Cycling is a wonderful activity not just for keeping fit, but for exploring different places while peddling along on your bicycle. Cycling is also a wonderful way to get together with others for social events such as fundraisers for worthy causes. Or just to meet new friends with a common interest.
Much as cycling can be great, but it might not be so great if you stop bike riding for years or decades, then decide to get back to it.
Getting back into cycling after a long hiatus requires systematic planning, patience and excellence in execution. This is, if you want to become very good at it.
Have you been away from cycling for a while?
Here’s How To Get Back Into Cycling.
Be Real With Yourself
Getting back to cycling after a years or decades may be a big challenge. Even the slightest of inclines while cycling may take a lot of effort from you.
This is why you must get real and think about what fitness level you are currently at. Start slow, and easy by getting some level of fitness, before you get back on your bicycle.
Failure to do this may cause you to pull a muscle and/or some real soreness.
Therefore, as they say, ‘aim small, miss small.’ This means that you should first start by getting back into shape first.
Do a combination of light and heavier exercises for about a few weeks to a month. This all depends on your current fitness level.
Stationary Bikes are a good cardio workout and agreat way to get into shape for bike riding.
Checking with your doctor, BEFORE you start out on any exercise routine if always a good Idea.
A good cardio workout is particularly advisable. If you still don’t feel fit after this, take some more time. Remember to pace yourself.
If injury was the cause of your break from cycling, again consult a physician before cycling again.
Check Cycling Equipment
As you may imagine, it has been a while before you got on your bicycle. This most probably means that it has been lying around without any real tune up.
This is where you come in. Check your bicycle’s breaks, tires, spokes, gears, chain. Oil what needs to be oil and replace what needs to be replaced.
If your bicycle was not well stored or taken care of. You may need to take it to a repair shop OR purchase a new one.
Checking your equipment also means your safety equipment such as the helmet, kneepads, elbow pads, gloves and other associated riding attire. , Kneepads, elbow pads, gloves are a requirement, but they may prevent you from getting injured.
Helmets are ALWAYS a requirement.
Get Back Into Cycling Video
It is now time to set your goals for cycling. As you undertake this challenging task, please make sure that whatever goals you set are Smart.
Set one big goal, which could be to cycle 100 kilometers within four hours in six months time. Or what every goal you want to achieve.
Then, break your big goal down into smaller, daily bits that you can achieve. Then keep trying to work you way up with more speed, more duration on your bike, etc.
Don’t make goals that are too easy otherwise you will get bored, and possibly quite. Try to push yourself a little each time your ride, further than you did the time before. Just make sure that it is gradually incremental.
You might be able to find a friend or another cyclist that could act as your coach. Some one that you are accountable to, who can help challenge you when things begin to seem mundane.
Low and Slow
After a few week to a month of regaining some level of fitness, and setting your goals it’s time to get back on your bicycle.
Here, you must start low and slow with short distances and intermittent bursts of speed. Start with gradual inclines to gain confidence.
In addition, start with low speeds of about 12-15 miles per hour. Do this until you feel it is now to easy. After you’re comfortable with this, try 20, 25, and up.
This will really increase your fitness and maybe, drop a few pounds.
This is really, really important. You will have a hard time achieving your goals. You might not even be able to achieve them at all, unless you are able to be consistent.
Slowly eat away at your big goal step by step. Do not take breaks in between getting back to cycling. This is highly detrimental to any progress that you will have made. If you have decided to four times a week, then it must be four times without fail. This means that you must plan around any activities that are likely to derail your journey towards getting back into cycling.
Once you’re back to cycling, the first couple of days may be a little difficult. At this point, you need to just push through it.
On top of pushing through it, monitor your progress. Try you’re hardest to achieve your daily goals. However don’t kill yourself. Your goals may have been set to high.
The most important thing is that you improve each time you go riding. There’s no real deadline that you HAVE to meet. Goals are merely things to shoot for.
If you don’t achieve them, then find out why, and set new goals. Find out where you are struggling, or find someone that might be able to help to get to your goals.
When you do achieve your goals, be sure to reward yourself with something you love that will not be detrimental to your progress.
After about one or two months of cycling you should be able to increase your speed, your duration on your bike quite a bit and be able to tackle the steepest incline without too much effort
However, even though most people should be able to do the above, after one or two months of consistent bicycle training. You might not because of your health or fitness level.
Remember the important thing is, is that each time you ride your getting better. Make sure you’re pacing.
Cycling is great fun so once you successfully get back on the wagon, do your best not to fall off again. Totally avoid the habits that made you stop cycling in the first place. If you do this, you will be well on your way past getting back.