Tips for New and Renewed Cyclists

Did you get a new bike this holiday season?  Lucky you! 

Are you simply resolved to dust off your old one and get more exercise?  Good for you!

Either way, we offer these tips to get you rolling.

Maps & apps.  We have lots of great places to bike in and around Seattle, on and off-road, and the list just keeps growing.  Click here for resources

Get a good fit.   Don’t underestimate ergonomics.  A local shop can make sure the seat and handlebars are the right height so your bike fits your body.

Tune it up.   A periodic tune up is important to keep your brakes, transmission and other key systems in working order. 

Source: Cascade Bicycle Club

Key Gear.  Here’s our list of basics. For more specifics, see Cascade Bicycle Club’s list of commuting essentials.

  • Helmet.  A must for any rider who values his or her brain.  Make sure it’s adjusted properly, replaced after an impact and relatively new (the materials degrade over time.)
  • A good lock
  • Lights & brights.  Lights (white steady in front and red blinking in back) are always a good idea, and a must in the dark hours.  Be sure to have reflectors on your bike and bright clothing.
  • Rain Gear.  This can make your ride more comfortable.  Start with a simple rain jacket.  Add pants, gloves, shoe covers and fenders depending on your needs, budget and tolerance to get wet.  Or you could simply “not sweat it” and just accept that sometimes you’ll just get a little wet from rain, and well, from sweat.
  • Mirror, Mirror.  One on the handlebars or helmet helps you see what’s behind you, but it’s no substitute for actually looking. 

Finally, enjoy!  Riding a bike seems to be one of the few experiences that retain their pure, simple joy from childhood into adulthood.   Zipping along with the wind in your face is still simply fun.  

Simple also applies to gear–you don’t need to drop a ton of money on a fancy bike or expensive gear to enjoy biking.   But hey, if going all “Tour de France” makes you happy, then go for it!