The Guardian has a tips for novice post-christmas riders post, which was just shared to me via a Sydney Cycleways Facebook page. So I thought I’d have a crack at my own five tips for post-christmas novices. Bearing in mind that this time last year I had been off the bike for a bit over ten years, I think I have some valuable input to offer.
1. Pedal harder
The fat ain’t going to shift itself, Tubby.
2. Sort out your contact points
Buy some proper cycling shorts, observing rules 14, 15 and 17. In fact, buy some MTB-style shy shorts, because you’re still tubby, Tubby. Buy some riding gloves, and buy proper clipless shoes and pedals. The first two will help you ride longer in comfort. The last one will help you to observe Tip #1 and while you WILL spend some time flat on your face, the benefits outweigh the inevitable injury. Also it’s still funny for those of us who’ve been through the whole learning experience thing to see other riders do the flop of ignominy.
And throw away the gigantic heavy sprung saddle your bike came with, and get one that actually fits instead. Your LBS can help.
3. Lube your chain once in a while
Within a couple of weeks you’ll be one of those annoying squeaky bastards that I have to overtake fifteen to twenty of every day. Buy some oils, and buy a chain cleaner, and use it once in a while. A quiet bike is an efficient bike. Also, you’ll enjoy riding more, and you’ll be more capable of observing tip #1.
4. Get off the fucking pavement.
The pavement is for children, grandparents and chihuahuas. Get in the road. If you find the traffic intimidating, refer to tip #1, and/or choose a better road. I don’t want pedestrians whinging at me because you ran one of them over. Also, rule 5.
5. Pedal harder