Picture this, it's a sunny Sunday afternoon and your family suggests going on a fun bike ride. You jump at the idea, imagining the breeze in your hair as you cruise along the open roads without a care in the world.
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However, suddenly you're a few miles in and you realise that your childhood bike with the cute basket on the front just isn’t cutting it. Pedestrians seem to be coming out of nowhere, the hills are getting steeper and steeper, and you really wish you'd just stayed at home with the dog.
We've all been there, which is why we spoke to Michelle Jakeway, Head of Marketing at the iconic British bike brand Raleigh, all about her top tips to feel more confident on a bike, so you can get out there and have some fun. Check them out below…
Michelle Jakeway's tips will help you feel more confident on bike rides
1. Use the right tool for the job
Making sure you use a bike that is built to cope with your riding environment is key to building confidence on two wheels. While bikes can generally cope with a lot, those built for smooth roads aren't going to provide an enjoyable riding experience on off-road trails and toe paths. This can make a big difference for new rider's early experiences, so make sure you think carefully about the type of riding you'll likely do most when choosing a bike.
2. The route to success
Route choice is critical when trying to build your confidence riding on the roads. When developing your skills, choose quieter routes with less traffic so you have minimal pressure from other road users and space to move. If you are in areas where there are plenty of cars, try riding at quieter times of the day.
If you do need to ride on busier roads, always look down the road in order to try and anticipate traffic flow and potential hazards.
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3. Slow and steady wins the race
Don’t set out on a long journey over steep terrain, just to find yourself 30 miles away from home without the energy to get back. Build up your distance and pace in increments to ensure you ride within your limits. It's also far more enjoyable setting off slowly and pacing yourself, rather than going out fast, tiring out and needing a lift home.
4. Teamwork makes the dreamwork
Although nervous riders may initially prefer riding alone, cycling in a small group can be hugely beneficial. Being with more experienced riders will allow you to see first-hand how to improve your own skills out on the road, meet new people and keep things fun.
Michelle recommends cycling with a small group of people
5. Winter is coming
As the cooler months approach and the nights get darker earlier, it is important to have the right accessories for changeable conditions. Not only is it important to be wearing warm and waterproof clothing for when the weather turns, but a good set of lights for your bike gives you the reassurance of improved visibility.
You can check out a wide range of Raleigh bikes to suit most needs at raleigh.co.uk
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