As I was riding today I passed by a car allowing me to have my right of WAY. Nodding in appreciation, The gears started turning.
Over the years through mentorship or personal experience, I have learned a lot of DO’s and DO not’s that pertain to road cycling and I want to share them with you all!
What follows are my “Golden rules of cycling” .
- Always keep both hands on the handlebars when attempting to convey thanks. (Hit a bump and fell HARD)
- Practice clipping in and out of clipless pedals BEFORE you go on a century ride. (The theme of that day was THREW ME ON THE GROUND)
- Higher tire pressure doesn’t always mean faster. (Slipped on a wet day…)
- Turning sharply with your inboard leg at the six o’clock position will likely result in the pedal striking the ground. (Oops)
- Make certain you’ve correctly installed your inner tube when replacing a flat. (A hidden pinch will result in another flat later, and you will be sad. I was sad.)
- Always ALWAYS wear a helmet.(Gotta protect your brain bucket!)
- Inspect your bike and equipment regularly to avoid potential costly expenses. (Before and after a ride is good practice)
- Learn to do your own bike maintenance and it will result in a LOT of money saved. (It’s easy, satisfying, and the internet can teach you everything you need to know)
- Cycling clothing is good. Wear cycling clothing. (While it is rather form fitting, cycling specific clothing is highly functional and will make your ride a million times better)
- On that note… Wear bibs VS. Regular shorts (You’ll thank me when you aren’t adjusting your shorts for the 75th time on your next ride)
- Most injuries you experience cycling are from doing too much too soon, or an improper bike fit.(A good bike fit is worth your weight in gold, and can mean the difference between you riding the season in its entirety or hurting yourself early on.)
- Chamois cream is your friend. (I’m quite partial to gooch guard myself.)
- The biggest things you should invest in are the things that touch ie. points of contact. (Shoes, socks, shorts, gloves, helmet)
- You don’t need the best and most high end equipment to have fun or even race. (But damn is it fun)
- Looking cool is part of the sport.(Let’s be real, have you ever seen anyone on a bike was uncool? Me either 😉
- Having a spare tire and a way to inflate it can save your ride, your time, and possibly someone else’s time. (Flats can happen anywhere, anytime. Be prepared)
- If riding in low light conditions or at night, invest in quality front and rear lights. (Cars are bigger than us. Is saving a little money with possibly getting hit?)
- Unless you are in a huge bike lane, or completely isolated, don’t use your phone and ride. (Just don’t)
- Clean your bike. (It’ll treat you better)
- There’s a micro adjustment on Shimano front derailleurs that will allow you to run your drivetrain more precisely in bigger aft chain rings. (Thanks Joe!)
- When riding with a group or anyone else, don’t allow your front tire to overlap someone else’s rear tire. (Don’t want to cause an accident do we?)
- No sudden braking in a group unless you want to be hated for the remainder of the ride. (Sorry Mike)
- If you plan on cycling for an extended amount of time, food every 30 minutes is essential, as well as electrolytes. (Once you bonk you’re screwed, trust me on this one)
- Learn how to ride in your drops. (Go faster, turn harder, look cooler, what’s not to like?)
- Learn to ride with one hand, and no hands. (Very good skill to have)
- Make sure your electronics are actually charged before you head out. (Many a light went out on dark roads, not fun. Not fun at all.)
- It’s okay to be uncomfortable riding in a group. (It’s how you get comfortable riding in a group)
- Always render aid to another cyclist/pedestrian if able. (Golden rule folks)
- No amount of purchased “aero” gear is going to substitute hard work. You gotta put in the miles.(Aero helmets, TT bikes, and skinsuits do have their place, just don’t rely on them too much.)
- If you’re riding on a trainer, make sure the bike is securely attached to the trainer. (hah…oops)
- A good set of glasses will save your eyes, especially on windy/cold days. (Tears. So many tears.)
- Yellow lenses on glasses will allow you to see better at night. (Thanks herb)
- Stretching and rolling out is your friend (Keeps the overuse at bay)
- Arrive early for group rides. (Don’t want everyone to be waiting on you to get your shoes on, do you?)
- You can power wash your bike. Just don’t blast crevices from an inch away. (Thank you again, Joe.)
HAVE FUN! If you aren’t having a good time then somethings the matter!
These are all I can think of at the moment! What are your tips to cycle better?
“Earn Your Tailwind”