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Getting back into cycling

With the Tour de France and Olympics happening this summer, you might be feeling the urge to dig that old bike out of the shed and get back into cycling. 

So, we have got some wheelie useful advice for you, even if you haven’t had a bike as an adult:

Check your bicycle over 

If your bike has been sat idle for some time, you will need to make sure it is in a safe working condition. 

Check that the brakes and gears work as expected, and that the tyres are not punctured. They will probably need some air added as well. 

A local bike shop should be able to help with this and offer any advice if you’re unsure. 

Bike buying options 

If you don’t have a bicycle to start with, or if your old one is beyond salvation, there are several options to get you going. 

Your local bike shops should have options for a range of budgets and uses – and the staff can advise you on which will suit your needs. 

If you know what you want, and understand the sizing, there are often great deals to be had on the internet. And a second-hand bike can be a good option too, if you know what you are looking for (or have a friend who does). 

Many towns and cities also have bike refurbishment projects, which take donated bicycles and fix them up to sell at low prices. Perfect if you are on a limited budget. 

Sort your kit out 

There’s no need to squeeze into lycra or other expensive cycle-specific clothing. Shorts or leggings will generally be fine – although bicycle clips may be necessary to keep long trousers from getting into the oily chain. 

Helmets should be well-fitting and undamaged, and once you are doing longer rides you may want to get gloves and cycling-specific shorts with a padded liner for comfort. 

Build it up slowly 

Cycling is a low-impact activity, but it is still best to slowly build up the distance you cover — starting with short, easy rides to build stamina. 

As you feel stronger, you can increase the distance and add more hills to your routes. 

Join a group 

Most areas have well-established cycling clubs, but there are also plenty of less-formal groups which are good for relative beginners. 

Local councils often organise easy rides to help people build confidence, find safe routes and get out with others. 

Social media is a great place to find groups or rides. 

Enjoy the ride 

You don’t need the best gear or to be racing for the win to enjoy cycling, you can just enjoy the wind on your face and the sense of freedom as you travel under your own steam. 


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