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  • alasdairdchisholm

Looking to get more out of cycling?

Cycling is a fantastic sport the sense of freedom and adventure commonly felt on the bike is addictive. Plus you'll get fitter!

- Getting started.

Some basic tips on how to start cycling so you can enjoy the open road or trail with confidence.

You can find a wealth of info on line or at the BCF website has lots of advice

- The bike.

All I will say on this is that you should buy a bike from your local bike shop as they'll help you choose the right bike and size for your needs.

The one thing for certain once you get hooked by cycling you'll want to upgrade bit's on the bike like wheels etc or even just buy a better bike!

A small flashing rear light for your bike is a good idea.

- What to wear.

A helmet is the most important thing and should be worn at all times while riding. Clothing and shoes are mostly down to what kind of rider you are but you're better to ware something bright for visibility.

- Out on the road or track.

Before any ride do some simple checks to make sure your brakes work, there is air in your tyres and they are in good condition. If you are uncertain about these things then your local bike shop will keep you right.

If you don't intend sticking to cycle paths then before you venture out, just like drivers, you should know and follow the Highway Code in respect to cycling and using our roads. Always come to a complete stop at junctions and red lights, use appropriate hand signals when making a lane change or turn. Never assume the car coming up behind you knows where you're going. The more aware you are of your surroundings, the more you can anticipate any drivers not paying attention.

Pay attention to the road ahead of you and look out for hazards out on the road. Believe me they are there.


Headphones or earbuds should never be worn while riding outdoors.

Never ride on the wrong side of the road.

Never ride beyond your abilities. Learn how to control and how your bike handles and then increase the speed you ride at and the distance you ride.

- Things to carry on your bike.

Always take tire levers, a mini pump, spare tubes, a multi-tool and a water bottle. Best to learn how to use them before you go out for the first time.

- What Next.

Eventually you might want to join a club to challenge yourself and it's a great way to meet fellow cyclists and learn from their experience.

There are several clubs and groups in the area and each has its own benefits so have a look around on FaceBook. There are clubs like ours which are more race orientated or groups that just organise local rides to a cafe, there are also age or women groups. Thistle like most clubs are happy for riders to try before they join, so once restrictions on group activity are lifted, Take a look at what they get up to and get involved.

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