommendations or browse for reviews on the internet, as doing so will give you the best chance of finding the right piece of equipment for your needs.
Typically, most cyclists favor a longer saddle with a cut-out, but there is a range of saddles on the market, and just because one might work for someone else doesn’t mean that it will work for you. So, ensure that you take your time while shopping, and pick one based on your own opinion as you will be the one using it.
Avoid Wearing Headphones
Although, wearing headphones may be an extremely compelling way to pass the time or get some light entertainment during longer bike rides, their use while riding is hazardous as it makes you less aware of your surroundings.
Having loud music blaring in your ears makes it harder for you to hear emergency vehicles or be alerted to other things happening around you, leading to accidents or worst-case scenarios, severe injuries, or even death.
Minimize the chances of accidents or getting distracted by opting for a clip-on radio or portable speaker that you can attach to your clothing or bike without impacting your ability to hear your surroundings.