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10 Tips for Beginner Road Cyclists to Get Started in the New Year

Are you thinking about taking up road cycling as a hobby in the new year? Whether you're

looking to become the next Chris Froome, or just want to be able to keep up with your fit friend(s), road cycling can be a fun and exciting way to challenge yourself and achieve your goals.

If you're new to road cycling, here are ten helpful tips to get you started:

  • Invest in a good quality road bike. Sure, you could use your old mountain bike or hybrid, but trust us, a road bike will make your rides so much more enjoyable. Plus, it'll make you look like a total pro.

  • Get fitted for your bike. A proper bike fit is essential for comfort and performance. And let's be real, nobody wants to look like they're riding a tiny kid's bike. A professional bike fitter can help you adjust your seat, handlebars, and pedals to ensure that you're riding in style.

  • Start with short rides. Don't try to tackle the Tour de France on your first outing. Instead, start with short rides of 10-15 miles and gradually increase your distance as you build up your endurance and strength. Or, you know, just stick to the 10-15 miles and call it a day.

  • Wear the right gear. In addition to a helmet, which is a must for all riders (no matter how cool you think you look without one), consider investing in a pair of cycling shorts or tights (it is a bit chilly out there, after all!), gloves, and shoes. These items will help you stay comfortable and prevent chafing and blisters on longer rides. And let's face it, nobody wants to be the smelly person in the group.

  • Plan your route ahead of time. Before you set out on a ride, take the time to map out a route that is safe and enjoyable. Avoid busy roads and intersections, and look for routes with smooth, wide lanes and minimal traffic. Or, you know, just pick a direction and go for it. Adventure awaits! (just ask those guys in The Human Centipede 😬)

  • Stay hydrated and fuelled. It's important to stay fed and watered during your rides, especially on longer trips. Carry a water bottle or two (depending on distance) and some snacks, such as energy bars or gels, to help you maintain your energy levels. And remember, a Snickers bar makes a perfectly acceptable pre-ride meal... And post.

  • Join a cycling club or group. Joining a cycling club or group can be a great way to meet other riders, learn new skills, and explore new routes. Many clubs also offer group rides and training programs, which can help you improve your fitness and performance. Alternatively, just invite your friends along and make it a social outing.

  • Take care of your bike. Regular maintenance is essential to keep your bike running smoothly and safely. Clean and lubricate your chain regularly, and check your brakes, tires, and gears before each ride. Or just give it a quick once-over and hope for the best.

  • Be visible and predictable. When you're out on the road, make sure you're visible to other riders and drivers. Wear bright, reflective clothing, and use hand signals to indicate your intentions. You could just do whatever you want and hope that everyone else can predict your next move but, spoiler alert, that doens't tend to end well.

  • And finally, have fun! Above all, road cycling should be enjoyable. Don't be afraid to try new things, experiment with different routes, and challenge yourself. And remember to always ride safely and responsibly. Happy riding!

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This bite-sized beginner's guide doesn't take itself too seriously and, whilst written in an amusing way, includes excellent advice that provides everything you need to know, to get the most enjoyment out of your new road cycling hobby from day one.

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