Tips for your first cycling tour: the 10 commandments of the novice cyclist

14 December 2023

Discover new places in Madrid on a bicycle touring route. Sounds dabuti, doesn’t it?

Bicycle touring is our favorite way to discover the community in an economical and environmentally friendly way (not to mention the adventures you will experience).

Let us tell you something. You don’t need to start off on a high note, nor do you need to have the most pro equipment. You don’t even need a bike, because you can rent one if you don’t have room at home.

Do you know what you need?

You want to have fun, to discover new places and to pedal.

And for that you just have to read the 10 commandments of the beginner cyclist (so you will know how to prepare and overcome your first bike trip). If you are afraid to do it alone, we also give you alternatives.

Let’s roll!

Tips for preparing and overcoming your first bike trip: the 10 commandments of the beginner cyclist

Here’s everything you need to know to get your cycling trip off to a good start.

#1 Set a goal for your trip before your first cycling tour

Possibly you have something to see in Madrid for a long time, but you always end up thinking:

“I’ll have time…”

What are you waiting for?

Choose the place you would like to discover and make it the goal of your trip.

You don’t even have to leave the municipality or go too far.

#2 Plan the route well and take into account the weather: kilometers do not matter.

Whether you’re stronger than Arnold Schwarzenegger or not in the best physical shape, you can still get on your bike and enjoy a good ride.

Simply choose one that suits your level.

Do not try to do more kilometers than you can do and plan your stops well.

We also advise you to start when it is not too hot or too cold.

Extreme temperatures are not usually compatible with good starts.

#3 Don’t carry too much weight if you don’t want to get tired on your first cycling tour.

Carry the essentials so that the bike does not weigh you down.

This way you will travel lighter and it will be less tiring to pedal to your destination.

You have 3 options to make sure you don’t miss anything: take advantage of the bike basket, adapt a backpack to the rear rack or use the saddlebags.

These are some of the must-haves you can’t miss:

  • Water and isotonic drink.
  • Basic tools you need.
  • Cell phone.
  • Sun protection.

#4 Wear the right clothing to keep you warm and cool during your bike trip.

In summer we advise you to wear breathable clothes, a hat and sunglasses.

In between seasons and especially in winter, we recommend wearing several layers to put them on and take them off depending on your needs.

Here we tell you the theory of the 3 layers to know what to wear, especially with the changing temperatures of spring.

#5 Don’t wait until you have the most pro equipment to do your first cyclotourism route.

Some people put off taking their first route because they think:

“I don’t have a good bike yet, it’s not the right time” or “I’m still missing some complements to be a top cyclist”.

Stop the stories and start now with your first adventure.

You don’t need the best bike, you don’t even need to own one because you can rent one.

And if you need any other element you can borrow it from an acquaintance or buy it much cheaper second hand.

In any case, I’m sure with what you have you can get started and see if you like the experience. Later you will be able to perfect everything to be the coolest cyclist in Madrid.

#6 Correctly adjust the bike to avoid injuries

Let’s see how to do it correctly in each case.

How to adjust the saddle of your bike to suit your riding style

To adjust the saddle properly, you need to calculate the height of your inseam just as we explained to find out your bike size. That is, measuring the distance between your groin and the ground.

Multiply this result by 0.885 to obtain the centimeters that should be between the saddle and the bottom bracket.

How to adjust the handlebars of your bike so your back doesn’t hurt

Having a clear idea of the saddle height, it is very easy to adjust the handlebars.

You only have to put it between 2 and 5 centimeters lower than the saddle.

You can raise or lower it a little depending on the type of bike, the terrain or the posture you want to adopt when pedaling.

Person with gloves on handlebars on first bicycle touring route

#7 Know the basic mechanics and check your bike before going out on the road.

It is clear that a bike is not the same as a motorcycle or a car.

Still, there are a few things you should know to have a smooth adventure:

  • How brakes work.
  • How the changes work.
  • How to put a patch on a wheel.

Be careful because each model is different.

In addition, we advise you to check the tire pressure, brakes and safety lights before each ride to make sure everything is ok.

#8 Manage your pace during your cycling trip: there is no rush

Don’t demand more of yourself than you can give. This is not a competition, but a trip to have fun and good memories.

Relax and go out and ride, resting whenever you need to.

If you ride with other people who go faster than you, tell them without embarrassment because they will probably have no problem adapting to you.

#9 Respect safety measures when traveling by bike

Pay attention to safety measures because it can save your life:

  • Follow traffic signs and respect traffic lights.
  • It has a white front light and a red rear light.
  • Dress in bright colors and wear a reflective vest.
  • Avoid dangerous overtaking.
  • Do not try to go through areas of too advanced a level.

As long as you follow these recommendations and follow logic, everything will be fine.

#10 Enjoy the trip, either alone or with friends.

And our favorite part: SMILE!

Have fun and enjoy visiting those places you had in mind.

If you are afraid to go alone, take a look at what we have to tell you below.

Group of cyclists on a bicycle touring route on the road

Sign up for an organized trip for your first cycle touring tour

Some people are very adventurous and immediately go on an adventure.

However, there are others who prefer to be accompanied on their first route. This way they don’t have to keep an eye on everything and the road is much easier.

And, who knows, you may make some good friends on wheels.

Here we have organized trips that you can sign up for your first cycling tour.

We are waiting for you!


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