Safer cycling with Coach Michelle
Wanting to get out on your bike but feeling a little nervous about it? Well, I have some tips on making sure you have the best start to a long season worth of bike riding and exploring.
- Trust your kit
- Trust your route
- Trust yourself
What kit do I need?
Bike – I suggest spending 30-45 minutes before your first ride to check your bike thoroughly before your first ride. Even when you take it off the turbo trainer. We suggest the full M-Check* once a week and a quick ‘ABC’ (Air Brakes Chain) check if you ride your bike frequently. Make sure you check your bike before EVERY bike ride – even if it’s just to the shops. If you notice anything that is not quite right, sort it out before your ride. The more you trust your bike, the safer you feel on the road.
Always take a spare inner tube, tyre levers and a hand pump with you at the very least.
Helmet – Enough said! Make sure it fits you well and is worn properly to protect your head.**
Clothing – Comfortable, fitting and appropriate for the weather. No flapping items as these get caught in the wheels etc. Wear gloves as these protect your hands should you fall off your bike.
What route should I take?
Make sure you know your route well – so choose familiar roads / trails so that there are no surprises along the way. This includes road surface, terrain, traffic and elevation. There are tips on the Her Spirit app around route planning, why not go and check it out?
What do I need to think about for the best ride?
Make sure someone knows where you are going and that you have a form of ID on you, especially the Emergency ID on your phone.
Ride within your limits – this includes fitness and skills! Especially if this is your first ride outdoors in months. Even the most seasoned cyclists need a couple of rides to adjust to being back on the road again. We have plenty of videos to help you develop your bike handling skills, so have a look at what we’ve got and make a list of areas you need to improve. Let’s face it – we all need to work on skills, even the professionals do!
Join a friend who is perhaps more confident on their bike than you or a small group to ensure additional safety.
And just a FINAL tip for me: when you are feeling nervous on your bike – remember to say ‘chin up’ as this encourages you to look ahead and 90% of the time this will save you from any trouble. So please please look far ahead of you and not down at your front wheel!
All of us at Her Spirit wish you many safe and happy miles on your bikes this season. Do remember that we are here for you and ready to answer any of your questions.
Check out all you need to to know from Coach Michelle in the Her Spirit Community and join our cycling community. Find out more https://herspirit.co.uk/programmes/cycling/