Everyone has to start somewhere. We get our veteran ambassador Laura Lawson (@lalalawson) to walk you through some of the things she wishes she knew before jumping on the saddle.
What you should know before you start
1.) Saddles can be comfy
I wish I’d known that saddles come in different shapes and sizes! When I started riding, I was very uncomfortable. I couldn’t ride for more than about 15 miles, or just over an hour, without being in a lot of discomforts. I complained to an LBS owner who then explained some of the differences to me. He measured my sit bones and recommended me a Specialized Lithia in a size 155. I went from riding for an hour to over 4 and was a lot more comfortable and happy. No need for me to use the 30-day comfort guarantee! Get measured, find comfort and you’ll enjoy the ride much more.
2.) Spinning is winning on hills
On hills ‘spinning is winning’. I wish I’d known that the best technique for conquering hills is to get in low gear earlier than you think. Yes, you can push a higher gear and last as long as you can but grinding fatigues your leg muscles more quickly so actually keeping a high cadence, and spinning your way up the hill is easier. It might feel slower but you’ll probably get to the top at the same time and you’ll be able to keep riding for longer after!
3.) Holding the primary position
I wish I’d known about riding confidently in the primary position. When I first started riding, I was worried about holding up traffic and I ended up riding right next to the kerb. After riding with some more experienced riders, realised that cyclists have as much right to be on the road as anyone else. I learned how to position myself to ensure drivers don’t try and squeeze past me in a space that’s not there. When there is space and it’s safe to pass me, I move closer to the kerb to make it easier for the driver. I don’t ride to hold drivers up and I always give a cheery wave of thanks when a driver has been momentarily delayed. Riding confidently is safer than trying to shy away from other vehicles.
For more information on this and other new changes to the highway code in 2022 see our recent blog
“You have the right to enjoy the road, dont ride in the gutter”LAURA LAWSON
4.) Helmets are cool
Helmets can be cool! I wish I’d known just how many different styles and colours of helmets were available. You can have a lot of fun working on styling your ride, lid and disco slippers! I’ve heard people complaining about how helmets make your head too hot. I don’t get this argument, my Specialized Prevail aims to be cool and light, it has lots of vents and, having crashed a couple of times, I’d never dream of riding without one.
5.) There are no strangers to cycling
I wish I’d known just how welcoming and friendly the cycling community is. I’ve made some really close friends through my hobby. Whether it be the women who’ve joined me on my Specialized or Breeze rides, club or teammates, rivals at races or other riders who happen to be sharing the same cafe stop, they are all lovely! There are no strangers in the cycling community, just friends you haven’t met yet! 🥰