The use of the bicycle for physical activity, leisure, sports, or even as a vehicle has been growing every day. Besides the pleasure that a good ride provides, a good part of this popularization can be explained by the simplicity that the practice offers. After all, all you have to do is get on your bike and get out there, right?
However, if it is true that it is very simple to start cycling, it is common for cyclists to make some mistakes, usually because they have not paid attention to some cycling tips. But don’t think that only beginners are affected by this problem, as experienced people also face difficulties in this regard.
And, of course, mistakes happen in any sport and affect both urban cyclists and those who train often. But don’t worry: In this post, we will list the most common mistakes and present tips for cyclists who want to improve their technique and ride even better. Happy reading!
1. PEDALING WITH AN INCORRECT POSTURE
This mistake can have several causes, but is usually caused by incorrect adjustments to the components of the bike. Too high (or low) saddle and handlebars are the most common causes. Frame and wheel size configurations also cause incorrect posture.
When this happens – usually the wrong combination of these settings – the consequence is not only discomfort, but a high risk of injury from inadequate tension and bending of the knees and legs as well as an ill-advised back tilt.
There are tips for cyclists to help get the bike settings right, but if you can, invest in a bike fit procedure, which will ensure that your companion bike will be fully appropriate for your body type.
2. GO BEYOND YOUR OWN LIMITS
Especially when you first start to enjoy cycling, it is normal to want to overcome barriers and go further and further. Even experienced cyclists are not free from “over training,” a common cause of the most diverse injuries.
Respect your body and maintain a consistent, but not excessive, training program. Learn to rest enough between rides, giving your body time to recover after a stressful ride.
Finally, learn to pace yourself by getting used to the pace before the next step. So use the first third of the ride for warm-up, the next part to dictate a steady pace, and the end for maximum effort.
3. NEGLECT FOOD AND HYDRATION
A key item for a bike ride, nutrition needs to receive special attention. Intuitively, you already know you should avoid heavy and fatty foods before the ride, but perhaps you don’t know the importance of staying nourished also during the practice.
Of course, for short rides – around one hour – such strict care is not necessary. However, if your plan includes a few hours of riding, take care to replenish yourself with small amounts at the end of the first hour and then every 15 or 20 minutes.
Hydration, on the other hand, needs to be constant. Carry a generous portion of water and other recovering fluids with you and don’t wait until you feel thirsty to use it, drinking frequently throughout the ride.
4. NOT CARRYING A REPAIR KIT
More common than you might think, mechanical problems end up frustrating many rides or workouts that promised to be fantastic. Therefore, make sure you always have an extra camera and some basic tools at hand to recover your bike and continue on your way.
Of course, you don’t need to be an expert in mechanics. However, knowing the essentials for small adjustments can make the difference between moving forward or going home pushing the bike.
5. BE UNPREDICTABLE
Among the tips for cyclists, this is one that doesn’t get much attention, although it is essential to avoid accidents and valid for those who ride with others. Pedaling groups usually have their own rules and, of course, you will get used to them over time. In the beginning, try to stay behind and observe the behavior of others.
One of the most frequent causes of accidents are sudden movements that cannot be foreseen by the group. Since everyone rides very close to each other, a change in direction or braking without proper signaling can lead everyone to the ground.
6. NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO CYCLING TIPS
You may have already read, right here on our blog, tips for cyclists that are quite useful and worth following for a quality ride. Although these suggestions sometimes seem obvious or, in some cases, make no practical sense, you will find that the cycling routine provides situations in which advance information is essential to finish the ride or even avoid injuries and accidents.