Everyone’s been there, they just don’t always talk about it. All of our staff at Covina Valley Cyclery has been a new cyclist and want to help you out on your journey to becoming a pro cyclist (or just getting out there and enjoying a good ride at the beach!). Starting out as a cyclist can be daunting, but we’ve got some tips of the trade from our staff to give you an edge on when your getting out there:
Invest in a safe, quality helmet
When it comes to crashing, it is almost inevitable and you will benefit from a better helmet protecting your noggin. Bike helmet technology has improved drastically in the past few years, like the use of MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) and helmets are now the difference between a scratch and a more significant injury. Things like age, usage, and more can affect the effectiveness of your helmet, so be sure to have an adequate helmet when you ride. Your protection is paramount, so don’t sell yourself short when it comes to buying a helmet! Helmets have approximately a 5 year shelf life, and past that, cannot protect you as well as needed. Make sure you’re riding safely with a great helmet!
Don’t have a safe helmet? Come into the store to find out what size you may need and check out some of the newest that Bontrager has to offer in safety!
Pump your tires at least once a week
The most practical way to avoid flats? Make sure your tires are pumped to the correct PSI to pump your tires to. To find what PSI your tires need to be pumped to, look at the sidewall of your tires. When your tires aren’t pumped properly, you can get a flat called the “snake bite” when a tire is pinched and pops in two places. In addition to pumping your tires, be sure to take an extra tire tube and supplies to change your tire in the case you get a flat on the fly. It should look something like this:
Need a pump for your tires or supplies to change a flat on the fly? Come on in the store for more advice to avoid flats and all that you might need to avoid getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with a flat!
Get the right bike for the right ride
Growing out of your bike or trying to take that beach cruiser at home on mountain trails will be frustrating and difficult, making you not want to get out there. The right bike that fits you well will make the whole of cycling much more enjoyable and may cause spontaneous cycling (contact your local bike shop if you experience lack of motivation to cycle, inability to reach your pedals, frequent cessation of cycling). A cruiser for the beach, mountain bikes out on the trails, and road bikes for riding around But when it comes down to it, we want you to love cycling as much as we do, and your bike could be preventing that.
Don’t know what bike to look for? Come in and try out a variety of bikes held in-store!
Vary what you’re riding
Keep cycling exciting by changing up what you do on the daily. There are tons of cool rides to go on, and you’re cheating yourself out of a what you can do with your bike if you just do the same thing every time. Go out to your favorite coffee shop, find a new trail, push yourself to go farther than you have before. You won’t like every trail or road you ride, so keep looking for more places to get out there and get cycling. Southern California has tons of hidden gems for any kind of cycling just waiting to be ridden. This’ll keep cycling fresh and new every time you go!
For ideas on where to go cycling both near and far, come in and ask us!
Eat on rides that are over an hour
On longer rides, you should be eating something to supplement the calories that you’re losing. When you don’t eat enough, you’re in danger of what’s called “bonking” or getting extremely fatigued and unable to continue your ride well. In order to avoid the dreaded mid-ride slump, give your body some crucially needed nutrition via bars, GUs, and more fun snacks. Every rider will find what kind of food works and doesn’t work for them, so don’t fret if you don’t find something that you love to carry and eat while riding.
For ideas on good snacks to eat, come see what our favorites are and check them out for yourself!
Get a good group to ride with
Cycling with people is good for a number of reasons. Groups allow you to be challenged by stronger riders, explore new places, and have fun cycling with friends. Cycling doesn’t have to be a solo sport, and can be very enjoyable by bringing others along with you. You may be wondering “what if no one I know cycles?” Not to fear, there are a ton of good places to look for people to ride with! In addition to group rides put on by Covina Valley Cyclery and the Covina Cycle Club, look for more group rides on places like Meetup, Facebook Events, and more!
For more information on the CVC beginner rides, come on in to the store, watch our social media, or follow our email newsletters!