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The Sport Information Resource Centre

With the Tour de France starting up this weekend, many fans will be tuning in to watch these high performance athletes fight their way to the finish line in this notoriously grueling event. Over the coming month you will be sure to see some great moments of success and resilience as well as some spectacular crashes. If watching makes you suddenly inspired to dust off your bike and ride about town we’ve provided some tips to get you on the right track.

Safety First!

  • Tune it up – If your bike’s been in storage for a while, it’s probably a good idea to take it to a bike shop to get a little TLC – flat tires aren’t going to get you very far!
  • Know the road rules – Good road and trail etiquette is essential to know when just starting out. Brush up on hand signals, stick to the law, stay off of the sidewalks and be predictable – sudden turns or movements can get you injured really fast.
  • Know the road rules – Good road and trail etiquette is essential to know when just starting out. Brush up on hand signals, stick to the law, stay off of the sidewalks and be predictable – sudden turns or movements can get you injured really fast.
  • Fit like a glove – Getting your bike fitted to your body is commonly thought of as an unneeded extra, but when you and your bike fit well together you’ll be more comfortable, less likely to get injured and it will help your performance.
  • Get your gear – At the bare minimum, walk yourself to the nearest sports store and buy a bike helmet. Additional items to consider are gloves, sunglasses, bike tools, cycling clothes and shoes, toe clips and/or reflective tape/clothing if you are planning on cycling at night.

Building a Training Plan

A common rookie mistake is to jump out of the gate, push yourself to almost collapse, find yourself in a lot of post-workout pain, and then have trouble motivating yourself to get back in the saddle. Anytime you start a new exercise or activity, the best action is to start slowly and then methodically work your way up to longer and faster rides. Each time you ride you will get better as long as you allow yourself time to adapt, recover, and come back stronger. Eventually you will build up your fitness, start pedalling in a more coordinated and efficient way, and your training will feel less arduous.

For a complete beginner training schedule check out this resource:

Beginner’s Training Plan: From 0 to 30 Miles in 14 Weeks

For some tips on how to avoid rookie mistakes, check these links out:

Rookie Mistakes the Pros Still Make

Nobody’s Perfect: Avoid These Five New-Cyclist Mistakes

Whether your plan is to cycle to compete or just hop on your bike for a little exercise, cycling is an enjoyable and accessible way to improve your aerobic conditioning, build muscle strength and endurance, and increase your overall health and well-being.

References from the SIRC Collection:

Bortman T. THE ULTIMATE BEGINNER’S GUIDE. Bicycling. July 2014;55(6):53-59.

DeCrosta T. For beginners only, the inside story: cycling toward better health. Bicycling. January 1982;23(1):45-46.

JACOBS L. A Beginner’s Guide to Cycling. Bicycling Australia. September 2012;(177):158.

Oakley G. Hill forecasting for beginners : how to recognise and handle hills. Australian Cyclist. August 1991;15(4):50-51.

UNWIN A. TOUR FOR BEGINNERS: IT’S THE SIMPLE THINGS. Australian Cyclist. March 2011;36(2):34-36.



The information presented in SIRC blogs and SIRCuit articles is accurate and reliable as of the date of publication. Developments that occur after the date of publication may impact the current accuracy of the information presented in a previously published blog or article.