Starting cycling this Bike Week

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Starting cycling this Bike Week

Starting cycling this Bike Week: 5 tips to get yourself back on the saddle.

(Guest blog by a new cyclist, Jennifer Garrett)


I remember my first few yards riding on two wheels. Aged 7 or 8, I was sat on my brother's bike - a red one, and very 1980s. I had been riding with stabilisers, but today was the day my dad gave me that push from behind and I pedalled across the park, on the grass in case I fell off. After some more hand-me-downs, I got my first new bike in my early teens, which was a magenta pink Apollo mountain bike. I don't remember riding it much and then a few years later I went away to university. After I'd graduated my brother visited by car, so I decided he should bring my old bike along. I rolled into town and back, and went on a few short leisure rides. But I had outgrown and the bike, and it was hard work!


So after a recommendation, I decided to hire a bike from Jake's Bikes for a weekend to see what I could be missing. It was a joy - I visited a local nature reserve that's too far to get to on foot, and the next day cycled along a tow path route full of the sounds and smells of spring. Cycling was no longer such an effort. Shortly after I decided it was time to buy a bike, so I got myself a Bristol Bicycles step-through Park Street model. She's still very new, but I'm so glad I now have a decent bike of my own! I think everyone could get something out of cycling, and a good bike helps.


Here are five tips for beginners (like me):

  1. Anyone can start cycling. For anyone considering starting cycling, I would say everyone is a beginner once. Whatever age or fitness level, you can do it. It is great for your health, wellbeing and can save you money on travel too.

  2. You don't need to buy a load of kit to get started. A bike, a helmet, sensible shoes for pedalling and maybe some waterproofs if you're more than a fair weather cyclist...

  3. It's OK to do the walk of shame. Everyone has pushed their bike up a hill at some point or another. It can be really hard, but be patient with yourself. You'll soon find out your fitness increases and you'll be able to do that little bit more.

  4. Cycle with friends. Going on a group ride is really fun, and encouragement from friends makes those difficult bits more bearable. Just make sure you plan plenty of pub/cafe stops.

  5. Chat to your local bike shop. They're super friendly folk who love cycling, and are ready to give advice whatever your experience to ensure you'll love cycling too! Of course, I'd recommend Jake's Bikes if you're in Bristol.

Bonus tip... Enjoy it! Getting outside in the fresh air to new places can be a wonderful feeling, especially when you've pedalled yourself there with your own two feet. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy it. Good luck!


posted on Monday 12 June 2017 by Jake Voelcker

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