If you’re stuck in a rut with your exercise routine at the moment and want to give something different a try, then cycling is an excellent activity to take up. Not only does cycling help you stay fit, but you can also use it as an alternative to driving to save money and be kinder to the environment, while exploring your local area and spending more time outdoors at the same time. Whether you have decided to start cycling instead of driving to work or simply want to take it up as a new and fun way of exercising, getting the right gear is essential to ensure that you have the best experience. Here are some of the main things you’ll need.
First of all, it’s time to think about choosing the best bike for you. The good news is that you often don’t have to spend a great deal of money (especially if you choose a decent pre loved one). The most important thing is that you choose a bike that’s in good repair, is suitable for you and the activities that you plan to use it for, and of course, is comfortable to ride. It’s worth looking at different bicycle reviews and speaking to friends and family who already cycle to get some recommendations of what might be best. Do you need a mountain bike? Racing bike? or Folding bike?
Folding bikes for example can be excellent if you live in a small apartment and plan to cycle in the city, while electric bikes are great for cycling to work if you don’t want to turn up too worn out and a racing bike maybe best suited to country lane riding.
Once you’ve chosen the right bike for you, insuring it is always a wise idea – especially if it is an expensive number. A good bike insurance policy from a company like Velosurance will cover you financially in the event that your bike is damaged or stolen, making it easier for you to get any necessary repairs or completely replace your bike if needed. You can find out more about the policies on offer at the Velosurance website and read some of the handy tips they offer for new cyclists; such as how to pick cycling gear when you are just starting out.
Anything you read or watch about how to pick cycling gear will always mention a helmet. This is because they are the most important piece of kit that you need no matter whether you’re cycling for fun, exercise, or a way of getting around. The majority of serious injuries or fatalities for cyclists are sadly caused by not wearing a helmet, so this simple piece of kit really is the difference between life or death if you are involved in an accident when on your bike. Take your time to research your options and invest in a new, well-fitting helmet that is comfortable to wear and offers maximum protection.
If you’re going to be riding your bike in the evenings or after dark, a high-visibility jacket is essential for keeping you safe. You can also benefit from wearing Hi-Viz gear during the day; although it may not be as effective as during the night, it will certainly make you stand out when riding on the road and help other road users to see you in good time. Find a reflective jacket that is warm and comfortable to wear. You can even get options that look just like a normal jacket during the day but become very reflective at night time.
Don’t rely on your reflective clothing alone if you are going to be riding your bike after dark. Adding lights to your bike can make a huge difference to how easy it is for other road users to spot you. You can add lights to the back and front of your bike and your helmet to ensure that your presence on the road does not go unnoticed. Flashing lights are sure to catch the attention of other road users quickly and alert them to your presence.
If you plan to ride your bike a lot, the last thing that you want to endure is chafing and sores from sitting in the saddle for too long. A good-quality pair of cycling leggings or shorts is a great idea as they offer to cushion and padding to keep you comfortable and avoid any chafing so that you can cycle for longer.
Having your phone on you at all times when you are cycling is important. Not only might you need it for directions to wherever you’re headed or to snap some beautiful views whilst on your travels, but it’ll also be essential for calling emergency services and your friends or family if you are involved in a road incident. A phone holder that attaches to your bike is a good idea if you need to safely check directions as you ride, and it reduces the risk of your phone falling out of your pocket while riding.
Cycling is a fantastic way to keep fit and get out more – especially with Spring on the horizon. I can’t wait until I can get out on family bike rides again. If you’re planning to start cycling or just want to cycle more often, then you may want to make sure that you’ve got all of the above to make the most of your upcoming rides and adventures.