Ten things we wish we knew when we started riding

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There’s always an upside to pretty much anything. And for these crazy times that we find ourselves in at the moment, it seems to be that cycling is going gangbusters.

Every bike shop owner you talk too will probably tell you that they’ve been bombed. The uptake of cycling across the world has exploded. We all know why, and I won’t go into it here.

My dad owns a small, honest independent bike shop in the north of England, he’s been in business for over 40 years and can’t remember a time when there have been so many old battered bikes wheeled through the workshop. All these rusty and unloved bikes are now being spruced and breathing new life. Bike sales had risen to the levels of the Christmas in the years before the Nintendo NES system came along when bikes were what everyone wanted.

All this means that there’s a whole host of new people are finding or rediscovering cycling. And it’s bloody brill. This also means that there are people out there that may not know as much as the usual CyclingTips reader (we like to think you’re a knowledgable lot, you often show it in the comment sections). So we thought it a perfect opportunity to rack our brains for the stuff that may seem a little simple for the seasoned cyclists, tips that may come second nature to many who have many miles in their legs, but tips we feel would be a good starting ground for those new two-wheeled wonderers. Yes, it may seem a far cry from what we usually post here on CT, but heck look at the top of the website, look at that address bar, it says CYCLINGTIPS after all.

So here we go, just a few tips. For more detailed explanations, click the video above.

1) Enjoy it! Bikes are fun.
2) Find a great bike shop. They’ll take care of you, get you fit on your bike properly, and tell you where the best coffee stops are .
3) You don’t need to look like an Avenger.
4) Get in the right gear.
5) Riding in the rain is part of the fun (sometimes).
6) Learn to fix your own flats
7) Don’t be a muppet. Respect other road users.
8) Get comfy. A good bike fit will make riding much more enjoyable.
9) Clean your bike!
10) Freewheel when you can, pedal when you must

A starter shall we say, and if the regular readers want to jump in on the comments and partake in dishing out the wisdom that they wish they knew when first turning a pedal, I invite you to do so. If we get enough good ones and these new cyclists like what I’ve put together then in a few weeks I’ll crack the camera out again, head to a quiet field somewhere and film a few more.

I, for one, am loving this new surge in people wanting to get out on two wheels. I’ve just watched the family three doors down roll out on a ride, dad on a mountain bike, mum on a town bike, the son on a 24 inch wheeled mountain bike and the teenage daughter on a brand new road bike. They’re off for a lap of Lake Annecy, they’ve never done it before. How damn awesome is that?

Sure there are no races on, but come on that just means more time out on the bike. Instead, they’ll be no TV time, watching a seven-hour mountain stage, that you just know will only kick off with about 55 minutes remaining. All that Grand Tour TV watching can now be used riding and maybe, just maybe you’ll pass a new cyclist, so remember to give them a wave, give them a nod invite them into what we know is the best bloody sport in the world. Let’s take this moment in history to push cycling forward; let’s get the wheels rolling.

Ok enough from me, I’m off out on my bike.

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