13 Easy Ways to Become a Better Cyclist
- 1. Ride, ride, and ride some more.
- 2. Make sure your bike fits well.
- 3. Gradually increase your long rides.
- 4. Find ways to stay motivated.
- 5. Master descents.
- 6. Improve your cycling posture.
- 7. Avoid bonking.
- 8. Embrace the hills.
- 9. Ride with friends.
- 10. Log all your bike rides.
- 11. Create a training schedule.
- 12. Cross-train.
- 13. Keep things fun.
- Key Takeaways:
If you’re here reading this, chances are, you’re searching for tips to help you cycle faster, smarter, and harder. Of course, at Vingo, our main priority is that you have FUN biking. But taking your cycling to the next level is an honorable and worthwhile endeavor.
To help you improve and reach your cycling goals, we’ve compiled a list of 13 easy ways to become a better cyclist.
1. Ride, ride, and ride some more.
One of the most challenging things for many cyclists is finding more time to bike. Unless you bike professionally, you likely have to work around your job, family, social events, and other obligations to schedule your rides. However, to become a better cyclist, the most important thing you can do is ride!
One of the easiest ways to get more cycling miles is to commute to work on your bike. If that’s not possible, you can try to commute to other events or activities using your bike. For example, bike to a restaurant to meet up with friends or bike to church on Sunday mornings. With a small backpack, a change of clothes, and a few essential hygiene items, you can easily clean yourself up for all occasions.
You can also use Vingo to ride indoors! All you need to get started is any basic treadmill or bike, a stable internet connection, and the Vingo app on a Windows or Apple device. Vingo makes it fun and easy to bike anywhere, at any time.
2. Make sure your bike fits well.
Your comfort is essential if you want to become a better cyclist. Schedule a professional bike fitting at a high-quality bike shop to ensure your bike fits well. Doing so will help to prevent biking injuries and make the most of your continued cycling efforts.
A bike fitter will study your positioning on your bike and make minor adjustments to how your body interacts with the bike. With a few precise adjustments, a bike fitter can help set you up for success by ensuring you’re in the proper position to have the most impact while riding. The right fit will also feel more comfortable while biking and keep you from exerting yourself in ways that cause discomfort, pain, or injury.
3. Gradually increase your long rides.
As you gradually start riding longer routes, you’ll learn to pace yourself and refuel appropriately. However, increasing your distance too quickly can lead to burnout or injuries.
Instead, start slowly by increasing your distance little by little. Once you feel comfortable with a longer distance, add more intensity by varying your route or adding more hills. As long as you challenge yourself slowly and gradually, you’re likely to see improvements in your overall strength and endurance.
4. Find ways to stay motivated.
No matter how much you love cycling, you probably won’t always feel motivated to ride. However, to become a better cyclist, maintaining motivation is critical to success! There are several ways to do so.
First, you can stay motivated by setting cycling goals and re-evaluating them regularly. You can also establish a structured training plan to keep yourself accountable or switch up your routine so you don’t get bored.
What motivates you to cycle may differ from others, but what’s most important is finding out what keeps you moving and dedicating your time and energy to it.
5. Master descents.
Descending on a bike can be scary, especially if you’re new to biking. The natural tendency is to brake and slow down, but this isn’t always the best approach.
For example, if you’re tackling a big descent before a hill, it’s better not to brake at all, if it’s safe, and instead, maintain your momentum. That way, you won’t have to work as hard to bike up the upcoming hill.
Otherwise, descending on specific terrain or various surfaces can take some very intentional time and effort to master. But once you do, you’ll feel more confident doing it on the saddle.
6. Improve your cycling posture.
Biking will be more comfortable and enjoyable if you train yourself to hold your body correctly while you ride. This type of work takes place off the bike.
Specific stretches and strengthening exercises can help strengthen your core, support your muscles, and keep your body stable when you ride for hours on the saddle. Basic strength training and Pilates can do wonders for your cycling posture and should be a part of every cyclist’s regular routine.
7. Avoid bonking.
“Bonking” happens when you run out of energy on a long bike ride. It leaves you feeling depleted and exhausted, making it nearly impossible to keep riding. To avoid the dreaded bonk, ensure you’re giving your body plenty of calories and the proper nutrition.
Cycling nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated, either. Instead of spending lots of money on expensive supplements, focus on staying hydrated, eating a well-balanced diet, and carrying easily-absorbable carbs while you ride.
Foods like bananas, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and energy bars are easy to eat during a bike ride and provide fast energy for your body, so you don’t bonk.
8. Embrace the hills.
Most cyclists hate hills (and for good reasons), but they’re amazing workouts! Don’t shy away from the hills if you want to become a better cyclist. Ride them often to build your strength and endurance.
Flat routes are great for speed training, but they can get boring, too. On the contrary, biking hilly routes also adds some nice variety to your cycling, which is another nice perk.
Additionally, the more hills you ride, the more opportunities you’ll have to sharpen your hill-biking skills. And the less scared of those hills you’ll be.
9. Ride with friends.
While there’s nothing wrong with cycling alone, biking with friends is very fun and motivating. Once you find a group of cyclists with similar abilities and fitness levels, you can explore all types of routes together and push one another to achieve your goals.
You can even use Vingo to bike virtually with a group! Vingo has biking routes worldwide for exciting adventures that don’t require expensive travel or any time for altitude acclimation.
10. Log all your bike rides.
Logging all your bike rides takes consistent dedication, but it’s a great way to stay accountable, track your progress, and inform your training routine. Instead of riding aimlessly with no goals in mind, logging every ride will help you identify your weaknesses and strengths and provide more opportunities for growth and improvement.
To become a better cyclist, track your rides and set your goals accordingly. With a clear idea of where you need to improve, you’ll be better able to
11. Create a training schedule.
Creating a training schedule for yourself makes it easier to make the most of each cycling workout and reach your goals faster.
A training schedule doesn’t have to be complex, either. It can be as simple as scheduling one to two weekly long-distance rides. In between your longer rides, complete a more challenging cycling workout, like interval training or a hilly route. Also, give yourself adequate time to rest and gradually increase your weekly mileage to boost your endurance and strength.
Each time you complete a bike ride, log your time, mileage, and any other cycling metrics you’d like to track. That way, you can more easily see your progress over time.
If you want to become a better cyclist, your training off the bike is just as important as the time you spend in the saddle. This is called cross-training.
Any other type of physical exercise could be considered cross-training, such as running, swimming, boxing, or dancing. However, strength training is one of cyclists’ best forms of cross-training. Bodyweight exercises like squats, leg presses, planks, and sit-ups will strengthen many of the muscles you use while cycling.
Other exercises like yoga, Pilates, and swimming can increase your strength, balance, mobility, and endurance while using those same muscles in different ways.
13. Keep things fun.
And finally, our biggest tip for success is just to have fun! You might dread your time on the saddle if you push yourself too hard or only train for results. Instead, find ways to keep things exciting and enjoyable, like biking through virtual locations worldwide with Vingo, joining a local bike club, or setting lofty goals. Whatever helps you look forward to your time on the bike is worth doing.