How to Be a 'Better' Cyclist in 5 Easy Steps
Like many sports, cycling can often fall victim to being taken - well, a little too seriously.
While there’s certainly a place for cycling as a competitive sport, here at Two Wheel Gear we see it more as a way of life.
So instead of preaching about improving your training routine or wearing the latest high tech gear, we want to inspire you to improve your personal cycling experience so you can get more out of each ride.
Whether you use your bike to commute to the office, drop your kids off at school or squeeze in some weekend socializing, we've got some ideas on how you can become a ‘better’ cyclist.
Optimism is a great quality, but not always one you can afford when you’re out on a bike. From badly maintained roads to bike maintenance issues, commuting can be a little unpredictable at times.
It’s always a good idea to carry a repair kit with you. We never ride without packing:
- Spare tubes, and/or patch kit)
- Tire levers
- Cycling multi-tool. We love the lightweight I-beam multi-tool. It has 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm hex wrenches as well as a flat blade screwdriver to solve any minor issues and keep your bike in safe, working order.
There’s a preconceived notion that in order to cycle on the roads, you need to be kitted out with all the expert gear. This isn’t true at all. It’s absolutely fine to wear your regular clothes on a bike, but bear in mind certain bits of gear can make your ride more comfortable and efficient (layers or cycling shoes) while others (a helmet, lights and reflectors) help keep you safe.
As long as you’re dressed appropriately for the weather (waterproofs, layers and hi-vis are your best friends) and avoid baggy or flowing pieces of clothing - which can get stuck in the wheels or chain - you and your bike are good to hit the road.
Follow the Rules of the Road
It’s not uncommon for cyclists and motorists to share a mutual frustration, and conflicts often happen when there’s a lack of understanding of respective rights. Unpleasant at best and dangerous at worst, it’s always best to ensure you’re following the written rules of the road. Familiarize yourself with a recent version of your local cycling regulations or head to your provincial government site to check out the rules where you are. Find the cycling regulations for British Columbia here.
This way, confrontation can be kept to a minimum (and if there is any, you can bask in the knowledge that you’re actually in the right!)
For beginner cyclists, it’s good to stick to routes you know until you build confidence and develop a stronger road sense. The more comfortable you feel in the saddle, though, the more you can branch out and experience some cool new spots.
Bikes are a great way to explore - so whether it’s checking out a part of town you don’t visit much or winding down idyllic island roads, take yourself out of your comfort zone and broaden your cycling horizons. It’ll make you appreciate riding even more - we promise!
Ride with Friends - or Make New Ones!
Socializing probably isn’t on your priority list when it comes to the morning commute - we get it - but the great thing about cycling is that it’s super versatile. If you’re normally a pretty solitary rider, why not switch it up and organize a group ride?
There’s nothing like a shared interest to really bring people together. The cycling community is really welcoming, and active in organizing social events and rides. In fact, joining a group or a community is the first step to forming long and meaningful friendships.
If you’re looking for different ways to socialize with your existing friendship group, or want to broaden your social circle while staying fit and having fun, joining a cycling group is the way to do it. The Social Distance Cycling Club is a great online community, which gives you the opportunity to make your solo ride feel more like a social event.
And you can also join groups online to make your solo ride feel more like a community event...Maybe link to the social distance cycling club here?
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