How to get started on your bike!

11th March 2021

With spring soon approaching, now is the perfect time to get back in the saddle, if you haven’t ridden your bike in a long time it can be a nerve wracking thought which is why we’ve compiled some great tips to help you begin your journey!

Getting your hands on a bike

Second Hand: The Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree can be a great starting point, if you haven’t ridden in a while there’s no need to spend a fortune on a shiny new top spec bike. The main things to consider when buying a bike are, is it the right size? And what condition is the frame in? Tips on purchasing a second-hand bike can be found HERE.

Buying New: You may be able purchase a new bike through the salary sacrifice cycle scheme with your employer, this allows you to make a tax saving (up to 39%) you repay your employer through your salary payments over an set period of time. If you’re going down this route, it’s best to pop into a shop to try the bike first, Halfords offer 30-minutes trials.

Renting a bike: Try before you buy! There are many bike shops around allowing you to rent a bike which can be a great way to determine which bike suits you before making a purchase or if you live within a city/town there may be docking stations around allowing you to borrow a bike, such as:

Cambridge – Voi e-scooters

London – Santander

Peterborough (and many other city’s/towns) – Brompton Bike Hire

Norwich – Beryl Bikes

Please make sure you are abiding to all social distancing/Government advice when purchasing/hiring a bike.

Make sure your bike is safe and working

You may not be an expert in this area, which many of us are not. The good news is there are plenty of online resources to help you.

You may be able to get your bike checked and fixed for free with the Big Bike Revival, find a repair station near you or head to a Halfords store for free repairs up to £50.

Getting back on the bike

Now that you have a safe working bike, it’s time to hop back on the saddle. You can start by having a practise around some quiet tracks, your garden or local parks to get your confidence back on how to ride the bike before heading onto the roads. Making the transition to riding on the road may be daunting, to learn how to get the ride road position you can watch this useful video :

Big Pedal

Find a route you’re comfortable with

You may already have a route in mind you know well, if not you can head to Cycle Streets or download their app to find cycle routes. Another great option is joining a local cycling group, allowing you to meet like minded people and discover new routes, find your local group. There are also plenty of bike companies out there offering cycle training, this could be a great option for all ages.

Learn basic repairs

Learning basic repairs will help keep moving when you’re out and about by yourself, the two main things you might need to know is; how to fix a puncture and how to put the chain back on if it falls off.

Make it enjoyable

This can be done by simply making sure your comfortable on the bike by wearing comfortable clothing (padded shorts can be a life savour for those longer rides), purchasing a great seat or even by planning a cake/tea stop on your route. The more you cycle the more confident you will become and soon it will become your favourite hobby. You can track your rides to see your progress through;  Strava or Map My Ride.  just remember to stay safe and always wear a helmet, be prepared with lights and puncture repair kit