Beginners guide

Two Most Important Tips

There are a lot of important tips here in this guide, but here are the most important two.

Start slow

There’s no need to kill yourself when you start however bear in mind the Charity event is on the 6th of May. Even if you’re already in good shape, cycling uses different muscles than other exercises, and your body will need time to get used to the new types of stress. Start out nice and easy, enjoy yourself, and progress gradually. Just do 6-10 kilometers at first, and do them nice and slow. Have fun!

Be safe

More than most sports, cycling can be very dangerous, especially if you’re on the roads with all the crazy drivers out there. Follow traffic laws, always yield the right of way, wear bright colors and reflectors, and wear a helmet. More safety tips below.

 

Things to consider

The Bike
The best bike for this trip is either a Road Bike (Racer Bike), you could do it on a Hybrid or mountain bike however it will be a lot tougher and very difficult. We recommend a Road Bike. The nice road bikes are lighter, with strong frames, thin tires (for less friction). What’s most important is that the bike fits you. The bike should fit your height, as well as the distance from the seat to the handle

The Clothing
We’ve all seen the tight and bright clothing that the pros wear. I’m sorry to report that I’ve gone minimalist here as well — we just wear shorts, t-shirt and shoes. That’s really all you need to start off.

However, for the cycle to Galway we recommend wearing a pair of cycling shorts, if Lycra is not your thing, then you can now buy cycling shorts which have baggy shorts that attach over them.  If you begin to get serious about cycling, you should consider some good clothing. Good cycling clothing is thin, so you don’t get too hot, flexible for comfort, with special material that “wicks away” sweat (basically, it doesn’t soak it up and chafe your skin like cotton does). It’s also tight, so the wind doesn’t flap your clothing all around and irritate the hell out of you. And the bright colors serve a purpose as well: they make you visible to those crazy drivers!

Safety
Always be safe on the road. Do not be daring, do not insist on the right of way, do not break traffic laws (yes, you have to follow them too), and always be as visible as possible. If you know the common causes of accidents, you can look out for them:

Safety is too large a topic to be covered here. Try  www.bicyclesafe.com for more info.

Equipment
Cycling, more than many other sports, is equipment-centric. We are of the minimalist school – you don’t need a host of fancy gear to get started. Add those later. What’s the minimum gear needed? Here’s our list:

Repair kit
A simple repair kit would include a patch kit, a spare inner tube, 2 tire levers, and a multi-tool for bikes, all in a small bag that attaches to the bike.

Helmet
Don’t ever ride without one. It can mean the difference between a bad headache and a serious injury. Make sure it fits well

Water bottle
Get one with a cage that attaches to your bike. Regular bottles don’t fit in this cage, btw. An alternative is a hydration backpack. You really only need hydration tools once you start cycling beyond an hour, but it’s good to have just in case.

Pump
A portable pump that you attach to the bike is necessary, in case you get a flat or a slow leak. You don’t want to be walking your bike back home. A floor pump is good to have at home, too, for easier pumping, but isn’t absolutely necessary.

Commute to Work
The commute to work is a great opportunity to get some training in, if you live close cycle straight to work (so you’re not exhausted) however on the way home take the long route home and get in a 10K cycle.  It saves money, gets you fit, helps the environment, and builds up your stamina very quickly. Does it get any better?