Go from rookie cyclist to respected newbie with these tips

Since, we’re on the subject of bikes, I’d like to continue it by offering a few lessons I’ve learned over the years regarding cycling.

1. Look the part! Never wear underwear under your cycling shorts. The objective of the cycling short is to protect your bottom from chaffing. Underwear with a chamois will CAUSE chaffing. So ditch those panties, briefs, thongs, whatever you do and get yourself one cycling outfit and wear it on your rides!

2. Seat height: One of the most common problem I see happening with new cyclists is that they are not properly set up on their bikes. If your seat is TOO LOW, you could injure your knees. If your seat is TOO HIGH, your butt will rock in the saddle. Please have your seat height adjusted with a bike fit specialist. Most bike shops will offer a complete fitting for $50 which I think would be VERY worth the money as a proper fit can ensure a comfortable ride.

3. Helmet: Please invest in a decent helmet and wear it properly. Cheaply made helmets should be left for a bike rental. The straps should fit comfortably under your chin. The triangles on the sides fit around your ears. The helmet should fit your head and sit at or below your hairline. Best bet would be to try them on at the bike shop. Your glasses are put on after the helmet and over the straps.

4. Be prepared: Before you leave home, check your tire pressure. This is huge! When looking at the sides of the tire, you should be able to locate the amount in pounds that the tire needs. I usually pump my road bike tires up to 120lbs and the mountain bike up to 35lbs. You should always carry a repair kit, tube and a pump or CO2 cartiridge in case of a flat.

5. Hydration needs: You will need at least one bottle of a performance drink (not Gatorade) or water per hour on the bike. Plan on water fountains or convenience stores to replenish your hydration needs.

6. Be friendly to other cyclists, always. If you’re passing someone, say hello! Use key words like “left”, “right” or “car back” or “hole” when riding in a group situation. It’s also polite to ride with those you left with- don’t ride “with a friend” by riding 200 yards in front or behind them, that’s just being rude.

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