Spring biking tips for newer riders
2021 spring warmup biking tips for newer (and not-so-new) riders
- Consider riding at least 1-2 short warmup rides on your own, before riding longer rides or your first TCBC club ride of the year. Your warmup ride might be just 5-15 minutes once around your block to be sure the bike works, your helmet fits, and that your clothes are comfortable for the weather.
- Helmets should be placed low on your forehead for safety. The straps should be gently snug to your chin and comfortable to breathe. A good rule-of-thumb is to be able to sneak just 2 fingers under the buckled chin straps.
- Padded biking shorts are so much more pleasant on your behind!
- Be sure your tires are pumped up to the air pressure recommended on the side of each tire. Fully inflated tires will let you bike faster and easier. Gas station air hoses are too strong, and the "pinch" test just doesn't work, so if needed, borrow a pump from a friend or local bike store.
- Brake check. While riding, gently squeeze with both hands for a normal stop, but favor the right-hand (rear) brake when you try to brake hard. Never brake with only the left hand, since this stops only the front wheel, and you could somersault over your handlebars.
- Try shifting into all of your gears in succession as you ride in a safe, low-traffic area. Notice which direction of shifting (in each hand) makes it harder or easier to peddle. Aim for a relatively easy gear so you can spin your feet quickly with very little pressure. Most newer riders use 1-2 gears too hard/too high.
- Eat something healthy and drink water before every ride, and carry a water bottle, an energy bar, a spare tube, and a mask.