How to Get Back Into Cycling

Posted on 25 Jul 2016 by Anna Scott
You may have been inspired by Chris Froome making history with his third Tour de France victory, or you might be getting excited about the prospect of a British Cycling medal haul in the Rio Olympics. Whatever your reasons, there’s no better time to get back into cycling. It’s something most of us learn to do when we were kids although our cycling enthusiasm may have fallen by the wayside over the years. But now the popularity of cycling is at a record high amongst the over-40s – known as the ‘new golf’ no less – and its seen as the perfect way to get fit and get out in the open air. So if you want to get back in the cycling habit, here are our top tips on how to get on your bike and out on the open road again…

 

Get a Bike (Or Get Your Old One Serviced)


Cycling over a bridgeYes, having a bike to ride is quite an important factor in this whole cycling lark. But even though there are an increasing amount of specialist online biking retailers offering high-end bikes and cycling accessories, the reality is any old bike will do if you’re just going to use it for short journeys to start with. You can pick up a good value bicycle with Halfords promotional codes, or hunt for a second hand one online, or perhaps you’ve got an old one hiding away in the garage that just needs a bit of TLC. For the latter two scenarios, make sure you get them serviced before taking them out – a brake failure would certainly put the, er, brakes on any cycling adventure before you’ve even begun. Once you have your new (or old) bike up and running, it’s well worth taking out additional bike insurance for your own protection as well as your bikes, with CyclePlan discount vouchers offering good prices on specialist packages for extra peace of mind.

 

See if You Have a Cycle to Work Scheme


If you don’t fancy investing in a bike just yet, see if your employer runs a Cycle to Work scheme. These usually involve the tax-free hire of a bike for an agreed period, on the condition that you cycle to work, obviously. Well worth looking into if you live in a large town or city and are fed up with the stressful commute.

 

Practice


Cycling handlebarsAnother rather obvious point, but one that’s worth highlighting we think. Darting through traffic in the middle of rush hour probably isn’t the best introduction to the wonders and benefits of cycling, so it might be best to practice in your local park first, especially if your cycling confidence is a bit shaky. For extra safety, make sure you have all the required accessories including helmets and lights (you can save on these purchases using Wiggle discount codes), and if you feel like you could do with more support, see if you have a local Bikeability or other training scheme available.

 









Read the Highway Code


We doubt there are too many people outside all those learner drivers who read the Highway Code with great regularity, but if you haven’t been on a bike in a while it’s a good idea to brush up the rules of the road just in case you find yourself in an argument with a motorist. Not that this will happen because it goes without saying that you’re going to be a responsible road user, right?

 

Get Back in the Habit


It’s all very well deciding you want to start cycling again and buying a bike, but if you don’t have a plan for when you’re going to use it, you might find it gets relegated to the garage yet again. Even if it’s just for a couple of days a week to begin with, once you start getting into the cycling habit you’ll find you want to build on it and it will become, not only an important part of your exercise routine, but also an important part of your life.

 

Join the Community


Group of cyclistsAnother way to build on this is to join your local cycling community, whether it’s in a regular group bike ride or by becoming a member of British Cycling. A good starting point is to see if you have a local Sky Ride operating – these are friendly local cycle rides run by experienced cyclists where you can meet like-minded folk. Another option is to take a look at British Cycling Ride Social, which is their very own social network for cyclists, and there is also the award-winning Breeze scheme, a programme set up to encourage more women to take up cycling. Once you’ve found your new cycling confidence, check out the British Cycling Mapping, a service which not only lets you explore the many different cycling routes available, but also lets cyclists share their favourite routes for others to enjoy.

 

It might seem daunting at first, but taking up cycling could be one of the best things you could do,  not only for your health and fitness, but also your social life!

 

 

 

 

 

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