Getting Started

Often I meet adults that have never really ridden a bike, and sometimes I meet people who have ridden a bike but don’t fully understand how to get the most out of it. If you like riding but feel like your relatively novice at it these few tips could really enhance the experience.

The first thing to understand is that your bike isn’t an item you turn on and it just works how it’s supposed to and that’s it. It’s more like an instrument, so for one, it must be tuned before it can be ridden. It doesn’t have to be tuned every time or all the time but it has to be tuned to begin with.

It’s also important to check your tires weekly and keep them aired to the point they are relatively solid. Keeping solid pressure reduces the risk of flats dramatically, ensures for a better ride including handling and reduces the overall amount of damage the bike could suffer.

Your gears… Your gears are nothing that should confuse you. If they do that’s ok, but understand they’re not hard to use and being proficient in using them is not some unattainable skill. Practice using your gears, in a parking lot, in your driveway or just your neighborhood street. Practicing using them will give you insight into the small nuances that can occur and what to expect from different gear selections. Always finesse pedal when shifting, keep the system spinning but never apply hard pressure and expect everything to work without flaw.

Braking, in the same scenario you learned about your gears play with your brakes. Use them differently to understand what they do, and as you get more comfortable try applying rapid pressure just to get a feel of what might happen should you face an emergency.

Understand that your wheels hold themselves up when they’re spinning and the faster they’re moving the more stable they are, this should give you the confidence you focus on keeping them up right and allowing them to negotiate any obstacle.

Measure the distance from the top of your seat to the top of your pedal in it’s most down position and set that distance to the same number as the bottom of your pelvic bone to the ground while standing.

Where comfortable clothes that aren’t too baggy.

Have adequate supplies.

Have fun.