Guide for beginner cyclists

If you’ve been thinking about getting into cycling, then this is for you.

Cycling is one of those things you can start at any stage of your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re in your teens or your forties, you can get on a bike at any point. The thing is, you can’t just hop on a bike and enter the Cape Town Cycle Tour. You need to ease into cycling.

So, here’s a quick beginner’s guide to cycling.  

Start slow

Don’t exert yourself at first. Ease into cycling. If you’ve cycled before (even if it was only when you were a child), it shouldn’t be that difficult. But if you’re only learning how to cycle now, you need to go short distances at first. If you know how to stay on a bike but haven’t gotten on one in years, go around the block instead of taking on long distances. Don’t set out on a day-long cycle tour with your experienced friends until you’re sure you have the stamina to keep up.

Set goals

If you’re serious about getting into cycling, you’ll be facing a lot more than flat surfaces and slight slopes. So, you need to get used to inclines, rocky surfaces and steep downhills. Take small steps and set easy goals. Start off by cycling up a small hill. That way you get to practise going up as well as going down. Don’t rush into taking on mountains before you’re used to the molehills.

Make sure you have the right gear

You don’t need to purchase the most expensive bike out there, but you do have to make sure you have the right bicycle parts for the kind of cycling you want to do. If you’re planning on riding around your neighbourhood, you’ll need different gear than if you plan on taking on mountain trails. So, speak to someone who knows what they’re talking about and make sure you’re not purchasing the wrong equipment for what you want to do.

Cycling is a great sport to get into, no matter how old or fit you are. At the end of the day, getting into cycling isn’t that difficult. In fact, it’s like riding a bike.

If you're not sure which type of bike you should get, read our handy guide on the different types of bicycles available.