I hope you enjoyed our month of cycling this September, where we hopped on our bikes, ventured outdoors (perhaps) and took a look at some training plans to build fitness specifically for longer and faster rides. To close out the month, I’d like to highlight some tips from readers about how to transition from casual rider to cycling enthusiast.
Scruffy has a tip for buying a good used bike:
Getting a used bike can present a great deal, since bicycle tech hasn’t changed much in the past 20 years. However, if you don’t know much about bikes, find someone who does and can go shopping with you to make sure the bike works well and fits you well.
mostlyempath suggests classes:
If you’re concerned about cycling in an urban environment, my local bicycle association had classes on “biking in the city”. Check your local area to see if there’s someone offering a class. I found it to be immensely valuable when I was getting started and it helped me be more confident on the road.
Antifaz recommends an upgrade:
Bike shoes help! Who knew? I never did, but now I do. Even casual ones will make a big difference (I’d only recommend the casual ones for city).
Bike shoes are, of course, those shoes that lock into the clipless pedals that you install on your bike to match. (If you’ve done an indoor cycling class and were handed a pair of special shoes, you’ve used these.)
Not ready for the special shoes? You can get a pair of clips for a few bucks, and attach those to your regular pedals. Both options help to hold your feet on the pedals so you can push more efficiently.
Other upgrades recommended by readers: Good headlights and taillights, making sure your bike is properly fitted to you (your bike shop can help if you’re clueless), and a bell so you can be heard at a distance. In the personal care department, Bloomtownrat recommends some antibacterial lubricant:
I would also add that a good chamois creme is critical for the boys. Not fun to talk about, but it’s true.