As someone who recently started “cycling” again, I quickly realized there is a lot to learn for someone who hasn’t been cycling for years. As a result, I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve learned over the past 6 months as a beginner cyclist!
Cycling Equipment Recommended
Like any sport, cycling requires some equipment and below is my list of the most basic equipment I’d suggest you purchase to start with. Before you invest in too much gear, be sure you enjoy cycling and it’s something you’re going to stick with vs. just buy a bike, gear and spend a lot of money then find yourself months down the road losing interest. Alright, let’s get started!
First things first, you’re going to need a bike! If you don’t have one already, choosing a new bike can be exciting, so pick one that not only is durable for your environment but one that also matches your personality! I absolutely love my bike, I definitely recommend you consider a Specialized Roubaix when searching for your bike, check out their website here.
Absolutely love riding through Napa Valley!
A helmet is another necessity when cycling. Even if you don’t think you need one, you do! Protection and safety is so important because those falls do happen occasionally when starting out, and frankly, they still happen even years after. It’s better to be prepared so you can get back up and try again!
A beautiful ride with my dear friend Kat. If you can convince one of your friends to join you on this journey, share this blog with them!
If you’re thinking about cycling at a later time in the day, especially now that it is getting darker earlier, I highly recommend purchasing a flashing light. There are several different types you can get, whether you’d rather have one on your helmet, on your top, or on your bike. You can find some on Amazon here.
Biking gloves are going to be a great investment for your rides. They help you maintain a safe grip on your bike, along with help avoid blisters after longer bike rides.
Bike Pants (with padding)
Whether you prefer biking shorts or biking pants, you’re going to want to get some (with padding) for your when you cycle. This comfort on your rides can really determine the difference between loving and hating your ride. I love wearing the Pearl Izumi Women’s Pursuit Attack Padded 3/4 length bike pants, check out more of Pearl Izumi’s clothing here.
At the top of Twin Peaks enjoying beautiful San Francisco, what a BIG ride!
Investing in some bike jersey’s for your rides is going to make you love your rides even more! A cycling jersey made from breathable fabric will keep you cool no matter how hot the weather is, or how long you ride. You can also have some fun matching your jersey’s to your bike!
As someone who fell off their bike the first time they learned to “clip in” (when your shoes are clipped INTO the bike, similar to a spin bike) I was for sure intimidated to use clip-in shoes with my new bike. However, to really maximize the bike and all it can do for you as a cyclist, I highly recommend clip-in shoes. I went for the mountain bike style so when you walk the clips don’t stick out since the clips are under the soles of the shoes. This has helped me bike through amazing and challenging places, read about my Cycling Through the Grand Canyon here.
Bike Clips or a Pedal with Clips and a Normal Pedal
I also suggest a pedal that has BOTH a clip on one side and a flat normal pedal on the other. That way if you loan your bike to someone (who doesn’t like to clip in) or want to do a leisurely ride without clips you have the flat pedal.
Water Bottle & Water Cage
This sounds obvious but the more I ride the more I realize how essential one to two water bottles is to stay hydrated. When I’m riding I’m usually in Wine Country so it’s not likely there are corner stores to pop into and get water if I run out. To be safe for any ride longer than 20 miles I always pack 2 water bottles and GU Gels.
GU Energy Gels
GU Energy Gels are essential for any ride longer than 20 miles (possibly even 15 to be safe). Energy gels provide a carb-heavy calorie kick designed to be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. I did my longest ride of 40 miles without GU and my muscles cramped severely. Luckily I was riding with a group from the Healdsburg Running Club and one of my pals shared GU with me which revitalized my energy levels and helped the cramping go away. Check out some of my favorite GU flavors below!
I find the fruiter flavors better than the sweet sugary flavors (except Salted Caramel which is hard to resist).
I hope this was helpful to you and be sure to tag me on Instagram @jetsettingfashionista if you decide to take on cycling yourself!