I have a lot of women/girls reach out to me and ask me questions about cycling. It’s not a sport that’s as easy as running to start as a beginner – you can’t just buy a new pair of trainers and head out the door!
You can find a previous post I did here on how to get into cycling, but I thought I would write another just to help answer some of the common concerns I get asked about when starting with cycling.
Aka those things that clip your cycling shoes onto your pedals. I have so many women tell me they don’t use them because they are too scared to!
My advice is to go straight into cleats, don’t even ride your bike without them and get used to it. I am the world’s most clumsy person… seriously… I have zero coordination and I can trip over cotton! If I am capable of riding in cleats, then you definitely are!
Start by riding up and down your street (very, very slowly, it wont even hurt if you don’t clip out in time and fall off), I would stop and start as much as possible to get into the habit of clipping in and out. Practice really does make perfect, and before you know it, it becomes an automatic response to stopping. Go for it!
Fear of the road
I won’t sugar coat it, there are a LOT of idiots on the road, a lot of them hate cyclists and show little consideration to us. If you are new to cycling and you feel scared then I would highly suggest riding in a group… there is strength in numbers. It IS legal to ride two abreast and it is definitely safer! Join your local cycling club and head out on some rides – it’s also way more enjoyable if it’s sociable!
Planning a route
This is not my forte… as well as being the clumsiest person in the world; I also have the world’s worst sense of direction!
I would highly recommend investing in a Garmin (I use the Edge 1000) or something of the same nature. Strava is great for downloading other people’s routes from… then you literally just follow it like a satnav!
Alternatively, head out on organised rides with a club and pay attention to routes that you do so that you can try them out by yourself!