Most of us have rode and owned a bike at some point in our life so there’s some muscle memory there and should be easy to get started.
Already Have a Bike?
Great, but if you haven’t rode it for a while, it would be wise to go get it tuned up. Head to http://www.vancouvercyclery.com/ or http://www.camasbikes.com/ locally or https://www.westernbikeworks.com/ in Portland.
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Need to Purchase a Bike?
First, you need to decide what type of bike you want to get…mountain, road, hybrid or cruiser? Then, you need to decide how much you want to spend? The price range on a bike varies considerably anywhere between $200 up to $10,000 for the professional road bikes. If you want to do this seriously, you’ll probably spend $1000-$2000 for a good quality bike that will perform well. You can also look on Craigslist because there are often some pretty amazing deals available.
Helmet is Mandatory!
A helmet is a must for safety and almost any helmet will do as long as it is approved by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC)—fortunately, this is true of virtually all helmets sold in the U.S. these days. A more pricy, quality helmet will offer more vents and will be more aerodynamic. I’ve had way too many friends go down hard on their bikes saved only by their helmet so be sure to make the investment! You’ll also probably want sunglasses while riding to avoid any irritation due to wind, rocks or pollen.
What Type of Shoes & Pedals?
Most people will just wear regular cross training or running shoes while cycling. But as you advance, you will notice that more serious cyclists wear cycling cleats that actually clip into their pedals for better performance on the bike. It takes a lot of practice so not something you should start off with. A good bridge from running shoes to cycling cleats is start by using a Toe Cage. You aren’t locked into the pedal in anyway but you slip your running shoe into the Toe Cage/Box and then tighten the straps so that your foot is positioned tightly against the pedal and minimizes the force that you lose as you pedal. This is better than just a traditional pedal however, you have to practice and feel comfortable preparing for a stop by loosening the straps so you can quickly get your foot out of the pedal to touch down. The more serious cyclist and triathlete will advance to lock in pedals – a mechanism similar to skils that has your cycling cleat locked into the pedal. This is the most efficient type of pedal but will require practice to quickly twist your foot to remove it from the pedal when you need to stop. As mentioned earlier, if you are just getting started, just stick to normal shoes and a regular pedal.
Cycling Shorts Will Make You Happier!
A specialized short with padding will make your training rides a lot more comfortable.
Pick up some maintenance equipment (tubes, air pumps, chain lube etc.) – Your local bike ship will have everything you need and most offer free bike maintenance classes to teach you everything you need to know to fix flats and take care of your bike.
Schedule a Bike Fit
Probably one of the most important things you can do is invest in a professional bike fit. It will make your rides more comfortable, increase your performance and minimize your risk for injury. Most bike shops will offer this and you can check around to see who has the best reputation for this service.
Stay on the Paved Trails to Start
Before you venture onto the road, stick to the paved trails away from traffic until you are comfortable. Salmon Creek Trail, Discovery Trail and the Waterfront provide wonderful trails to safely cycle on.
Consider Joining a Cycling Club
You will meet new training buddies, learn a ton to improve your performance and safety and add variety to your riding! Check out the Vancouver Bicycle Club.
Happy and safe riding!
Join us for….
SPRING CLASSIC DUATHLON & HOME DEPOT HALF MARATHON, 10K & 5K April 23rd, 2017 in Portland, OR.
The Spring Classic Duathlon is a great opportunity for triathletes to shake off the winter-season rust and for the duathletes to get in an early season race. This long-running event is contested almost entirely on Marine Dr, which is closed to vehicle traffic – a rarity in the sport. You will ride and run right along the mighty Columbia River with beautiful views to make the time fly!