So you want to ride a bike? Did you ride a bike as a kid? If you did, it is true what they say, once you ride you never forget. Sure, you might have a little bit of fear and uneasiness but you will get back at it and quickly. Never rode a bike before? Well, have no fear! I am sure someone in your life has experience and can help you, no? Well, call your local bike shop I bet that they will be happy to give you some basic lessons or hook you up with a clinic where you can learn.
Next up, the bike. I am not going to suggest that you run out and buy a bicycle if you don’t already have one, but I am going to suggest that you borrow or rent a bicycle your first couple of times out riding and save the buying until you decide what type of riding you want to do. Oh yes, there are different types of bicycles for different types of riding. You have your choice of a cruiser bicycle, hybrid, road bicycle, mountain bike and there are many others. But, we are going to start with these ones.
Usually has thick tires, a comfortable seat, is gearless or has a couple of gears and a bit on the heavy side of things.
Ideal For: Slow cruising on flat grounds around the neighbourhood or the bike path at the beach.
This is usually called a comfort bike, you ride in a more upright position with a cushiony seat, thinner wheels than the Cruiser bike, often come with a front shock and could have up to 21 gears.
Ideal For: Dirt road, pavement and bicycle paths, lots of fun and comfort.
These bikes have skinny tires, are very light weight and come with a ridged front fork multiple gears and a more narrow saddle. Overall a very smooth ride.
Ideal For: Riding on the pavement, competing in endurance road races such as cycling or triathlon.
This would be my favourite bike of them all and maybe yours. They have fatter, chunkier tires, multiple gears made for climbing and a front fork equipped with a shock for absorbing bumps in a trail.
Ideal For: Riding and climbing dirt trails.
If were just starting out I would call the local bike shops in town and see what they have for demo bikes and ride them all, sometimes they will allow you to take them out to the trails/paths to truly get your ride on. If your local shops do not have demo bikes, attend a local bike show or keep your eyes to the internet as most bicycles companies have demo trucks that travel around during the riding season and you can take out their bikes. Lastly, ask a trusted friend to borrow their bike.
One pedal stroke at a time, take it easy to start and remember to always wear a helmet.
Let’s ride bikes!
About the Author
Peggy Hughes is an Ambassador for LIV Cycling (Giant Bicycles Women’s Division) and Grandmother who loves to get other women on bicycles, even if they are just weekend warriors pedalling with their families. Peggy has been riding for 7 years, starting at the age of 48, and does a little mountain bike racing when time permits. Sharing her passion for riding with other women brings her great joy and if she can inspire just one woman to break out of her day, and find her inner athlete, life is good.