No matter how good you are with a bike, there’s always room for improvement. Here’s how to become a better cyclist.
Whether your goal is an upcoming race, a reasonable commute time, or being able to enjoy trail and off-road biking, the biggest barrier is always skill.
Unfortunately, a lot of people let their perception of their own skill and the idea that it will be impossible to improve get in the way of achieving whatever goal they have in mind.
In reality, it doesn’t need to be as difficult as most people make it. Read on for some easy tips to help you become a better cyclist!
How To Become A Better Cyclist
If you want to be a better cyclist then you need to pay attention to these 5 steps:
As they say, practice makes perfect.
Take some time cycling paths or routes that are of moderate difficulty for you, and work your way up to the more difficult stuff over time.
There’s no need to go whole hog when you’re first starting out. Trying to tackle the end goal right at the beginning can be demotivating because it makes said goal feel beyond your reach.
In reality, it’s just out of reach right now.
Even jumping on a stationary bike can help get the musculature and cardio required to reach that goal. But you will need to get on a real bike to practice balance and operating your actual bike.
2. Don’t Let Winter Drag You Down
When the seasons change and the roads, sidewalks, and paths become a bit too slick to manage, don’t stop cycling!
This is another great use for a stationary bike. You don’t want to lose all of the progress you made over the warmer months because those muscles aren’t in use anymore.
A spin class at the local gym, or even looked up on Youtube and done on home equipment, should be enough to keep your valuable gains.
Winter can be demotivating in and of itself, and ways of keeping at it will vary in effectiveness from person to person.
For some, a social spin class may be better because there are people to question when you don’t show up.
But for others it may be better to invest in a decent spin bike for the home so you can’t make an excuse not to go outside.
You know yourself! Pick whichever option you are most likely to follow up on.
3. Set A Competitive Goal
Competition drives people more than just about anything, so it can be a great motivator to sign up for a local competition of some kind and work towards the level of fitness and competence you need to place well.
It doesn’t matter what it is, you can do a charity race or a downhill competition. It just matters that you both want to do it and sign up in advance so you can’t back out!
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t shoot too far above your capabilities. Most of us simply aren’t going to place well against professionals no matter how much we train.
Keep it local, keep it challenging, but possible, and keep it fun!
4. Invest In Better Equipment
I know, a good bike isn’t cheap, but if you want to optimize your training now and your performance later, it’s a necessary evil.
A lighter bike will help you go faster, better shifters will improve comfort and minimize malfunction, and better brakes prevent you rolling out into traffic!
A better anything will improve something, within reason.
You probably don’t need a multi-thousand-dollar bike, but a Walmart one probably isn’t what you need either if you’re looking for performance.
Do some research, establish your budget, and grab the bike that has the features and quality parts you need for your goal.
Oh, and don’t forget a good helmet.
5. Keep It Fun
A lot of people lose sight of what made them love cycling in the first place by turning it into an endless grind for better performance.
And while it’s true that being better at cycling may allow you to do things that you enjoy better or more often, be careful not to get tunnel vision.
It’s not all about training, it’s about enjoying what you’re doing and what you will do in the future.
Do your best to enjoy every minute of it, and keep engaged with new topics and other cyclists on a blog like the one at Cycling Inquisition.
There’s always a new route to explore, a new enhancement to the bike, or other equipment to look at!