Advice for cyclists getting back in the saddle this spring

Cycling in the Spring offroad

Spring has sprung and in the words of the American journalist Christopher Morley, ‘April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks “Go”’.

However, before we all leap back onto our bicycles to get back into the swing of Spring cycling, perhaps we should all take a few moments to contemplate if we are ready to get back out there.

For some of us, winter will have meant that we have had a break from our cycling. In such cases, it is perhaps useful to carry out some maintenance before hitting the road.

There are plenty of websites such as British Cycling which offer advice on what you need to do to make sure your bike is ready to be put through its paces, but here are some basics:

Advice on checking your bike is ready for the road

  1. Wash down your bike and check the chain is well oiled and ready for action;
  2. Check your wheels to make sure there is no damage to loose spokes and that the tyres are properly inflated;
  3. Give your wheels a spin so that you know that they are spinning straight;
  4. Check your brakes are still working and make sure that you can easily run through the gear changes;
  5. Be sure to check that your lights and any other electrics are still in good working order;
  6. If in any doubt, think about taking your bike to your local bike shop for a health check.

Making sure you are ready to cycle this Spring

Smaller targets and shorter distances

With that in mind, it might be an idea to set yourself some smaller targets and shorter distance rides to build yourself back up to your pre-winter fitness level.

If you commute to work by bike in the better weather, try not to dive straight in with commuting by bike every single day.

Start off with the cycle being occasional and build it up from there. You will often be surprised at how quickly you can reach your previous fitness level.

Cycling equipment fit for purpose

Look out your cycling equipment and make sure your helmet is fit for purpose.

Check that your cycling clothes are ready to get pressed into service. As it is the start of a new season, why not treat yourself to something new to really get you in the mood! There is nothing like a new piece of equipment or item of cycling clothing to relight that enthusiasm to get you back into the swing of things.

Local cycling clubs

If you’re finding it hard to get your cycling mojo back, why not think about mixing your routine up a little. Maybe it is time to try a new destination or to join a local cycling club.

Check cycling websites for details of local cycling clubs or even source a fitness training plan to follow to get you back up to speed.

If you are a beginner or an intermediate, it might be time to move things up to the next level. There are plenty of training plans for cycling online to really put you through your paces.

Be sensible in your preparation for getting back out on the road, or even the off road!

  1. Don’t forget your mobile phone.
  2. Remember to keep yourself well hydrated.
  3. Think about the weather forecast.

It is still only mid-spring and the weather always takes us by surprise. Make sure that you have thought of this before you head out.

As Mark Twain once noted, ‘In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours’.

Finally, and most importantly, enjoy the ride.

If you need expert advice having suffered injury and other losses when riding your bike, contact our cycling team at Digby Brown who will be happy to help you. Call us on 0333 200 5925, text help to 83310 or fill in our brief enquiry form and someone will contact you.