New to Cycling? Here’s How to Look Like an Expert
Cycling is a great habit to get into. It can strengthen your immune system, protect against certain types of cancer, decrease your risk of heart disease and improve your mental heath. Using a bicycle also costs 20 times less a year on average than using a car.
It’s no wonder more new cyclists come to the sport every year. If you’re just starting out, though, it’s easy to feel self-conscious about your rookie status. Don’t let this get you down. There are plenty of ways to look and feel like an expert in no time.
Start by buying bike apparel that fits. It may be an uncomfortable adjustment to make at first, but tight lycra clothes are just more aerodynamic and suited to the sport. If you wear size large clothes, go with size medium bike apparel. Loose-fitting and breezy clothes are a sure sign of an amateur. Save yourself time spent on the learning curve and get the right clothes.
Shaving your legs is also a good idea, not for the aerodynamics factor like many people assume, but for the velcro effect that can occur during nasty sliding falls. Less hair will make it easier for you to clean out scuffs and cuts from crashing into the pavement.
Newer riders are also subject to greasy marks on the inner calf area from hitting their bike chains. These marks tell other riders that you don’t clean your chain regularly and that your cycling posture is unpolished. Keep your chain clean and consider switching to clear products that don’t leave your chain with oily black buildup.
Cycling lights are a must for any rider who goes out at night. Don’t count on your reflectors to protect you over cycling lights. Other riders will pick up on this as a sign of inexperience, and it’s also much harder for cars to see you. Protect yourself by installing good cycling lights to alert cars to your position.
Bike parts and accessories are a great way to feel more experienced, but buying too few or too many can reveal your rookie status. For instance, you probably don’t need a complex bike hydration system if you’re not mountain biking, and too many handlebar computer systems can distract you while you’re riding.
Get just enough that you’ll be able to ride safely and efficiently. You can splurge on a helmet, though, as it will likely be with you for a long time.
Do you have tips for rookie cyclists? Share them in the comments!