Everything you need to know about your first ride.
What Cycling Does For Your Body
Cycling is an easy, low-impact form of cardio. “And it’s not just good work for your legs – you actually use most of your major muscle groups as you pedal, especially your core, which needs to be engaged to help keep you balanced,” says Kate de Beer, She Rides program manager at Cycling Australia. Cycling can
be done at a very low intensity to begin with, and you can slowly build it up into a physically demanding workout. If you’re time-poor (yep, all of us), it’s also a great way to
tick off both your daily exercise sesh and your commute in one go.
If you’re not confident about hopping on, try a She Rides eight- week riding skills program – they’re run by Cycling Australia coaches around Oz. Go to cycling.org.au/ participation/she-rides for info.
Safety Must-Dos For Bike Newbies
1. Be predictable in your movements. “Avoid swerving or braking suddenly, and where possible, use hand signals or your voice to let others around you know what you’re doing,” says de Beer.
2. Look after your lady bits. “There’s no need for you to be uncomfortable in the saddle. If you are, try changing either of these two things: one, your saddle – not all saddles are created equal. Your local bike shop should have a range of test saddles so you can find the perfect fit for you. Two, your shorts – the longer your ride, the more pressure is being put on your sit bones. If you’re starting to ride longer distances, invest in a pair of padded shorts, known as knicks.”
3. Always… Get your bike serviced. “At least once a year, take it to a qualified bike mechanic to keep it running smoothly and safely.”
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