Avoid unnecessary aggravation by following this simple but effective advice…
- To be an efficient cyclist, you need to consider your pedalling action. To maintain a good cadence it is as well to treat your pedals like a treadle-operated machine. With practice this will involve the ankles as you create a smooth, complete pedalling action. Avoid the temptation to just push down on the pedals.
- Try to stay relaxed while riding as tension will give you aches and pains as well as use up valuable energy. Try the wiggle test: can you wiggle your fingers? If you can’t, you are way too tense.
- Practise changing a tyre and inner tube at home. It is far more pleasant to learn how to do this in a nice dry garage or workshop than in the rain or on a windswept hillside.
- Sleep and rest form an important part of your preparation for any ride. You will not train properly if fatigued, so ensure that you maintain a good routine. If circumstances create extreme tiredness, choose to sleep well rather than train badly.
- Most people realise that it is necessary to look where you are going when you’re on the bike but it is just as important to clearly signal to others where you intend to go. This makes a lot of difference to the safety of the people you are riding with, as well as other road users. Communication is key. Don’t be frightened to call out your intended movements, particularly when riding in a group.
- Carry some identification with you at all times. Add your next of kin details to your mobile phone under ICE – ‘In Case of Emergency’. This is a great help to all, including your family and event organisers, should anything happen to you.
- Even in the UK the sun can be quite fierce at times, so apply sun protection, remembering to coat the neck, nose and ears, as well as exposed limbs. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from dust and insects as well as the glare.
- Make a checklist, which includes ALL of the things that you might need. It is worth laminating this and keeping it with your kitbag. A small point, but having made your list, remember to refer to it when you are packing.