Cycling tips for Novice Riders
How to Prepare for a Bike Ride
It’s helpful to know information about the ride; such as where it is, length, approximate time to complete, and pending weather conditions so that you can adequately prepare for a great ride.
Before leaving the house, please check over your bike to make sure it is in working condition, fully inflated tires and all bike components are in working order, (brakes, wheels and gears). Preventative maintenance will help to minimize a breakdown during your ride and it is recommended that you periodically take your bike to a local bike shop go over and tune components to ensure a safe ride to you and the other riders.
If you have made any adjustments to your bike; such as moving the seat or handlebars, it is a good idea to ride your bike before the scheduled ride to make sure your adjustments allow for a safe and comfortable ride.
Always bring an approved cycling helmet with you to wear for each ride. We don’t encourage riding a bike without one. It is a good idea to put place a label on your helmet that includes your name and the name and phone number of your emergency contact.
Try to plan on arriving to the riding event at least 15 minutes prior to the schedule start of the ride to allow time to dismount your bike from the car’s bike rack, apply sunscreen, put on your riding shoes, other gear and your helmet and gloves.
Please bring at least 1 water bottle or camelback filled with water or Gatorade or Propel, etc. so you can hydrate during the ride replace water you lose with perspiration during the ride.
Since weather conditions change unexpectedly, it is helpful to be prepared to ride in the sun or rain. Wearing layers during cooler months is recommended since they can be removed or put back on with changing temperatures. We don’t encourage riding in conditions where it is thundering or lightening unless it is unavoidable.
If you are new to cycling, wearing padded bicycling shorts and applying products made to reduce pad friction; such as Queen Helene® Cocoa Butter Crème, Chamois Butt’r, Chamois cream, Butt Crack, or other products like these can minimize rash and soreness from your bike seat. A properly adjusted seat will also help to reduce seat discomfort. You may need to reapply on longer rides. When looking to buy bicycle shorts, ask about the padding in the short so that you purchase shorts that go with the length of your ride. For example a century ride will require more padding than a short five or 10 mile ride.
Bring a charged cell phone with you to use to call for help if you get separated from the group or you need assistance. It’s recommended to ride a “no drop” ride as the ride leader will never leave a slow rider behind. We always do “no drop” rides, but we encourage you stay with the group; unless, you inform the ride leader of your departure.
Bring with you small amount of cash, $20, and a credit card in case you need to buy water or a snack along the ride or need a bicycle repair along the way.
What to Carry on a Bicycle Ride?
- Two bike inner tubes fitting your tire
- Inner tube patch kit
- Tire removal lever
- Bike air pump
- Front clear light & rear red light
- Identification & emergency contact information
- Multipurpose bike tool
- CO2 inflator (optional)
- Working cell phone
- Cleaning wipes (optional)
- $20 and a $1 bill is handy to pad a sharp spoke in your wheel
- Two bike bottles, 1 filled with water &/or 1 with electrolyte replacement, e.g., Gatorade, Power Glyde, & etc.