So, on the request of a friend, each week for the next 6 weeks I am going to load up my guide to getting from the couch to riding a (road) bike in six weeks. I would love your feedback!
This guide is written on the premise, that you can already ride a bike – as in you can get going and have your balance but that’s about it. Or you haven’t ridden for a long time, or you are new to a road bike/cleats. Or you are lacking confidence (can’t ride up a hill, out of the saddle, can’t turn a corner, can’t brake quickly, can’t indicate etc etc – this is where I started!!!).
Here is week 1:
What you want to do this week is practise relaxing on your bike. Just like all things, the more relaxed you are, the easier it becomes.
So things to practice this week:
1. Try to get on your bike every other day for a whole week – even if it’s only for 20 minutes. This just helps to build your confidence. Every day is best
2. When on your bike, I want you to notice how tightly you are gripping the handle bars or if you are holding any tension in your body while cycling. I found I used to ride with my neck and shoulders all scrunched up
3. (So if you are like me)relax your shoulders and neck or any other areas
4. Loosen your grip on the handlebars and notice how you are still in complete control
5. Remind yourself of these above two points every time you are on your bike this week
6. Focus on where you are going – look forward not down
7. Also (if you are already in cleats) practice the feel of your cleats – focus on pulling up as well as pushing down. If not, don’t worry we will get to that later
8. Towards the end of week 1, start trying riding at different speeds – bit faster as well as a bit slower, but staying in control, balanced and remaining relaxed. If either going slowly or faster makes you stressed, then just return to a comfortable speed.
If cycling itself is stressful, just try cycling for 10 – 15 minutes or so and take a break and start again.
Don’t ride in wind or rain or both and if possible avoid riding in the dark or when lots of other mad cyclists are around you – we want to make this as easy as possible for you.
Ideally cycle somewhere away from traffic – and relatively flat.
Goal for this week – remain relaxed on the bike.