Beginners Guide To Cycling For Fitness, Part Three.
Beginner’s guide to cycling for fitness part three.
At this stage you should have the bike and have it set up so that you can ride it without feeling like you are on some kind of torture machine. So now you have to go out and start riding it.
For a start remember this is your choice, you decided to do this so don’t make it a chore or you will never learn to like it. Don’t put pressure on yourself to start with by setting unrealistic goals. In fact I would say to start with try and under achieve. This may sound ridiculous but I’ve seen too many people buy a bike and all the latest gear, before getting on it and trying to go miles and miles at a time. They then wonder why they are in so much pain and the next time they get the bike out of the garage they have already got a negative approach to it. My way of learning is a much more relaxed approach.
I would say at this point the only things you really need to make sure you have with you to start with is a bottle of water on board, a small bag of change in case you need to buy a bar of something tasty and a phone just in case you get stuck somewhere. Switch your phone to silent so that you are not tempted to start taking calls, this is your time not someone else’s. First ride out is not about setting targets, just get on the bike and start riding it around your neighbourhood. Don’t give yourself any time limit or distances to reach. It just like being a kid again if you can remember that far back when you used to ride a bike for fun. Back then you didn’t start looking at maps to plan a route, you just got on your bike and went for a ride. Well the same principle applies here. I would also say go on your own to start with. This way you will go at the pace you want to and not someone else’s.
Remember this is supposed to be fun so relax and go with the flow. Ride around and see what roads take your fancy. It can be great fun just exploring roads at your own pace with nobody telling you what to do. If you see something interesting stop and take a look. Its all about getting to know your bike and how your body reacts with it, there is plenty of time for targets later, which I think come naturally when you start to get more serious. Take time to stop somewhere just for a little while so you can have a drink and recover for a bit, enjoy the moment at the time. We all look back and think wow that was really good, the trick is to tell yourself now.
Keep an eye on what you are doing but do take time to look around you too, you’ll be amazed at the things you didn’t know where there right on your own doorstep. If you start to feel that you’ve had enough then come home, I know it sounds obvious but there is no benefit in running yourself into the ground. By taking this approach to riding you will enjoy the feeling of freedom it gives you. We all spend far too much time inside looking at screens of one sort or another. This is a great way of getting away from the electrically induced happiness we have all come to rely on.
By tootling around at a pace that you feel happy with you will indeed come home happy and wanting to do it again. Well that’s it for your first ride, nothing to it really. Next time I will talk about how you can build on the good feelings the bike has opened up for you.