If you’re interested in giving cycling a try you might be battling some apprehension. As a sport, cycling has a bit of a split-personality; both welcoming and intimidating. These personality traits can make it difficult to know exactly how to get started.
My goal is to get you off the fence and onto a bike. From a fat-burning spin class to a competitive road race, life is better when you’re riding. Once you’ve made a commitment to ride I think you’ll agree. Here are a few guidelines to help get you started.
Get Ready to Spend Some Money
- Cycling is more expensive than you think. Expect an initial investment of at least $1500 for a quality road bike and accessories. Remember, it’s not just the bike. You’ll likely need pedals, shoes, helmet, and cycling specific clothing.
- If you’re looking to save money your best bet is to purchase a used bike. Have a cyclist friend help you search on Craigslist. Most cyclists love to bring others into the sport.
- A used bike might save money, but it’s tough to beat the warranty and service of a local bike shop. Many new bikes also come with free tune-ups and regular maintenance discounts. If you want to keep things simple, find a local bike shop you trust and buy new.
Get Familiar With Strava
- Open a Strava account. It’s free and amazing.
- Strava turns your smartphone into a dynamic cycling computer. Location, speed, elevation, and distance ridden are all tracked and pushed to the cloud for free.
- Strava makes it easy to search for new places to ride. Plan new routes with confidence.
- Strava acts as a social network for cyclists. Keep track of your friends while checking out where and how hard they’re riding.
- Strava lets you compete and measure your progress against others. Their virtual leader-boards are incredibly fun and motivating.
Join a Local Club
- A cycling club connects you to local riders that will accelerate your learning curve in the sport.
- There’s a cycling club for every level of experience, age, and gender. Whatever your goals, you’ll find a club that fits.
- A cycling club provides external motivation to keep riding. There’s nothing like a bit of peer pressure to keep you showing up to an 8AM ride.
Sign Up For An Event
- Road race or half century, signing up for an event will give you an opportunity to push your limits.
- Motivation will always ebb and flow. The positive pressure and energy that comes from anticipating an event will keep you on track and looking ahead to long term goals.
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