When it comes to the art of cycling, there is more than getting into the saddle and hitting the road. On February 9, Bicycle magazine reported on newbie cycling mistakes, and how to correct them.
If you've recently taken up road cycling for fitness or sport, you are doing your body a favor, but you may be making a few common errors - especially if you're considering trying racing or group riding. The first step is to visit your local bike shop and talk to more experienced cyclists, or consider joining a local cycling group for inspiration and know-how.
A few mistakes to watch out for:
1. Buying the most expensive gear - Sure, a flashy bike looks nice, but it won't make you a better rider. Rather, focus on taking care of your gear, and actually using it.
2. Overkill - Pace yourself to avoid burn out. "Use the first third of a ride to warm up, the next third to settle into a rhythm and the final third to hammer," states the article.
3. Not refueling enough - Rules: Eat before you get hungry, drink before you get thirsty. For rides lasting more than an hour, sip from your water bottle every 10 minutes and eat a small bite of food every 15 minutes, Bicycle reports.
4. Overconfidence - Cycling is a complicated sport; approach it with a spirit of openness rather than overconfidence, and focus on improving your skills.
5. Breaking the rules of the road - Know the protocol to riding in groups, hang in the back, watch what is going on. Talk with more experienced riders, ask for advice, and visit your local bike shop to find out the essentials.
Outdoor magazine offers a handy series of articles for newbie cyclists: http://www.outdoor.com/category/skills/road-cycling-skills/
Watch a video on beginning cycling tips: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2qgTq0QY4E