As cyclists, we all had to start somewhere. Some of us have gone on to conquer centuries and more, and some of us are still learning how to properly shift gears. But all of us make mistakes, and some of these can add unnecessary difficulty to our rides. Here are a few tips from coaches, mechanics, pros, and experts to help you on your way, regardless of where you are at in your cycling career.

Keep it Fresh

Training on the same route every day will quickly become boring, and if cycling is boring, then you probably won’t continue doing it. There are great online maps and resources highlighting great trails and routes that are probably closer to you than you think. Give them a try.

Fly for Cheap

If you travel with your bike, odds are you have a bike case. Not only are these bulky, but they are usually pricey, especially nowadays when luggage prices are skyrocketing. Bike World Champion Brian Lopes recommends using a large duffel bag, “I haven’t paid more than $50 to fly with my bike in 3 years.” He removes the fork and brake rotors and puts them in his luggage, then everything else can fit in the duffel bag. This saves money and space.

Figure out flats

Waiting to practice your flat changing skills until it happens on a race or commute is just stupid. Practice in your garage with all the gear you will have on the road, this will take a lot of stress off you when it does happen for real.

Make your shifts smooth

Forecasting gear shifts ahead of time will save you a lot of trouble, says Frankie Andreu. “To make the transition smoother, try to change gears before you really have to.” Shifting at the lowest stress point of your stroke will also ease the tension on your derailleurs and make them more reliable. He recommends shifting when your feet are at 12 and 6.

Don’t worry about theft so much

A lot of you have expensive bikes, so if it bothers you, get a higher quality lock. If you still stress about it, you probably shouldn’t have gotten such a nice bike. Bikes are meant to be ridden and then left outside somewhere. If fear of theft prevents you from riding, then it’s kind of pointless to have one.

Ride with the crowd

The most dangerous situation for a cyclists is being where others don’t expect you to be. Ride where other cyclists are and you’ll be safer. Your rides might take a little longer, but you’ll be safer, and meet other cycling enthusiasts.

Keep it close

If your bike is in a shed or in your basement, you’re unlikely to use it for anything that isn’t a predetermined ride. Keeping it on your porch will make you more likely to jump on it, especially for short around town trips.

Biking isn’t supposed to be easy, but you can make it more enjoyable and still get all you want out of it with these simple steps. The most important thing about cycling is safety, and these tips can help you. To learn more about Utah’s cycling laws and how to protect yourself, please call us at 801-506-0800 and we can send you a free book all about cycling in this great state of ours.