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Tips for new cyclists

  1.  ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET! If that "silly looking thing" saves your LIFE just ONE time, it is worth all the extra effort.
  2. Make SURE the bike you buy is the CORRECT size for YOU! The wrong size bike will quickly let you know that you just made a mistake.
  3. If your knee hurts in the front, raise the saddle. If your knee hurts from behind, lower the saddle.
  4. Sports drinks straight out of the bottle tends to be a little "syrupy." Some people mix half water and half sports drink in their water bottles. Experiment and find out what works best for you.
  5. If you are new to clipless pedals, you need to do this before you go out for the first time. Find a nice soft lawn to practice getting in and out of your new pedals. Grass makes a better cushion than concrete or asphalt.

Here are some more tips that club member Stan Betsworth developed.

  1. Spin, Spin, Spin! When I first started riding, I thought I would build my legs up faster by pushing higher gears. Not Good! This is bad for your knees. Seventy to ninety pedal RPMs are recommened, depending on who you ask. One way to monitor without counting is: If you are feeling the burn in your leg muscles on fairly level terrain, then you are probably not spinning enough. If you are breathing hard on level ground, you may be spinning too fast.
  2. Drink, Drink, Drink! By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Try to remember to take small drinks often. Until you get the habit, every time you see another rider take a drink, reach for your bottle. Some riders like water, others prefer sports drinks such as Gatorade. A benefit of sports drinks is the carbohydrates and potassium they contain. Read the label and choose one which contains sucrose or dextrose. Drinks which contain high frutose corn syrup are harder to digest and can cause some riders stomach distress.
  3. Eat, Eat, Eat! Fuel your body. If you are on your bike for more than an hour, you need food. Sports drinks help, but they are not enough for longer rides. Believe me, you don't want to "hit the wall" (your body has used up its supply of readily available fuel.). It's better to eat small amounts often rather then a larger amount all at once. Some riders like natural foods. Bananas, raisins, and fig bars are good. I like to take a couple of bites of Power Bars every ten miles or so to stay fueled up. Experiement and find what is best for you.
  4. Prepare for flats. If you ride very much it WILL happen. Practice putting in a new tube at home. Always carry tire levers, a spare tube, and a patch kit. Just a spare tube is not enough in case you have two flats on the same ride. Glueless patches work fine to get you home, but they are only a temporary repair. Check you tire before putting in the new tube. Often, whatever casued the flat is still sticking throught the tread.
One thing to remember: be willing to try different things based on the advice of experienced riders. Then decide what is best for you personally. MAKE SURE TO KEEP YOUR RIDING FUN!