Now that Spring is officially here, cyclists in most parts of the country are grabbing their gear and getting ready for a long cycling season. Before you just hop on and go though, there are few tips that will keep you riding injury-free and your bike in tip-top shape.
1. Get a bike fit. Making sure that your bike is set to your physical specifications can increase your endurance, reduce your chance of injury and add to your overall enjoyment of the ride. Bikers of all levels, with varying cycling goals and regardless of how long they’ve owned the bike, can benefit from a professional bike fitting. Because your skill or fitness levels change, an annual or bi-annual bike fitting is recommended.
2. Now get your bike fit. Make sure to tune up your bike. If you have experience in tuning up a bike, this can be done at home. However, if you have no working knowledge of a bicycle’s parts and how they work, make sure to take it to your local bike shop. Inspection, cleaning, replacement or repair should be comprehensive and include tires and tubes, brakes, cables and pedals and even the seat.
3. Make sure to appropriately train for your first ride of the season. Even if you’ve kept up with cross training or strength training over the winter, much can improve with cycling training. Hit the key components of pedaling and cycling economy, cadence, power building, upper body strength (to fight fatigue) and endurance increase.
4. Make sure to protect yourself on your first rides of the Spring too. Though weather is still mild, the uv strength of the early Spring sun can be stronger than what you would expect with milder temperatures, make sure to wear a cycling hat or cycling cap under that helmet to keep the suns rays from hitting your scalp. A Headsweats cycling cap or hat also keeps your sweat from running into your eyes, allowing you to retain proper vision while cycling.