As with any sport it can be very daunting and overwhelming when you walk into a completely foreign arena. Questions, fears, hesitance, embarrassment, and so many emotions are rushing through you that by the time you even get on a bike you are stressed out.
Here is a list of things I wish I had known, and I wish more women knew, when they first walk into a bike shop or get into the sport. Over the next few weeks I’ll explain more in depth so they become clickable links.
- You do not have to ride a women’s bike just because you are a woman
- Don’t wear underwear under your bike shorts – it will cause chaffing and can trap in moisture
- Bike shorts will feel like diapers, the more expensive they are, the better they will fit, and the longer they will last.
- Do not put a gel pad on top of your bike seat, you are putting a band aid on a bad fitting bike or saddle
- Wear a helmet you idiot. It won’t save your life if your head gets run over a car, but most of my accidents it has kept me from getting a concussion, broken nose and in some states it can be looked at as negligence if you are hit by a car without a helmet and have head injuries.
- You do not need to feel uncomfortable while buying a bike. Just like a car, find a new shop, or in the beginning tell your fears or worries so the bike shop can address them.
- Bike shops can not read your mind. Tell them to the best of your abilities what you want to do with your bike, what your longer term goals are and what your budget is.
- As fast as humanly possible, find a group to ride with. It will make you a better rider and you will feel safer.
- It is okay to be scared and have fear. Learn to harness it and “push” through things. Always try to conquer your fear, if you can’t manage the hill or rock garden, get off but at least try. (I forget this one at times!)
- You do not need to have a fancy bike to enjoy riding a bicycle.
This list could be 100 points long. What are the things you know now that you tell beginner cyclist?