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New cyclist? 10 tips to make sure you get to be an old cyclist.

11 April 2016

10 tips for new cyclists

We know that not everyone who joins us on a luxury Cycology cycling holiday in Mallorca was born in the saddle; nor indeed is everyone a pro cyclist.

But don’t worry, here at Cycology, as long as you are passionate and excited about your cycling journey, we’ll be there to support you, every step of the way.

Having said that, cycling, like most sports comes with an element of danger and not just because of cyclists themselves. In March of this year (2016), 25-year-old Belgian rider, Antoine Demoitié, died just hours after he crashed and collided with a commissionaire’s motorbike at the Belgian race, Gent-Wevelgem, proving that even the pro cyclists are not immune to the perils of the road. Something you should burn into your brain is:

Safety

1) Always assume other road users can’t see you. Because it seems as though some of them can’t! This is more applicable in some countries than others: in Mallorca you can expect to be well treated, while in most of Britain if anyone behind a wheel sees you at all, they see you as a bit of a nuisance.

2) Take your space. Don’t ride right in the gutter; be far enough from the edge that you are visible.

Be considerate

3) Don’t ride two abreast in traffic. Some cyclists want motorists to be aware that cyclists exist, but don’t themselves recognise that they share the road with motorists.

4) Obey the law and the Highway Code. Pavements are for pedestrians, not for you. A red traffic light says STOP. To cyclists as well as to drivers.

Gear

5) If this is your first bike, buy from your local bike shop and not online. You’ll get advice based on your needs from someone who understands cyclists and can see what you look like. And don’t choose a model in the local store and then buy it online to save money – don’t buy a bike until you’ve sat in the saddle with your hands on the handlebars and your feet on the ground. Get the shop staff to adjust the height of the saddle until it’s exactly right for you.

6) Get to know your gears and how to shift between them to maintain your efficiency. Cycling Weekly brilliantly breaks down the confusion and explains how to best use your gears in this article.

7) Buy a helmet. On every Cycology cycling holiday we’ll insist that you wear one every time you ride. Helmets save lives.

8) You’ll find life a lot more comfortable with some decent padded shorts and cycling gloves.

Getting on the bike

9) You’re not racing at Le Mans. Get on the bike while it’s stationary, put one foot on a pedal and then push off.

10) Adopt the position. What position? There’s still an enormous amount to say to the cycling newbie. We’ll talk about position while riding when we come back to this in a future post.

Most importantly, cycling becomes a passion… an obsession, even. We know, because we’ve been where you are right now; right at the very start of your cycling journey. So, have fun with it, push yourself to your limits, fall in love with your bike and with your fellow cyclists, talk about your passion until Your Significant Other starts to roll their eyes at yet another conversation that starts with, “I was on my bike today...”

We couldn’t be more excited to welcome you as a budding cycologist!

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