What we hear from a lot of beginners is that they feel uncomfortable cycling on a road bike. You’re placed at an awkward angle and you feel a little out of control. This is a common feeling when first experiencing road cycling and it’s totally understandable.
When you first start, it’s a good idea to cycle in areas with little traffic and a lot of room. This lets you practice in a more relaxed environment. Eventually, you’ll get used to your position on the bike and it’ll feel as natural as any other cycling position. There are plenty of amazing resources on the specifics of road bike positioning, but the key is to remain calm, relaxed and ease yourself into it!
As well as your position on the bike, many beginners struggle with riding smoothly around corners. Most of the time, you won’t even need to turn the handlebars. By leaning and shifting your weight, you can make it round most corners with ease. The only time you’ll really need to turn the handlebars is when you’re going really slowly! Don’t worry, though, this will take practice. Don’t expect to get it right on your first ride, just relax and take your time.
Road hazards and adverse conditions are a bigger problem when riding a road bike. A road bike has a higher centre of gravity than an ordinary bike. This means that it’s easier to lose your balance, especially when you’re just starting out.
Make sure that you keep your eyes peeled for any hazards on the road. This could include:
This list isn’t exhaustive. The key thing to take from it is that you have to be alert when you’re cycling on the road. Be careful and never take any unnecessary risks!
Avoiding all of these hazards is crucial but you need to be visible to everyone else as well. Always make yourself as noticeable as possible by wearing bright or reflective clothing and having the legally-required reflectors on your bike. A bike light is also a must if you’re planning on cycling in the evening.
There’s so much more to talk about when it comes to road cycling. It’s an amazing way to keep fit, lose weight, and have a great time while you’re at it! We’ll cover more tips in a later blog but we hope this has helped you get started.