Cycling Tips

Read these 7 Cycling Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Bicycle tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What's a good cycling cadence?

Cycling Cadence

Don't slip into high gear! One of the biggest mistakes made by beginning cyclists is using too high of a gear (using too high of a gear makes pedaling harder, and can lead to fatigue). Lower gears make it easier to pedal.

The most important goal is to try and keep a steady cadence (the rhythm of your pedaling), even when going up and down hills. A good rhythm, between 80 and 100 revolutions per minute (rpm), is optimum. Don't push yourself too hard right off the bat. Instead, work your way up to those higher gears.

   
What should I look out for when cycling on trails?

Cycling on Trails

Don't be a trail hog! When riding on trails, it's important to keep in mind that most trails aren't just made for cycling. They're multi-use trails.

Trails aren't only made for you—they are also for hikers, dogs on leashes, strollers, kids, skaters, and more. So, even though you want to let go and relax to your beautiful surroundings, you still have to keep your wits about you. There are just as many distractions on a trail as there are on the road. Stay alert and respect other users.

   
How do I begin racing?

Cycling To Win

If your love for cycling is leading you toward racing, here's the best way to start.

• Join a club (that way, your club mates can offer valuable support)
• Pick a race
• Plan out a training program and stick to it
• Get a training buddy from your club (this helps provide motivation)
• Go out and get riding

*Remember that it's not the results that count—it's that you tried. If you get less that perfect results in your first race keep in mind that IT'S YOUR FIRST RACE. Stick with your training and you'll be breezing over those finish lines in no time.

   
Should I keep a log of my cycling?

Cycling Log

If you're cycling with any degree of seriousness, it's a good idea to keep a cycling log to help you track your progress. You can then enter your:

• Progress
• Speed
• Distance

Over time, you will be able to monitor yourself and pinpoint strengths and weaknesses (and, as you make changes and adjustments on your bike or in process, you won't have to rely on memory to figure out what you did). Keeping a cycling log is the key to improving your overall performance.

   
How is cycling beneficial?

Benefits of Cycling

More and more people, including families, are catching the cycling bug. It's such a satisfying way to improve your fitness while taking in the scenery and getting fresh air.

Biking as a family can help you teach your children about the importance of exercise while allowing them to have fun at the same time (not to mention the fact that it will allow you to get that exercise in that you've been trying to find the time for).

*You can keep the activity interesting for them by changing routes, taking in different types of scenery, and exploring different types of terrain.

   
What supplies should I carry in my seat pack?

Cycling Supplies

A cycling outing can quickly and easily turn into a bad day when things go wrong and you're unprepared. A well-supplied seat pack is one way to be prepared for the unexpected. Fill your pack with:

• A patch kit
• Fresh glue
• Tire removal levers
• A spare inner tube
• Identification
• A couple of energy bars
• A cell phone
• Sun screen
• Lip balm
• Baby wipes
• A chain tool

Remember that it is better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. A lot can happen out there on the road or trails so be ready!

   
Can I test drive a bicycle before I buy?

Test Drive A Cycle

Do more than just kick the tires on that potential bicycle purchase! Many people don't know this, but most serious bike shops will let you test drive a bike. When you're making a serious investment in a bicycle, a test drive will give you extra confidence in your buying decision.

*Even though you can usually only ride each bike for about 15 minutes, there's no better way to get a feel for a bike (don't forget to ask the salesperson to adjust the seat and handlebars for fit first).

   
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Susan Sayour