There has never been a greater time to choose to cycle to work, with benefits including a greater level of fitness, and also it’s scientifically proven that activities before work greatly improve your concentration levels. If you’re planning on cycling to work, here are a few common rookie mistakes to avoid.
Ride with a helmet – but not a full face helmet!
It’s important to protect your head on any cycling journey, but there are different helmets for different styles of riding. If you’re commuting in the city, there’s a chance you’re not going down mountainous descents whilst trying to avoid forestry or rocks. Invest in a good quality urban cycling helmet, nowadays you can get a decent selection of shapes, colors and sizes.
With this in mind, I can assure you that you won’t need a full face helmet for your city commute. You might think the extra protection might help – in reality, drivers and other cyclists won’t take you seriously and might not give you the respect on the road you deserve.
Confidence is key
When you’re out on the road, it’s important to be as confident and assertive as possible. When indicating into a lane, be sure to indicate. Look over your shoulder to check it’s safe and move into position. Try not to dither anxiously in the road as this might aggravate other road users.
Pump up your tyres
I’ve known friends to be aware of riding on flat tyres with just enough air in them to ride, however, every bump concludes with a ‘clunk’ from the rim hitting the tarmac.
If you keep your tyre pumped up, it means you’ll have a smoother ride and also have less rolling resistance on the road = you’ll go faster naturally!
Wear the right kit for the weather
Arriving at work soaked to the bone isn’t at all fun, whether you’re in lycra or normal clothes. Be prepared and always take a rain jacket to avoid getting completely soaked. I’ve seen so many people in normal clothes completely drenched assuming they had forgotten their raincoat.
Drop handlebars inverted – I’ve seen it more times then I can count on my fingers. I’m not sure how or why it happens, but the only time it should happen is in cycling aerobics.
If you’re cycling with your handlebars upside down, please stop. It’s not only dangerous but it will also drive your cycling credibility into the ground!
Know the rules of the road
Many cyclists drive cars on a day to day basis, however, this can’t be said for all. If you’re one of these people who doesn’t drive a car on the regular, it’s important to learn the rules of the road as this could prevent putting you or anyone else in danger.
It’ll also mean you can benefit from a much more enjoyable ride knowing you’re safe and know how to ride competently on the roads.