riding a bike again after a long time?

tenkides Posts: 151 Member
What is the best way to start biking outside again? I have no problems with my knees. I haven't ridden a bike since i was a kid. I have already had my bike checked at a bike shop near me. Its good. I also have a very good helmet, ie its my horse back riding helmet. Should I get an actual biking helmet? Please and thank you for posting.


  • cheshirecatastrophe
    cheshirecatastrophe Posts: 1,395 Member
    Yes, get a real bike helmet, one with CPSC certification. Different types of helmet are certified (or designed, if there is no legal certifying agency) to protect against specific types of trauma depending on the activity. Bike helmets, for example, are designed to 'explode' on a single heavy blunt impact. On the other hand, my skydiving helmet is designed for repetitive smaller impacts*--it would not protect me in a bike crash.

    The best way to start biking is to get on your bike with a proper helmet--and go. I started riding again a few years ago after 7+ years of being afraid to ride (following a nasty crash). I bought a bike and had no way to get it home except to ride it. So I did. :)
  • ZyheeMoongazer
    ZyheeMoongazer Posts: 343 Member
    I was in your spot not long ago. It really is true that you never forget how to ride a bike. You may feel on steady at first, but once you get going it is like being a kid again.

    Yes, get a real bike helmet. Reflective gear if you will ride before sunrise/after sunset, and lights/flashers.

    And for goodness sake, if you will ride on roads, follow the traffic rules the same as if you were in a car. Darn cyclist almost hit me while I was crossing the street the other day.
  • Virkati
    Virkati Posts: 679 Member
    Get a pair of biking shorts too and keep your first few rides kind of short. Maybe 5-10 miles. There are muscles that will alert you to your new activity but they might wait a day or two. Short rides and biking shorts will make it easier to ride again within a couple of days of your last ride. And YES definitely get a bike helmet. There is no substitute for it and it may save your life.
  • cool_chick_47
    cool_chick_47 Posts: 11 Member
    If you can, find a cycling group that includes beginning rides. If there are bike paths around, free of traffic, you can start there so you're not stressing about cars. Bike helmet a must. Get fitted for your bike, it's more comfortable.
  • RockstarWilson
    RockstarWilson Posts: 836 Member
    What kind of bike do you have? If you will be leaning on the handlebars more, such as on a mtb or road bike, just make sure you have great cushioning under your palms, since they will be supporting most of your upper body. Hybrid or relaxed bikes allow you to sit upright.

    Other than that...if you are riding in urban areas, ride with traffic and in bike lanes wherever possible. The reasons you ride with traffic and in bike lanes is because

    1) The Cars' relative speed is lessened, increasing reaction time. Lets say you go 10 mph. If you ride toward a car going 40, that car's relative speed is 50 mph. But a car going in your direction will only be going 30 mph relative to you.

    2) Cars pulling out of driveways pull through the sidewalk before looking or stopping more often than not. In addition, drivers don't usually look for pedestrians too much, let alone more distant bicyclists.

    3) In combination with reason 2, drivers pulling out of driveways ALWAYS look left first, and if turning right, will rarely look right. If you are riding against the flow of traffic, you are approaching every car that pulls out from the right, thus increasing your chance of getting hit. If you must do this, ALWAYS make eye contact with the driver. Actually, ALWAYS make eye contact any time you may cross paths with a car.

    Lastly, have fun! I have been an urban rider my entire life. I love riding. My legs love it too! :-)
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 24,980 Member
    First, yes, get a cycling helmet.

    Secondly, find a nice flat piece of road where you can ride 2 or 3 km relatively undisturbed ... then go ride 2 or 3 km. You may discover that's all you want to do ... or you may decide to take on a second loop.

    Thirdly, build up gradually ... don't expect to be able to ride a century by August or something. Just take it easy, add a little bit each week.

  • tenkides
    tenkides Posts: 151 Member
    Thank you