By Meggan McCarthy
Where are the best places to ride in Bedfordview and surrounds? Andre Baramasco, Sales Consultant at Complete Cyclist in Bedfordview, answers this question, and also gives advice for getting into cycling.
Get the correct gear, such as a helmet (this is the most important), gloves and a water bottle. Once you have the gear, it’s time to get on the bike and ride it. Most new bikes you purchase come with a set of flat pedals, which will be perfect for your normal tekkies.
Where to ride?
If you want to start mountain biking, there are a few cycling parks in and around Bedfordview, such as Huddle Park, which has a nice, easy track for beginners and families that want to ride together. If you want something a bit more challenging but still easy to ride, then you can try Modderfontein Nature Reserve or Rietvlei Trails in Johannesburg South. Road cycling is another option for those not so keen on the off-road idea, but we recommend riding with a group for safety reasons. You can contact your nearest bicycle store and enquire about cycling groups in your area.
A mistake we often see is wrong gear choices, where the rider is in a gear that is too heavy and as such, they can’t manage to ride the section. So keeping in mind what gear you are in is really helpful. People also make the mistake of riding with a very low seat height, which leads to back pain and being uncomfortable on the bike. Having the correct saddle height will make the ride more enjoyable.
If you decide to enter your first race, the best way to train will be time in the saddle – get on your bike and ride, and ensure you ride a bit harder than usual in the weeks leading up to the event. If you have a gym contract, run on the treadmill and do a few core and leg exercises – having a strong core and strength in the legs will help you a lot with cycling. Also go for a ride on a spinning bike for about 30 min to 1 hour. Another useful tool will be an indoor trainer – you mount your bicycle onto the trainer and you ride the bike in a stationary position in the comfort of your own home.
Keeping your bike clean will extend the life of your components. We recommend cleaning the bike once a week depending on how much you ride. Get yourself some chain lube to apply to the chain after every wash as a dry chain will cause the gears to grind, which wears out the chain.
Always remember: no helmet, no ride!